In Memory Of

Mrs. Elizabeth
A special request;

In lieu of flowers, donations in Betty’s honor can be made to the American Diabetes Association and the Dementia Society of America


Elizabeth “Betty” Vallilli Sapanski, 89, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, died on January 16, 2023 in St. Petersburg, FL.

Born July 15, 1933 in Brooklyn to parents Joseph and Ralphine Granate Vallilli, she was raised in Brooklyn, NY, graduating from St. Joseph’s High School in Brooklyn, after which she attended secretarial school and worked as a secretary.

Betty met John W. Sapanski at a dance in Brooklyn when she was 16 years old; they were married on November 28, 1953, at St. Joseph’s Church in Brooklyn. They lived in Brooklyn for 4 more years before settling on Long Island, in Seaford and eventually Garden City, where they raised their 7 children. The matriarch of a large and lively family, Betty was passionate about family values, cooking with love, and dancing. With Tullamore Park across the street, she was known to welcome the neighborhood children with snacks and smiles. In 1988, Betty and John relocated to St. Petersburg, FL, where she enjoyed water aerobics, time with her many friends, daily walks, and frequent visits with her children and grandchildren. True life partners, she and John also traveled the world together, visiting dozens of countries before settling into their Garden City condominium for summers and their home in St. Petersburg, FL, for winters.

Betty was pre-deceased by her parents and her eldest son, John Sapanski Jr. In addition to her husband, Betty is survived by an abundance of family who loved her dearly: her 3 daughters, Lorraine Reis, Margaret Dienst (Edward), and Arlene Ricotta (Dennis); 3 sons, Lawrence (Robin), Kenneth (Kathleen), and Richard (Catherine); her daughter-in-law, Patricia; her sister, Joan Vallilli Hayden Pisanelli; her 20 grandchildren, Amanda Reis Jones, Jennifer Sapanski McGill, Matthew Reis, Noreen Sapanski Reinle, James Sapanski, Lauren Sapanski Malesardi, Linda Sapanski Smith, Michael Sapanski, Brian Sapanski, Brian Dienst, Ryann Sapanski, Jill Sapanski Steinhauer, Eric Dienst, Hillary Sapanski, Kathryn Reis Fallas, Kelly Reis, Dominick Ricotta, John Ricotta, Elisa Ricotta, and Shaylin Sapanski; as well as her 24 great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews, and several great-nieces and great nephews.

Calling hours will be held Wednesday, January 25, 2023 from 4 to 8pm at Fairchild Sons Funeral Home, 1201 Franklin Avenue, Garden City, NY 11530.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Thursday, January 26, 2023 at 9:45am at the Church of St. Joseph, 150 Fifth St., Garden City. Burial will be held immediately after at Holy Rood Catholic Cemetery, 111 Old Country Road, Westbury.

Arrangements are in the care of the Fairchild Sons Funeral Home - Garden City ; 516-746-0585

To offer condolences in the memory of Betty Sapanski, please visit

Guest Book

View guest book
Add photo
Maximum 5 files.
10 MB limit.
Allowed types: png gif jpg jpeg.