Wednesday, February 8, 2006
Norman Sabatini, 88, who spent 35 years as a Washington area home builder before retiring in 1998, died of heart disease
Jan. 29 at his home in North Bethesda.
Since 1963, when he started Norsab Inc. and later Hermitage Building Inc., his companies built almost 1,500 homes in the
metropolitan area. The companies also did custom home building and complicated remodeling projects and worked on several
light commercial properties.
A native Washingtonian, Mr. Sabatini competed in track and field at MacFarland Junior High School and held the city junior high
school high jump record for many years. He graduated from Central High School, where he was the primary pass receiver while
on the football team.
An all-around athlete, he loved baseball, and he was well known in a local semi-professional league as a pitcher and a catcher
with bigger ambitions.
While working at the Washington Gas Co., Mr. Sabatini attended night school at the old Columbus University in the District and
graduated with a degree in accounting. His work was interrupted in 1941 when he was drafted into the Army. He completed
officer candidate school and other specialized training before shipping out to fight in the Italian Campaign of the European
theater as a member of the 88th Infantry Division.
While fighting in Italy, he was given a battlefield commission to become a company commander. On July 17th, 1944, he was
injured by a mortar fragment while his unit was trying to take a German stronghold in the town of Palaia. He received two Bronze
Stars and a Purple Heart with an oak leaf cluster. He completed his Army service with the rank of captain and returned to the gas
After 17 years with the gas company, he worked as a sales manager with the James A. Cassidy Co. and later the United Clay
Brick Co. In 1963, he started a company based in Silver Spring.
His company was recognized numerous times by the local chapter of the National Association of Homebuilders and by the
National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
Mr. Sabatini was instrumental in establishing the 88th Infantry Division Association and was active in the National Capital
Building Industry Association, where he was a life director.
He had a passion for golf and was an avid reader.
Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Elizabeth Betty Sabatini of North Bethesda; three children, Carolyn Brown of Silver Spring,
Rita Sabatini of Rockville and Louis Sabatini of Silver Spring; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.