Deceased May 20, 2008
Samuel R. DeSimone ’50, age seventy-nine, passed away at his home in Worcester, MA, on May 20, 2008, after a one-and-one-half-year battle with cancer. He remained courageous and in good spirits and continued working at his law practice until the last few days of his life. Sam is survived by Kris, his wife of fifty-one years; four children, including Kris and son-in-law Robert, Sam Jr. ’81 and daughter-in-law Liz ’81, John and daughter-in-law Kathy, and Philip and daughter-in-law Anne; and eleven grandchildren, including Ariadne ’10.
Sam had a long and successful career as an attorney in Worcester. He contributed his legal talents to Worcester and Massachusetts in numerous ways, including serving as an assistant attorney general of Massachusetts, president of the Massachusetts Bar Advocates Program, and president of the Worcester County Bar Association where he founded the Volunteer Lawyers Program. Along the way, he received numerous accolades for his community service including the “Key to the City” of Worcester. Throughout his life, Sam remained the same modest, down-to-earth and trustworthy person we knew at Amherst. A Worcester Telegram and Gazette article recognized Sam as “one of a kind and unassuming.”
The mayor of Worcester, Konstantina Luke, said, “The Worcester legal community lost one of its best practitioners. If Sam gave you his word, you could rely on it. He was a wonderful community asset.” Although we grew up only twenty miles apart, Sam and I first met on our first day at Amherst, and we were roommates for four years. We had lots of fun in college. One of my most favorite memories was driving with Sam and Tony Zulfer to Springfield to see movie premieres and then writing reviews for the Amherst Student. We often spent our summer vacations together, including a two-month, cross-country trip to California. After our marriages, mine to Flo and Sam’s to Kris, our friendship strengthened. Sam became our youngest daughter’s godfather, while Sam’s youngest son was named after me. Our families shared many summer vacations in Maine. After our kids went to college, married, and started their own families, Flo, Sam, Kris, and I continued to vacation together in Maine, Cape Cod, the Colorado mountains, and the southwest national parks. As busy as Sam, the lawyer, was in Worcester, he always found time to help his friends. When a house next to ours in Maine became available but with the provision that the sale be finalized in four days, Sam was there for me. Somehow he got the title searched, legal papers put together, a closing meeting arranged and all the documents properly signed and delivered to the courthouse in Ellsworth, ME, some 300 miles away with about an hour to spare.
The wonderful experiences above are but a few of the many the deGozzaldi family has shared with the DeSimone family. I’ll cherish them always, and Sam, we will miss you.
Phil deGozzaldi ’50