Samuel J. Hand (“Sam”) of Leland, North Carolina, passed away on Monday, June 30, 2014, he was 68 years old. Sam died in peace surrounded by his wife of 46 years, Donna, and his three children: Tina, Joe, and Bob.
Sam was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the third of four children (sisters, Marge and Dorothy, and brother, Les) and was predeceased by his parents, Leslie and Helen.
Sam graduated from Scranton Central in 1963 and attended Bloomsburg University where he met the love of his life, Donna Schiavo. After graduating from Bloomsburg, Sam began his career as a high school teacher in Bristol Township, Pennsylvania and Vestal, New York. He joined General Electric and received his masters from Rider University. Sam spent 38 years at GE, led GE’s Financial Management Program, earned Six Sigma certification and spent 18 years in government accounting in Fairfield, Connecticut.
Sam was recognized as an industry expert and represented GE on many associations, including serving as President of the Aerospace Industry Association. He concluded his GE career in Wilmington, North Carolina, where he and Donna retired in 2010.
Sam was full of energy. He loved biking, golf, and being outdoors. Sam loved to travel, especially with his Donna. Sam’s favorite destination was Italy and he had a love for all things Italian. During retirement he took cooking classes and learned to speak Italian.
Once Sam knew you, he considered you a friend; if he did not know you, he was going to find a way to meet you. Sam truly believed in the saying that there are no such things as strangers, only friends he had not yet met. Sam was dedicated and passionate. He served as a Roman Catholic Eucharistic minister, a lector, pre-cana leader, global leader for the Marriage Encounter movement and in countless other volunteer positions in the Church.
Above all, Sam was a devoted husband and father. Sam was generous with his time, talents and treasures in everything that he did, whether it was coaching sports, leading booster clubs, or organizing social events.
Sam loved his family and knew that life was a beautiful, beautiful thing – the true “bella.” “Sammer” will be greatly missed by his wife, Donna of Leland, NC. “Papa” will be greatly missed by his daughter, Tina Tison and her husband Joe of Fairfield, CT; his son, Joe Hand and his wife Lauren of Basking Ridge, NJ; and his son Bob Hand and his girlfriend Jaime Sasso of New York, NY. And “G-Pa” will be missed by his six grandchildren: Samantha and Trey Tison of Fairfield, CT; and Olivia, Caroline, Madelyn and Ryan Hand of Basking Ridge, NJ.
Ciao Sam . . . Ciao Bella.
Family and friends may call on Tuesday, July 8 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Lesko & Polke Funeral Home, 1209 Post Road, Fairfield, CT. They are also invited to meet directly in St. Jude Church, 707 Monroe Turnpike, Monroe, CT on Wednesday, July 9 at 11 a.m. for a Funeral Mass in celebration of Sam’s life. A separate memorial celebration will be held in Leland, North Carolina at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, www.stjude.org.
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Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, Village Road Chapel, 525 Village Rd., Leland, NC 28451 910.383.3511.