Sam Dispenza, age 81, passed away on September 1, 2019 at the Cleveland Clinic.
Sam Dispenza, age 81, a lifelong Ashtabula resident, died unexpectedly on September 1, 2019, after a brief illness. Sam graduated from Ashtabula High School in 1956 where he excelled in football, making the All-County first team offense and defense in his senior year.
Sam was Co-Chairman of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel New Church Building Fund, under the direction of Father Vacca. Pledge money paid off the new church in five years, with no overruns and on time. This could not have been accomplished without the many contributions from a number of loyal parishioners. After 36 years working for the US Postal service, he retired in 1997. After his retirement, he volunteered his services to the landscaping and beautification of the church grounds. Sam was a 45-year active member of the annual church festival, running the beer stand for 15 years (1969-1984). He served as Chairman for three of those years.
He was an active member of the Mt. Carmel Men’s Club serving as secretary/treasurer and a volunteer member of the Committee to establish the Mt. Carmel Community Center. Sam was a former member of the East Ashtabula Club and the Sons of Italy and was active in golf and bowling leagues; most recently he was active on a bocce league playing for Laurello’s Winery team.
In his spare time, he loved to garden, feeding anybody who wanted to eat, spending time with his grandkids, going to outdoor concerts and traveling to Florida in the winter.
Sam was married for 54 years to his grade school sweetheart, Frances (Collichio) Dispenza, who predeceased him in 2012. He was also predeceased by his parents, Amelia (Crudele) Dispenza and Sam Dispenza, brother Joseph Dispenza, sisters Ella (Joe) Cognata, Rose (Steve) Skaruppa, Antoinette (John) Kivela, Lucille (Earl) Keetley.
He is survived by his children Denise, Debbie (George) McEndree of Tampa, Florida, his son Sam (Kathy) Dispenza of Mentor, his loving and precious grandchildren Devon, Adam and Sam McEndree of Tampa and Samantha, Kayla, Dominick and Giana of Mentor, sisters Carmel (Don) Wheelock of Sylvania, Ohio, Carol (Donald) Foster of Gatesville, Texas, and his best friend and loving companion, Carol Reinhart, as well as several nieces and nephews.
Funeral mass will be celebrated on Saturday Sep. 7 at 12;30 in Our Lady of Peace Parish, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church with burial to follow in St. Joseph Cemetery. Friends are asked to go directly to the church.
The family wishes to thank the Cleveland Clinic ICU Medical staff for their loving and compassionate care. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Good Karma Soup Kitchen.