Samuel Alex Sokolik Sr.(1925 - 2014)

Samuel Alex Sokolik, Sr. "Cossack Sam the Accordion Man" Samuel Alex Sokolik, Sr. passed away, at the age of 89, on Saturday, March 29, 2014, after a brief stay at Crozer-Keystone Hospice at Taylor Hospital in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania. Born at home in Essington, Pa on January 17, 1925. Sam was raised in the east end of Chester. He returned to the homestead in 1946, following his military service in WWII. He was a longtime Essington resident. Sam attended the school system in Chester, until he was drafted into the United States Army during WWII. Upon his return home, he completed his education, graduating from Chester High School. Sam dedicated his life to volunteer service. Assisting Interboro Music Boosters, Boys Scouts and other various organizations over his many years, he also served as longtime Commander of V.F.W. Paul J. Richle Post No. 9465, Chester, Pa and as Vice Commander of American Legion Killen-Miles Post No. 87, Lenni, Pa. In addition, Sam held, for multiple terms, the office of President of the "49ERS" Social Senior Club. As an active and devout member of the Orthodox faith, Sam served on the church council, as an altar server, as well as on numerous committees over the 40 years at St. Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Church. Previous to St. Michaels, Sam was a parishioner since birth of St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Chester, PA. In recognition of a lifetime of dedication and service to the faith, Sam was granted the honor of a Gramata from the Patriarchate of Moscow, which was presented to him by Archbishop Justinian in November 2013. Sam was employed by Piasacki, Vertol, & Boeing, before retiring in 1990 from Dobbs International Airline Catering Services. Serving in the U.S. Army during World War II - Sam was in Normandy at Omaha Beach; Northern France; Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns. Achieving the rank of Technical Sergeant (T4), he was honorably discharged with the Good Conduct Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 4 Bronze Stars and the World War II Victory Medal. "Cossack Sam" had an unending love for music. A talented musician for 80 years - Sam had a passion for playing his Excelsior accordion. He was founder and leader for over 40 years of "The Nite Riders" polka band playing in the tri-state area every weekend. After retiring the band, Sam continued to play as a solo accordionist, "Cossack Sam", for church festivals, weddings, anniversaries, parties, and ethnic social clubs. His last highlighted performance was just recently, for an annual church banquet in which the Archbishop was in attendance. Besides entertaining and bringing joy to all through his music, Sam enjoyed dancing the polka, Russian /Ukrainian Figure dances and especially, the Strauss waltz always with his wife. Sam had an admirable talent of speaking several foreign languages, including Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish to mention only a few. Bow ties became his trademark, for he never wore another type. His day would never be complete if he did not read the Daily Times newspaper, or Chester Times as it was called back in the old days. His love for animals was evident as he cared for his "grand-pets" Nikolai the cat, and dogs, Keegan, Comanche and Tank. Sam is predeceased by an infant son, Gregory Sokolik, who passed in 1967; His parents, Alexander and Olga (nee Kuhach) Sokoluk; Four brothers: Alexander; Anthony; Paul; Frank; Two sisters: Katherine Shelby; Helen Morris. Survivors: His wife of 54 years, Julianna (nee Piecara); two sons, Samuel Sokolik, Jr of Essington, Pa; Dimitri Sokolik (Malinda) of Broomall, Pa; two daughters, Tanya Sokolik-Porch (Paul) of North Carolina; Nadine Sokolik (Ken Koscinski) of Essington/New Castle, Pa; two granddaughters, Amelia and Lucia. Services: Relatives and friends are invited to attend calling hours for Sam after 5:30 p.m., Friday at the Kaniefski, Kendus, D'Anjolell Memorial Home, 3900 W. 9th St., Trainer, Pa; (Parastas service at 7:30 p.m.) and after 9 a.m., Saturday at St. Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Church, 335 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19123. Following Sam's Funeral Service in church at 10:30 A.M., interment will take place at Lawn Croft Cemetery, Linwood, Pa. Donations: If desired, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Michael R.O. Church or the church's St. Tatiana Scholarship Fund.
Published in The Daily Times on Apr. 3, 2014