Chiappetta, Sam S.
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LOVING HUSBAND, FATHER,
July 5, 1943 - January 28, 2011
You always had a kind word for everyone. You were never too busy to stop and listen. Your heart was always open. No favor was too big to ask of you, and your generosity was second to none. You sought to leave your part of the world that much better than you found it.
You were blessed with an open, clear, rational mind, which is why you were sought out for your advice. You possessed a sensible, practical nature, tempered with patience and understanding. Slow to anger, but quick to laugh, you had a smile that could light up the darkest room.
You were no stranger to difficulty and heartache. Your skill as a bowler brought you local fame, climaxing with a perfect 300 game at 19. The dream of being a member of the Pro Bowlers Tour was becoming a reality, but life or rather death, changed that. You lost your mother to cancer that same year. You were officially orphaned, having lost your dad several years before. You refocused your efforts, giving up your dream, to care for yourself and your siblings. This could have hardened and embittered you. It did not. Instead, a dedication to caring for family and for others grew, and laid the foundation for the wonderful father you later became.
You loved your country. A true patriot, you fought with passion, and as hard for your country in Vietnam as a Seabee as you did for all things in your life. You never thought of yourself as a hero. You were humble, refusing the Purple Heart for your injuries, turning away the spotlight from yourself while redirecting it toward your fallen bretheren.
You lived simply and fully, without the need for grandeur. You did not seek to move mountains, although you did technically, playing in the dirt as a heavy equipment operator. Even in retirement, after 40 years of doing what you loved, it was still a huge part of your life. Not one of us will ever be able to pass by a bull dozer without smiling, and thinking about you saying every time you went past one that you still had the keys to run it. Those memories, as well as the keys, will remain in our possession forever.
We love, and miss you so much. It has been almost 5 months since your passing, but there isn't a day that goes by that we don't think about you, and miss you. Our hearts are broken, but we take comfort knowing we will all be reunited with you one day. You live on in our memories, and in our hearts. Rest in peace, in God's loving care.
We pay tribute to you, finally laying your ashes to rest in the unfrozen earth. We are comforted knowing this is not an end, but rather a beginning. We will love you forever.
"Warm summer sun, shine kindly here. Warm southern wind, blow softly here. Green sod above, lie light, lie light. Good night, dear Heart, Good night, good night"
- Mark Twain
With All Our Love,
Joyce, Dori, Kelley, Traci,
Amber, Tyler, Jeff, John,
and your brother Bill
Published in the The Journal News on June 18, 2011