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Dr. Sam L. Colella

1928 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Dr. Sam L. Colella Obituary
ONEIDA >> Dr. Sam L. Colella, 89, passed away peacefully on Oct. 4, 2017, in Oneida, N.Y.

Born in Pittston, Pa., on Aug. 17, 1928, he was the son of John A. and Mary Solomon Colella, and brother of John A. Colella Jr. He was a resident of Oneida for more than 60 years.

Dr. Sam Colella was a graduate of Solvay High School. He matriculated at Ithaca College, where he received his Bachelor Degree, Cornell University for a Masters of Arts and Education, and Columbia University where he earned his Doctorate Degree. A veteran of World War II, Dr. Colella served with the United States Navy stationed in Okinawa, Japan 1944-46. He married Shirley F. Hatch in Solvay, on August 19, 1950. Mrs. Colella passed on May 30, 2001.

Sam had an extensive career in Early Child Development and Education. Among his accomplishments, he is a published author with copyright claims to "The Shape of Things". He was acknowledged by the National Science Foundation Institute in Mathematics and The National Academy for School Executives.

Dr. Colella was a teacher at North Broad Street Elementary School, Principal of Willard Prior and Durhamville Elementary School. During his tenure, Sam was recognized for the development and construction of the Durhamville Log Cabin and Nature Trail that today serves as a classroom museum. Following, he served the Oneida City School District as Superintendent.

Upon retirement from Oneida, he served as the interim Superintendent of Canastota, Camden, Madison Central Schools, and several other districts.

Sam Colella served his Community as a communicant of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, a member of the Oneida Elks Lodge No. 767, B.P.O.E., the Knights of Columbus, and a former member of the Rotary Club of Oneida.

An avid private pilot, was a member of the Durhamville and Canastota Flying Club.

He is survived by his two daughters and their husbands, Susan M. and Terry Finch of Walterboro, S.C. and Sandra N. and Stephen Retford of Sea Ranch Lakes, Fla.; his two sons and daughter-in-law, Steven J. Colella of Oneida and Scott J. and Faye Colella of Athens, Ga.; his 10 grandchildren, Nicholas Colella, Matthew Colella, Tamara Colella Fox, Mackenzie Colella, Samantha Colella Worthey, Abigail Colella Kirk, Danielle Finch, Johnathan Finch, Joshua Finch and Lucas Retford; along with seven great-grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Funeral services will be held 9:30 a.m. Friday from the Campbell-Dean Funeral Home, Inc., 260 Main St., Oneida and 10 a.m. from St. Joseph's Church, where the funeral Mass will be celebrated by the Rev. Richard Kapral, pastor. Interment, with full military honors, will be made in Assumption Cemetery. The viewing will be held at the funeral home, 3-7 p.m. Thursday. Contributions in the memory of Dr. Sam Colella may be made to the Oneida City School District Foundation, 565 Sayles St., Oneida, NY 13421 or the Durhamville School Log Cabin Fund, 5642 Main Street, Durhamville, NY 13054.

To leave a message of condolence, please visit www.campbell-dean.com.
Published in The Oneida Daily Dispatch on Oct. 7, 2017
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