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Willwerscheid Funeral Home
St. Paul, MN
(651) 228-1006

Michael "Sammy" SAMUELSON

Obituary Condolences

Michael "Sammy" SAMUELSON Obituary
Beloved Bon Vivant Sammy was the consummate heckler and sports fans, a fixture at the Barn, Met Stadium, the Metrodome and Target Field. He loved Gopher Men's Basketball and the Minnesota Twins. With his best friend, Julian Loscalzo, Sammy helped organize tours to ballparks around the country. The tours were masterpieces of chaos and fun. Although he was regarded as perhaps the Twin Cities' best sports fan, Sammy wanted most to be remembered for his work as a community organizer in Minneapolis and St. Paul, where he fought tirelessly for the rights and needs of the poor, the disenfranchised, and people with disabilities. He also worked in housing programs and code enforcement for several cities, including Richfield, Brooklyn Park, and Maplewood. Though living with multiple medical issues and conditions, by his own admission he "enjoyed life every day", and it showed in his joy and enthusiasm. At the age of 11 Michael received his first kidney transplant at the U of M Hospital in 1966. He had subsequent kidney transplants in 1974 and 2005. He survived aggressive squamous cell skin cancer and underwent amputation of his arm and shoulder. In 2012 he was diagnosed with MDS - a blood cancer. He fought it for 13 months, but Michael passed away peacefully surrounded by family Monday January 28, 2013. Preceded in death by father, Howard. Survived by wife, Kiki Sonnen; mother, Lavern (Bob) Jagg; siblings, Terrie (Joe) Pyne, James Samuelson, Barbara (Tom) Gutz, David (Elaine) Samuelson; aunts and uncle; many nieces, nephews, cousins, and many, many beloved friends. Visitation 4-8 PM Thursday, January 31st at Willwerscheid Funeral Home, 1167 Grand Avenue, St. Paul. Mass of Christian Burial 11 AM Friday, February 1st, at the CHURCH OF ST. FRANCES CABRINI, 1500 Franklin Ave. S.E., Minneapolis. Celebration of Life luncheon featuring ballpark foods immediately after the Mass. Private interment. Memorials preferred to Minnesota Twins Community Fund. 651-228-1006


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Published in Pioneer Press from Jan. 29 to Jan. 30, 2013
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