Samuel Stephen Yasgur
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1942 - 2016
Samuel ("Sam") Stephen Yasgur, beloved father, grandfather, partner, and friend, passed away on June 23, 2016 in Charles County, Maryland.

Funeral services will be held at the Joseph N. Garlick Funeral Homes in Monticello, New York on Sunday June 26th at noon.

He is survived by his daughter Jill Yasgur, his son Stuart Yasgur, his daughter-in-law Sirine Shebaya, and his grandson Malek Shakib Shebaya Yasgur. His second grandson, to be named Sam, is due to be born in September.

He is predeceased by his father Max Yasgur, his mother Miriam Miller Yasgur, and his sister Lois Yasgur.

Sam was born January 9, 1942 in Monticello, NY. He grew up on his parents' dairy farm in the Catskills, where he learned how to work hard, put up a valiant fight, never give up, and fix old, rusty trucks.

He graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 1963 and a law degree from the University of Chicago in 1966. He was by all accounts a formidable trial lawyer and negotiator. He spent most of his life in public service, starting out as Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan during Frank Hogan's tenure and rising quickly through the ranks to become one of the youngest Bureau Chiefs in the office, leading several high profile prosecutions of organized crime.

He moved to Westchester County, where he and Eva Yasgur raised their two children and where he served as County Attorney for a decade. He then went into private practice as a litigation partner at Hall Dickler. He finally decided to return to his beloved hometown in the Catskills, serving as County Attorney for Sullivan County for three full terms under both Republican and Democratic administrations. He retired in 2016. He was an avid skier and motorcyclist and a long-time member of the Westchester County Coast Guard Auxiliary.

At heart Sam always saw himself as the son of a farmer. He wrote a book memorializing, in his own words, "the real story of the famous Farmer who, during those three memorable days in 1969, served as host to what became the Woodstock Generation; the real story of how he became who he was…, how he came to be on the stage that day, and … what he did in the days following the Festival to help 'the kids'."

Sam put up a formidable fight against cancer. He made numerous comebacks that astonished his doctors and delighted his family and friends. Through it all, he maintained a sense of humor, vigor, and love of life that was contagious-refusing to give in to the disease, obstinately continuing to ride his motorcycle, driving 300 miles to meet his grandson Malek the day he was born, and until the very end holding on to a vision of a long and happy future.

He was larger than life. He did not go gentle, but the good night eventually found him, and now he rests in peace. He is loved and admired by all who survive him.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in New York Times from Jun. 24 to Jun. 25, 2016.
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Memories & Condolences
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8 entries
August 24, 2016
Debbie Goodman
August 24, 2016
I just found out Sam Yasgur passed away in June. I was very sorry to hear this and that he had been ill. I didn't know him well. We spoke on the phone once, but I remembered enjoying the conversation. I was in Woodstock; he was in Sullivan County. I had just found out about the aftermath of the Woodstock Festival, which I attended, the condition of the land and the death of his father a few years later. We discussed that and a few other things. I hope that his passing was swift, and that he rests in peace.
Debbie Goodman
July 29, 2016
Sorry this is late, but I just found it online. I was Sam's legal assistant for approximately 10 or 11 years. We kept in touch regularly by email and phone after he returned to Monticello. We spoke in depth about life and things to come. He was a "one of a kind" and lived life to the fullest. I will carry many memories with me. My thoughts and prayers are with the family for peace and comfort.
Cathy Credendino
July 4, 2016
I am not sure my earlier message was properly sent and apologize if this is a repeat.
Sam and I started in Frank Hogan's office together on July 17, 1966. About two months ago, I called him to say hello and Sam, with the same pleasant and seemingly joyful tone he always had told me frankly of his expected death without any self-pity. A month or so ago he wrote on the listserv of the Hogan Associates (of which I am president) an e-mail about his impending death and his pride at serving under DA Hogan. About 25 people - judges and lawyers - responded to his poignant email with messages of respect and love and tribute to his outstanding service as a Hogan assistant. He was a fine lawyer and fine human being. We will remember him with love and respect.
July 1, 2016
I was a colleague of Sam in the New York County District Attorney's office. He was a valued friend and associate. Compassionate, determined and tenacious he never lost his good humor. When things did not go well, he was never a "why me" guy. Instead, he look forward to a better day and better outcome. Some battles can't be won and Sam faced this last one with grace and dignity.
William Aronwald
June 30, 2016
Sam and I were classmates at JYCS. Saw him after graduation at class reunions. He always had a ready smile, and a tale to tell! I imagine that he was an extremely good lawyer & prosecutor. Good Luck Sam, wherever you are.
Ed Fulton
June 24, 2016
I'll miss our talks. I'll miss your sense of humor and those horrible Bloody Mary jokes. I'll miss listening to your enthusiasm as you described your to-do list to keep you busy in Hospice. I'll miss knowing that you were there. Rest well, my "other big brother."
Carrie Kornetsky
June 24, 2016
Always a twinkle in his eye, Sam came into my life in the early 1990s as a volunteer staffer at the Americade motorcycle convention. A raconteur of the first order, he mesmerized many of our 200-person staff with anecdotes and the occasional word of advice.
I will miss his presence, his intelligence and wit, and his positive outlook on life. So positive that he was able to successfully joust with cancer long past any date set by a doctor.
Ride on, Sam.
Bill Dutcher
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