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.
Published in New York Times from Jun. 24 to Jun. 25, 2016.