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A long-time professor and lawyer, passed peacefully after a courageous battle with cancer on Saturday, May 12, 2012. He was born on June 6, 1932, and lived fully his 79 years. Sam was born in East Carnegie and lived with his wife, Isabella (Vitale) of 51 years in Carnegie. In addition to being survived by his loving wife, Sam is survived by daughters, Elisa Astorino and Anita (Joe) Kulik and his son, Christopher Astorino. After serving in the United States Army, Sam attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he received his Bachelor, Masters, and PhD in history. While working on his degrees, Sam taught at the University of Pittsburgh, then moved on to teach at Waynesburg College and St. Vincent College. He became a professor of history at Duquesne University in 1964, rising to the position of Chairman of the Department of History. Sam then pursued a career in law, receiving his Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University in 1982. Sam served as a professor of law at Duquesne from 1984 until his retirement this year. "Dr. Sam" was a prominent legal scholar, and served as consultant to many international schools and organizations. He especially enjoyed teaching courses for law school, each summer, in Rome, Italy. Sam wrote many different history and law articles and publications, and served many years, preparing students for the Pennsylvania Bar exam. Sam was well known for his love of his Catholic faith, and his love for a good cigar. He was also very proud of his Italian heritage, and was involved in several Italian-American organizations. Sam's commitment to education and public service earned him accolades from his students, and from various organizations, including being named Paul Harris Fellow from the Parkway West Rotary Club. Sam was the son of the late Dominic and Filomena Astorino, and was brother of the late Anthony Astorino. In addition to his wife and children, Sam is survived by his sister, Tina (Frank) Goveassazo and sister-in-law Carmine Astorino. He will be remembered fondly by his grandchildren, Sarah and Joseph Kulik, and his many nieces and nephews. Family and friends will be welcome on Monday, 6-8 p.m., and Tuesday, 2-4, 6-8 p.m., at the BAGNATO FUNERAL HOME, Jefferson St., Carnegie. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Simon and Jude Church, in Greentree, on Wednesday at 10 a.m. Add a tribute at:
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from May 13 to May 15, 2012.
Memories & Condolences
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52 entries
April 27, 2020
I was Dr. Astorinos grad assistant for the Institute is World Concerns and History Forum. God bless this caring and talented professor.
Mark Draskovich
March 26, 2013
So sad to hear this. Dr. Astorino was my boss for 3 years. I enjoyed working for and with him.
Kathy Osborne
September 24, 2012
I just read about Dr. Astorino's passing in the Duquesne publication. I took his history courses in graduate school between 1966 and 1968. What a fantastic instructor! Years later (about 40) I decided to call him up on his cell phone---and he actually remembered who I was! I wished I could have made the trip to Pittsburgh to see him. The review I read about him about how he didn't forget former students was correct. I did have the privilege to talk with him a few times. I will miss him.
Frank Bannon
May 29, 2012
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of such a wonderful man...he was a tremendous teacher and a truly great person. May you be comforted by the fact that he touched so many lives and created a beautiful legacy that will live on through those people whose lives he touched. My prayers are with your family.
Beth Tibbott
May 21, 2012
Tothe Astorino family;
My prayers are with you at this time and please accept my deepest sympathy. I had the pleasure and honor of being one of Dr. Sam's graduate students.

Robert Miecznikowski
May 20, 2012
Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
Angelo & Marilyn Casella
May 18, 2012
To my extended Astorino family,

I'm sorry I couldn't make it up for the funeral and am deeply saddened on the passing of Uncle Sam. I keep a picture of him and I at my desk. It was taken at a Pirates game he took me to about 15 years ago. I look at it daily smiling and thinking how lucky I am to be a part of such an awesome family. I'll never forget as a child how scared I was of his cheek pinches and headlock head rubs but look back and smile because I knew how much he loved us and it was a way of showing his affection. Carmen and I along with Dad and Regina will be up there June 8th weekend to see everyone. I love you all very much.
Anthony Astorino
May 17, 2012
Dear Anita & Joe: I was saddened to read of your father's passing. Please accept my condolences. - Jeff Pollock, Esq., Sq. Hill
May 16, 2012
On behalf of the Graziani family,I extend our deepest sympathy. Dr. Astorino was a good friend to my parents and helpful to me, while I was a student at Duquesne.
Maria Graziani Santangelo
May 16, 2012
My heart knows that we live on God's time, he has added a great person to his heavenly gates. Your gift's in life we live forever, we will say our goodbye's knowing you are in God's hand. Your inspiration live on in your family, your work, and your faith. Thank You for all your gifts. We ill cherish them all ....on Eagles Wings we know heaven is getting a blessed soul. Your Starbuck friends ... love forever !
Bob Keller
May 16, 2012
My heartfelt sympathy to the family of Dr Sam. I became a better person after meeting him. We sat up many nights talking of his work, sharing stories of the past, and his passion for teaching and education. He was a man of wisdom, the most I have met in my life. I have often thought of him after he left Providence Point and hoped he was comfortable. He will be missed!
Melissa Solomon
May 15, 2012
What can you say.
Sam was a great man.
I know he loved his family, and he loved teaching
and I know he loved his students and he loved people, He always asked me how I was doing and how I was feeling and we would discuss his up comming trips when he went to Rome and after he returned, He always saw the brighter side and he knew his cigars, I had one of your favorite afternnon cigars in your honor!
Mark Tercsak
May 15, 2012
My deepest condolences to the family.
Tom Zagorsky
May 15, 2012
Tina ...carmine...rita...paula.....your family will be in my prayers..

Rosie's niece
patty adragna-blum
May 15, 2012
To our Grandpap Sam,
Although my father passed away when Sarah and Joey were only toddlers; they were fortunate to have you in their lives for the past 17 years. I can not think of a better man to have taken over as Grandfather. We love you, appreciate you and will miss you Sam...rest in peace.
Donna (Kulik) LaFronte
May 15, 2012
Dr. Astorino was my history professor in both under-graduate and graduate work at Duquesne. He was also my mentor for my graduate work.
He made history fascinating! He also took a very personal interest in each student.
Sister Marilyn Joyce, OSF
May 15, 2012
An incredible speaker, I knew Dr. Astorino as a teacher from his history classes in the 1970s. His knowledge of America during the Great Depression and the Roosevelt legacy were incredible and are relevant now as they were then. His enthusiasm was contageous and lectures inspiring. My memory of his work has not dimmed all these decades later and in fact added a dimension to my life that might otherwise have been unexplored. My thoughts are with his family who will carry his legacy.
Patrick Sheldon CBS News New York
Patrick Sheldon
May 15, 2012
As an undergraduate student, I had the pleasure of having Dr. Astorino as a professor. Later, my older brother had the same pleasure as a law student. To this day, we both often laugh and discuss our experience(s) as students of this fine Italian American, role model, teacher, and friend. Peace to his family and know that he has the blessing of God's promis for eternal life. There may have been a few as good, but none better than Dr. Astorino. He will be missed.
David E. Pallone
May 15, 2012
Dear Elisa,
so sorry to hear of your loss, we lost my Dad last year and it is still hard. i remember you from college days in early 80's, (Cathy Perich's roommate) and hope you are okay.
my sympathy to you and your family
Amy Marks Dering
amy marks dering
May 14, 2012
Chris and family, There are never the right words to express the sadness we feel for such a loss. Just know that God put his arms around your dad and lifted him to rest and now, with God, he is completely one. When you lose someone you cherish their passing brings pain, but God gives a promise that some day, you'll be together again. I hope you can find comfort holding the memories of your dad in your heart as treasures that will live on forever. Wish I was there to show my support, I appreciated it when you were there for me. So sorry for your loss!
Laurel Leithauser Fitts
May 14, 2012
Dr. Astorino was a wonderful man and professor. I have never forgotten his advice. My deepest sympathy, he will be missed.
Julie Ellis, JD'97
May 14, 2012
I will never forget when I showed you a picture of me with Pope John Paul II, you asked if I was Catholic. When I said no, you said I was meant to be Catholic because of that picture. Well, I never converted to Catholicism, but I did enjoy many more Cuban cigars and bottles of wine. With a smile, I often think of our time in Italy and remember you and all you had to teach me fondly. You are missed. Caio, Bello.
Amber Jones (Morrow)
May 14, 2012
I was privileged to have learned from Dr. Astorino. His devotion to the students was evident and I am the lawyer I am today partly because of him. He was always there for his students he helped me through a particularly tough time during my law school days and im forever grateful My prayers go out to the Astorino family.
Eileen Flinn
May 14, 2012
Dear Chris,
I wish you and your family deepest sympathy on your fathers passing.. I know he was quite dedicated to law and to Duquesne. May he continue to live on not only in you and your family, but in all those he taught and guided through the learning and example of law.
-Ann Barni(Smith)
Class of 88 Duquesne University
Stow, Ohio
May 14, 2012
I'll never forget how hard Professor Astorino worked to help my classmates, wife and I pass the bar exam. We attended his classes ever Saturday morning at 8:00 am for two semesters. He didn't have to be there on those Saturdays - this was an extra class. But Professor Astorino knew he could help us, and he wanted to see us succeed. We have been and will forever be grateful.
Ed Humes
May 14, 2012
Professor Astorino was a legal scholar. It was my privilege to take two classes from him as a Duquesne law student. No other faculty member surpassed his knowledge of the law and his dedication to teaching. The Duquesne University School of Law has lost a giant. My thoughts and prayers are with Professor's family and the university community. Mary F. Leshinskie, J.D. L'88 Lewisburg, PA
May 14, 2012
Chris, my deepest sympathy on the passing of your father. He was a good and gentle soul and one of the best educators I ever knew. He is one of the reasons I practice law.
Mark Peduto
May 14, 2012
Dear Chris and family,
I was very sorry to hear of Sam's passing. He will be missed here on earth but, I know he has already joined the celebration in heaven! It will remain my privilege to have known him and to have counted him as a friend. My prayers will continue for you and your family.
Lou Hendrix
May 14, 2012
My very deepest sympathy to his family. Sam was a wonderful friend when we were in graduate school at Pitt and, later, a wonderful mentor to my son at Duquesne Law School. He will be in my prayers.
Rae Sprigle Kurland
Danville, Pennsylvania
May 14, 2012
It is a priviledge to have known Dr. Astorino. He was wise and strong. I am deeply grateful for his generous friendship and counsel. May he rest in peace.
Doris Corsello
Pittsburgh, Pa.
Retired from Duquesne University School of Law Library
May 14, 2012
Dear Anita and Family,
I am so sorry to learn of your Father's passing. He was a wonderful soul who will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Amy (Sabolchick) Buchanan
May 14, 2012
So deeply sorry to hear of the passing of Sam. My deepest sympathies to Isabell ( a great friend and neighbor and Duquesne classmate) and to their children.

Love Russ Cleveland, Oh
May 14, 2012
Tony, Rita and Paula,

My condolences and sympathy at the loss of your Uncle Sam. Tony, I remember you speaking of him fondly numerous times. My prayers to you and your families.
Mark Turak
May 14, 2012
Sam was a great man. Please accept our deepest condolences. Your family is in our prayers.
Jim Giunta and family
jim giunta
May 14, 2012
Dear Chris, my deepest condolences to you and your family. Your Dad was a kind and wonderful person and an outstanding professor. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Susanne Kimberland
May 14, 2012
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
John Chaney
May 14, 2012
Anita: So sorry to hear of your fathers passing. Our prayers are with you and the family.
Irene Nickel
May 14, 2012
Dear Isabel,
Words are inadequate to express the sorrow that we felt upon learning of Sam's passing. Cherish your precious memories. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to you and your family in this time of grief.

Sandi and Berk Zionts, Center Valley, Pennsylvania
May 14, 2012
Dear Isabel, Chris, Anita, and Elisa.....
I am so sad to hear about the loss of your dad.
I'll really miss smoking stogies with him at the Friday night hang.
May God bless you and bring you peace of mind and comfort.
Michelle and Nick Dialoiso
Michelle and Nick Dialoiso
May 14, 2012
Dear Anita, Joe, and Family,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you. May fond memories get you through this difficult time.
Ken and Marlane
Ken and Marlane Sobeck
May 13, 2012
Isabel, Chris, Anita, and Elisa I am so sorry to hear about Sam's passing, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Sam was always such a possitive influence and inspiration in my life and I will never take for granted the privilege of having known him. God rest your soul my friend I will never forget you and the times we spent together.
Chris Marshall
May 13, 2012
Chris, So sorry to hear of the passing of your father. God Bless you and your family. Your loss is heaven's gain.
Robin Luttner
May 13, 2012
So sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. May the knowledge that your Dad enjoyed a life well-lived, console you as you mourn. May he rest in peace.
With deepest sympathy,
Patty Popek
May 13, 2012
Dear Christopher, Mrs. A, Elisa and Anita, I am so honored to have become friends with such an outstanding man. I cherished our friendship, and will always remember our conversations. He was a man who loved deeply and lived honorably. I will miss him tremendously!
Janet Pisani
May 13, 2012
With a deep sense of gratitude for his friendship and counsel, memories of those warm June days in Rome will endure. God bless you, Sam.
Alfred Benedict
May 13, 2012

Very sorry to hear about the loss of your father. Our pryers are with you and your family.
John Rossi
May 13, 2012
While attending Duquesne University I had the pleasure of driving to school with Dr. Astorino. I enjoyed talking with him during our morning commutes and can only imagine the positive impact he left on those he taught for so many years. May God bless the Astorino family during this difficult time.
Douglas Rohrkaste
May 13, 2012
My thoughts and prayers are with your family. He was my teacher and my friend and I will miss him dearly.
Stephanie Jones
May 13, 2012
Dear Chris and family,
May God bless you during this time of sorrow. With sympathy,
Megan Turak
May 13, 2012
Dr. Astorino was a great professor and an even better person. I was privileged to study abroad with him at the Vatican and his bar review course helped me pass the exam. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Adam Edmundson
May 13, 2012
I had Dr. Astorino in my senior year at Duquesne in 1982 for a class on Vietnam. I was a speech pathology major. I never had a better teacher before or after, in any subject, than Dr. Astorino. Fabulous teacher..fabulous man! Regina Lackner Ehrhart, Arts' 82
Regina Lackner-Ehrhart
May 13, 2012
Dear Family of Dr. Sam,
May God be close to you as you bid Dr. Astorino farewell. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Bridget and Dave Praskovich
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