4 entries
  • "My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. It..."
    - Judy Gross-Dove
  • "I heard much of Mr. Venneri from his brother John who was..."
    - Paul Ream
  • "Janet, So so sorry to hear this. May he rest in peace..."
    - Lisa Yost
  • "Sam, Great neighbor and friend. You will be missed."
    - Lisa Chao
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VENNERI SAMUEL LEE VENNERI (Age 69) September 16, 1947 - November 9, 2016 Of Middletown, MD, passed away Wednesday, November 9, 2016, at the Johns Hopkins Medical Center. Born on September 16, 1947, in Charleroi, PA, he was the son of the late Samuel F. Venneri and the late Mildred G. (Blackwell) Venneri. Sam received his B.S. in aerospace engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 1969 and his M.S. in engineering science from George Washington University in 1975. Sam had a love of aviation, which he carried throughout his life. He had an impressive Federal career with NASA, which began in 1981, where he held several positions, most notably Chief Technologist from 1996 until his retirement in October 2002. During a portion of that time, he also served as Associate Administrator for Aerospace Technology. While at NASA, Sam received several Presidential Rank Awards. His position at NASA afforded him the opportunity to travel the world. He traveled to numerous countries and his wife often accompanied him. Prior to NASA, Sam was an aerospace consultant with Swales and Associates; a principal engineer with Fairchild Space Electronics; he worked briefly at the Department of Energy (where he met his wife); and in the early 1970's at the Department of Defense Naval Research Lab and the Office of Naval Research. Sam earned his private pilot's license in 1978. He continued his pilot training and became instrument-rated and performed some aerobatics for a few years. He owned several different airplanes from 1987 onward. He loved flying and would opt to fly his own plane whenever he could for business and vacation travel. He and his wife traveled extensively throughout the country in his plane. While visiting Alaska, Sam earned his float plane rating. Sam also enjoyed aerial photography. After retirement from NASA, Sam continued to work for various technology companies and served as a consultant to several companies. While continuing to fly his private plane for business and pleasure, he also became active in the Hagerstown Aviation Museum. In addition to flying, Sam loved cars, especially sport cars. He owned several show cars that he would "trick" out for car shows. He and his nephew, Joseph traveled and competed in car shows along the east coast, earning more than 30 trophies. Sam also loved to create extensive train displays during the Christmas holidays. Sam especially enjoyed spending time with his nephew and nieces. They were all very special to him, and he was very proud of them. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Janet (Brechbill) Venneri; and a brother, John Venneri of Connellsville, PA, and his wife, Jane; a brother-in-law, Daniel Brechbill of Smithsburg, MD; nephew, Joseph, and nieces, Tiffany, Juliana, and Olivia, all of Clear Spring. In addition, he is survived by two former sister-in-laws, Charlene of Clear Spring, MD; and Renee of Cearfoss, MD. He was preceded in death by a brother, Douglas Venneri. Services will be held Wednesday, November 16, 2016, at 1 p.m. at the Douglas A. Fiery Funeral Home, 1331 Eastern Blvd. North, Hagerstown, MD, with the Rev. John W. Schildt officiating. Family will receive friends at the funeral home on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Interment will be at the Rest Haven Cemetery, Hagerstown, MD. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Hagerstown Aviation Museum, 14235 Oak Springs Rd., Hagerstown, MD 21742. Online condolences may be expressed at
Funeral Home
Douglas A. Fiery Funeral Home
1331 Eastern Boulevard North
Hagerstown, MD 21742
(301) 791-7759
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Published in The Washington Post on Nov. 14, 2016
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