McLafferty, Samuel Allen
Samuel Allen McLafferty died December 4, 2017 at the age of 61 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born to Fred W. and Elizabeth (Tibby) McLafferty on November 16, 1956 in Newton, MA. He is survived by his wife Vera Gilliland McLafferty and his children Joseph, Eva, Ben & Tess, his parents, and his siblings Sara (Urbana, IL), Joel (Santa Monica, CA), Martha (Hanover, NH), and Ann (Bangor, ME).
He graduated from Ithaca High School (1974), McGill University and Pennsylvania State University. For his master's thesis at the latter he wrote a computer program for Monte Carlo simulation to perform risk analysis on an Apple II personal computer. This program ultimately became "@RISK", the central product of Palisade Corporation, a global software company headquartered in Ithaca, which he founded in 1984. Sam was a "whiz" at math, science, and statistics and had the ability to focus these gifts on solving complex problems.
Sam was very active in the local youth hockey leagues and city projects such as the Cayuga Waterfront Trail and Tough Turtle charity mud race, and was a major supporter of the Elizabeth Anne Clune Montessori School of Ithaca. In addition, through Palisade, he made significant contributions to the local United Way and Salvation Army. There is even a scholarship in his name for graduating Ithaca High School seniors who demonstrate aptitude in computer science.
He had an indomitable spirit of optimism, energy and tenacity that he brought to all aspects of his life (as shown by his long-term and unwavering faith in the Buffalo Bills). He had a mischievous sense of humor, a ready smile and infectious chuckle. He was a loving father and husband and a kind, generous, and wonderful friend.
A celebration of Sam's life will be held Saturday, December 9, at 11:00 am at the Statler Hotel. If you would like to reach out to the family or share memories of Sam, please visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/sammclafferty
Published by Ithaca Journal from Dec. 6 to Dec. 9, 2017.