Samuel Joseph DeRosa

06/03/1927 — 01/01/2024

From Kennewick, WA | Born in Havre, MT

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Celebration of Life

Starts:
Sat, March 16, 2024, 3:00 pm
Location:
Events at Sunset
915 Bypass Highway

Richland, WA 99352

Samuel Joseph DeRosa

Samuel (Sam) Joseph DeRosa of Kennewick went to be with the Lord on Jan. 1, 2024. He was born on June 3, 1927, in Havre, Montana to Michele and Marietta DeRosa, both Italian immigrants. Sam grew up in a loving, hard-working family, and being the youngest, he was guarded by four brothers and sisters.

Sam graduated from Havre High School in 1945 and was quickly drafted into the U.S. Army where he served until 1947. After serving in World War II, Sam spent a few years developing himself. Sam worked for the Great Northern Railroad while attending school. In 1949, he earned his Associate’s Degree from Northern Montana College and his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Denver in 1951. After graduation, Sam became a teacher in Big Sandy Montana. In 1955, he completed McGowan’s umpire school in Daytona Beach Florida. After which, he returned to Montana where he continued his job as a Brakeman and Conductor for the Great Northern Railroad. In 1961, he graduated from Montana State University with his Master’s Degree and went on to work as a School Psychologist for the Richland School District.

Shortly after moving to Richland in 1961, he met the love of his life, Eleanor. Eleanor and Sam were married in 1962. Eleanor and Sam raised their two sons, Jim and David in Richland. Sam was active in the boy’s life participating in Indian Guides, Boy Scouts, and school activities.  Sam and Eleanor supported both sons earning the rank of Eagle Scout, college graduates, and independence.  During his career, Sam was also very active in volunteering.  His passion was in establishing the Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC) Tri-Cities.  Sam served as ARC president for many years.

After 28 years with the Richland School District, Sam retired.  He continued as a contract Psychologist for a few additional years. Sam and Eleanor spent their retirement traveling the world, volunteering, and spending time with family.  Sam and Eleanor traveled their dreams, including visiting all 7 continents, taking Eleanor to his parents’ hometown in Italy, and seeing penguins in Antarctica. They traveled by plane, train, motorhome, and cruise ships. These adventures were always filled with memorable moments for them.

Sam and Eleanor volunteered together at the Kadlec hospital in Richland for several years. In 2010, Sam began volunteering with Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA). For decades, he kept up on the ever-changing retiree health care policies, allowing him to assist many retirees with their selection of health insurance. Sam was a devoted member of the Washington State School Retirees Association (WSSRA).  He continued to serve on WSSRA committees and present at the State conferences up until his last days.  His volunteer activities kept him in the forefront of health insurance changes

Sam also enjoyed his involvement with the Sons and Daughters of Italy, where he shared and learned more about his Italian heritage.

Sam and Eleanor enjoyed being involved with the grandchildren’s lives. This included attending many soccer, basketball, and football games, steel drum and ballet performances, high school and college graduations, as well as attending a movie premier, and collaboration on publishing a book on Sam’s family history.

Sam is survived by his sons James (Jennifer) and David (Alexandria), grandchildren Andrew, Heather, Dylan, Sarah, step-grandchildren Brittany and Terra, and great granddaughters Jeorgia Jo and Norah, numerous nieces, and nephews, as well as many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents Michele and Marietta, his wife Eleanor, brothers Anthony and Frank, and sisters Edith VanBuskirk and Mary Gratke.

A celebration of Sam’s life will be held at Einan’s Sunset Gardens Event Center, 1451 Cemetery Road, Richland, WA on March 16, 2024 at 3 p.m.

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Samuel Joseph DeRosa

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  • Jim and Dave –
    I will always remember your dad as good sport and a cheerful character who added a unique personality to so many of our scouting events. He was always dedicated to supporting you both in your scouting careers; and even as a kid – I can remember being impressed with his perseverance. I can remember your dad’s voice like it was yesterday. He will be missed.
    I pray that God will comfort you and your families with the knowledge of His grace and salvation –

    Jes

    Jes Smart
    February 8, 2024
    West Richland, WA
  • To Jim,David and families, we were saddened to hear about Sam. He was a wonderful uncle to us. We always enjoyed his sense of humor and he was into genealogy long before it was popular! We will miss seeing him at the family reunions and other get togethers. He was a true DeRosa because family was so important. We know he is at peace and reunited with Eleanor and all his family!

    Mike and Judy DeRosa
    January 25, 2024
    Woodbury, MN
  • Jim, Dave, and families,
    I am sorry to hear of the passing of your dad. I pray you are surrounded by the peace and comfort of Jesus Christ during this difficult time.

    Jenny (Smart) Page
    January 25, 2024
    West Richland, WA
  • I met Sam at Ciel Senior Living. I enjoyed visiting with him. He was very compassionate and had the best smile. I’m so glad that he got to go back to Montana last summer. I will miss Sam.

    Mary Gardner
    January 23, 2024
    Pasco
  • I was sorry to hear about your Dad. I had just talked to him about two weeks ago.
    Whenever I saw something that would interest him in Havre Daily would send him
    a copy. Have known him since high school.

    Mrs. Dell Everaert
    January 23, 2024
    Great Falls, MT
  • Many happy days working and traveling with the Scouts when the boys were young.

    Dan , Dianne and Donald Robinson
    January 22, 2024
    Silverdale Wa
  • What a wonderful man and tribute. My sincere condolences for your loss. ❤️🙏

    Susan white
    January 22, 2024
    Des Moines, WA
  • Our deepest condolences to the whole family. Gone but never forgotten.

    Tony English
    January 22, 2024
    Havre, Montana
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