Samuel J. Zanghi

Samuel J. Zanghi of Brocton died on Sunday, September 10, 2017 at the Chautauqua Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Dunkirk, surrounded by his loving family. One of eight children, he was born at home on July 27, 1924 to the late Joseph and Mary (Nicosia) Zanghi.

Sam was educated through the Brocton School system. When he was a teenager, he followed in his father's footsteps and worked for the New York Central Railroad, using a sledgehammer to drive spikes for the newly built tracks through Brocton. In 1943, Sam left school at 18 years old to enlist in the U.S. Navy and fight the Japanese in the Pacific Theater during WWII, and was awarded a war service diploma.

As a signalman second Class SV-6 aboard the USS Patterson DD, No. 392, Sam participated in many battles (13 major engagements): the capture of Saipan and Tinian, the battle of Philippine Sea, the Yap Islands, Iwo Jima, Palau Islands Okinawa, Formosa, Leyte Gulf and Luzon, and numberous kamikaze attacks. For his exemplary duty and bravery, Sam was awarded the Point System to be Discharged, WWII Victory Medal, American Campaign, Asiatic Pacific 6 Stars, Philippine Liberation 2 Stars.

After his discharge, Sam found employment at A.J. Wahl's in Brocton, where he made machinery for major pottery companies both domestic and international. Eventually, he was named Plant Superintendent andworked at that position until he retired in 1989.

On September 21, 1946, Sam married his childhood sweetheart, Concetta Nicosia, at St. Patrick's Church (now St. Dominic's) in Brocton. Together, they raised their two children, Douglas and Cynthia, in a family full of love that made for many happy memories.

Sam was meticulous in whatever venture he undertook as a craftsman, woodworker, machinist, contractor, etc. He built his own home and was often seen "supervising" other projects around Brocton. He also enjoyed gardening, golfing and watching the Buffalo Bills and the New York Yankees, but most especially, spending time with his grandchildren.

Sam was proud of his community and stayed active. He was a frequent communicant and member of the Holy Name Society at St. Dominic's Church.

He was the oldest living member of the J.W. Dill American Legion Post 434 and an exempt member of the Brocton Fire Department.

Sam will be remembered as a kind and gentleman, who loved his family so much and would help anyone in need.

He is survived by his children, Douglas (Mary Jo) Zanghi and Cynthia (Zanghi) Cassidy; and his grandchildren, Mallory Kay Zanghi and Brenden Samuel Rybij. He is further survived by his brother, John (Arlene) Zanghi of Brocton; sisters-in-law, Patricia (McCloskey) Zanghi and Mildren (Nicosia) Flocco; several nieces, nephews and a few cousins. He also leaves behind his trusted and loving canine companion, Cetta. Besides his parents, Sam was predeceased by his brothers, Anthony (Josephine LaSpada), Joseph (Mary Lombardo), Angelo and Russel (Joyce) Zanghi; sisters, Frances (Frank) Grabowski and Lucy (Charles) Didio; and twin siblings, who died at birth.

A private military and Christian graveside service will be held at the convience of the family.

Donations in Sam's memory may be made to the Alzheimer's Association of Western New York, 2805 Wehrle Drive, Williamsville, NY 14221; and/or the Fredonia Animal Hospital, 10049 Route 60, Fredonia, NY 14063.

All arrangements have been entrusted to Michael R. Fantauzzi of the Fantauzzi Funeral Home, 82 East Main St., Fredonia.

Obituary from the Observer

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