JAMES J. SAMA
James Sama, 102, was of sturdy stuff, who passed away after the only medical complication of his life on November 8, 2016. He was born June 3, 1914 in Wilmington to Giuseppe and Rosina (Ciconte) Sama, who were Italian immigrants from Calabria to Wilmington in the early 1900s. He was predeceased by 7 brothers and sisters including Vincenzo Sama, Francesco Sama, Florence DeVito, Lena Menendez, Anna DiPietro, Frank Sama and Dominick Sama. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Helen McLaughlin Shelin Sama and three step-children, Kenneth Shelin, Barbara Johnson and Donna Marley. He is also survived by numerous Sama, DeVito and Menendez nieces and nephews.
James or Jimmy, was a barber who learned the trade at 12 years of age when his father died unexpectedly and he had to go to work to support his family. He retired from barbering as an employee of Morton’s Barber Shop in the DuPont Building in downtown Wilmington. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II as a member of the 455th Anti-Aircraft Art Battalion which was deployed in England, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany and was a part of the Battle of the Bulge. Many members of his unit were natives of Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. They faithfully met until recently for dinner in Milford oince a month and Jimmy was always in attendance even though he was the oldest member of his unit and most of his comrades had pre-deceased him.
He learned incredible thrift as a result of the difficult circumstances of his growing up. He never disposed of much and often found uses for things others quickly threw away. He was a collector of tips on how to do just about anything and loved passing it along, solicited or not. One of his joys was digging for bargains in the weekly supermarket ads. He loved gardening and sharing the bounty of his efforts as well as tips on successful gardening.
A visitation and service will be held at the McCrery and Harra Funeral Home, 3710 Kirkwood Highway on Saturday November 12 from 1-2 pm with the service at 2pm. A private burial will be in the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Bear, DE. In lieu of or in addition to flowers, donations may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 100 W. 10th St. Suite 209 Wilm.,DE. 19801
or the Blood Bank of Delaware and Eastern Shore, 100 Hygeia Dr., Newark, DE 19713 in Jimmy’s memory.