Sam Tufo, 98, Watertown
WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Watertown- Samuel Tufo, 98, of Temple Street, passed away August 26, 2023 at Samaritan Keep Home where he had been a resident for a short time.
Mr. Tufo was born July 29, 1925 in Watertown, NY, the son of Sabatino and Luisa (Esposito) Tufo. He entered the United States Army his senior year at Watertown High School, graduating in the class of 1944. Mr. Tufo served in the Army from October 1943 until April 1946. He was in the European African Middle Eastern Campaign, then to China, Burma and India with the Railroad Battalion in India. He received the Good Conduct Medal and the WWII Victory Medal.
He married Lillian Morgia on September 19, 1948 at St. Anthony’s Church with Msgr. Claude Sechi officiating.
Mr. Tufo was employed by Holton and Techtmeyer Pontiac Dealership in 1946as a mechanic, then parts manager until 1955. He and his brother Benny partnered to own and operate Tufo’s Restaurant on Court Street until 1960. He left the business and became employed by Singer Sewing Machine Company in sales and then as manager until 1963. With his wife Lillian and her sister Mary Crescenzi as partners, he opened the State Street Restaurant. The name was changed to Giovanni’s (English translation is John) Restorante after his son John. Mary retired in 1968. In 1975, Sam and his wife partnered with Art and Agnes Zaremba and Giovanni’s Restorante moved to 616 LeRay Street. This partnership lasted until 1980 at which time Sam and Lillian became the sole owners. Lillian died in 1991 and Sam retired in 1992.
On January 31, 1998, he married Lois Tauroney Dempster. At St. Agnes Church in Lake Placid with Reverend Michael Gaffney officiating.
Mr. Tufo was a communicant of St. Anthony’s Church. He was a former trustee; funeral alter server and member of St. Anthony’s Mt. Carmel Men’s Society where he served as Grand Marshall in 2009 during the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. He was a life time member of the American Legion Post #61, Watertown Elks Lodge # 496 and the Italian American Civic Association where he volunteered for the Bravo Italiano Festival for many years. He served as a Knights of Columbus as Grand Knight of Watertown Council #259, Faithful Navigator of the Bishop Conroy General Assembly and Commander of the 4TH Degree Color Corps.
The legacy of Sam Tufo can be best described by this simple slogan: “If you get in a jam…..call Sam!”
Surviving besides his wife Lois are a son and his wife, John P. and Mary Speno-Tufo, Baldwinsville, two daughters, Louise Tufo-Sparacino, Watertown, Anne Marie Brand, Brasher Falls, a sister, JoAnn Jones, Forsyth, GA, six grandchildren, Frederick, Christopher, Jessica, Maria, Vincent, Suzanna, five great grandchildren, Jeremy, Harrison, Charlie, Everly, Jonathan, several nieces and nephews.
Two brothers Bernard “Benny” Tufo and Jerry Carmen Tufo, four sisters, Edith Seymour, Mary Neuroth, Dora Berkman, Veronica LaFontaine, all died before him.
Calling hours will be Friday, September 1, 2023 from 4-7pm at the D.L. Calarco Funeral Home, Inc. A funeral mass will be held Saturday, September 2, 2023 at 11 am at St. Anthony’s Church. Burial will follow in Glenwood Cemetery.
Contributions may be made to St. Anthony’s Church, 850 Arsenal Street, Watertown, NY 13601 or to the Italian American Civic Association, 192 Bellew Ave., Watertown, NY 13601 Online condolences may be made to www.dlcalarco.com.
Due to construction on Keyes Avenue the funeral home parking lot may be accessed through the rear parking lot of First Presbyterian Church off Academy Street.
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