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Samuel “Sam” R. Coletti, age 91 of Canton, passed away on Sunday, August 25, 2019. A lifelong resident of Canton, Sam was born on November 21, 1927 to the late Pietro and Maria Coletti. He was a graduate of McKinley High School Class of 1945, received his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Tri State College in Angola, Indiana, and was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity.
Sam was a Veteran of the Korean War, serving in the Army Ordnance Corps as a project engineer at the the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, where he received a “Special Commendation” for his design of a shrapnel eye protection shield used on Army tanks periscopes. Following his military service, he worked as an Industrial Engineer for Republic Steel and Republic Storage Systems retiring in 1992. Sam also had a career in music, having performed with numerous area bands; and in 1962 formed his own band, “Sam Coletti & the Kingsman,” which was very successful performing until 1989 when he retired from the music business. He was a Trustee of Pizza Oven Charities, a last surviving charter member of the Unique Club where he was proud to have served as Secretary for twenty years and as president for two years, the Stark County Italian American Festival serving in numerous positions including President, Vice President, Trustee, Festival Chairman and Chairman of Entertainment and Publicity. In 2006, Sam was most honored when the Italian Festival Foundation presented him with the prestigious “Dedication Award.”
Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister and brother-in-law, Pearl and Rocco Schiavone. Sam is survived bu his wife Nancy, whom he married January 19, 1957; two daughters, Nina R. McDonald of East Canton and Stefanie R. Coletti of Canton. Known as “PoPo” to his beloved grandchildren Tommy (Sarah) McDonald of Canton, Beth McDonald of Canton and Jenna (Jeff) Ault of Dublin, OH; and the very precious great-granddaughter Hannah McDonald and great-grandson Noah Samuel McDonald. Twenty Godchildren, nephews, nieces, as well as great and great-great nephews and nieces.
Family and friends will be received at the Rossi Family Funeral Home on Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Peter Catholic Church on Wednesday at 10 a.m., with Rev. Fr. John E. Sheridan, S.T.L. as celebrant. Entombment will follow in Calvary Cemetery.