Samuel L. Pepe, 89, of Oakland Ave., Amsterdam, entered into eternal life on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at the Wilkinson Healthcare Facility in Amsterdam.
Born in Amsterdam on May 30, 1929, he was the son of Samuel Pepe and Elizabeth (Inzinna) Pepe, and was a lifelong Amsterdam resident. A devout Catholic, he was a communicant of St. Mary’s Church. Samuel was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who especially enjoyed time spent with family and attending his grandchildren’s concerts and sporting events.
A 1947 graduate of St. Mary’s Institute, where he played varsity basketball, Sam joined the NY National Guard in 1948, attaining the rank of sergeant, and was instrumental in Company G’s 1953 Regimental Basketball Championship season. An outstanding athlete for nearly all of his life, in middle age he took up golf, eventually scoring three holes-in-one; and bowling, where he recorded a perfect 300 game and carried a 200-plus average into his 80s.
Sam spent most of his working life in the family business, Pepe’s Restaurant, also working in the Bigelow-Sanford carpet mills in his early years to support his young family. Later he spent time as co-owner/operator of both the S & K Delicatessen on Guy Park Ave., and the Topaz Restaurant on East Main St., before returning to Pepe’s Restaurant where he remained until its closing in April 2000. After retirement, he worked as an associate at the Betz, Rossi & Bellinger Family Funeral Home from 2000 to 2005.
On June 11, 1949, Sam was united in marriage with Kathryn A. McGillin, who predeceased him in April 2015. He is survived by their four children, Richard (Elisa) Pepe of Princetown, Mary Elizabeth (John) Bottisti of Amsterdam, Michael (Alison) Pepe of Amsterdam, and Christopher Pepe (Danielle Macaluso) of Broadalbin; six grandchildren, Christina (Peter) Berrian, Daniel (Alexandra) Pepe, Maria (Andrew) Pruckno, Ann (Kevin) Wilary, Meghan (Daniel) Evans, and Leah (Paul) Crisafulli; and seven great-grandchildren, Clare Pepe, Anna Pepe, Adriene Berrian, Olivia Pepe, Louis Berrian, Madelyn Evans, and John Daniel Pepe.
Samuel is also survived by his brothers John, James and Joseph (Sally) Pepe; brother-in-law John J. McGillin Jr. (Arlene); and several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his sister, Salvina (Pepe) Fischetti.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 9a.m. at Historic St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Amsterdam, NY with the Rev. Jeffrey L’Arche, M.S. as celebrant. Calling hours will be held Friday evening from 4 until 7p.m. at the Betz, Rossi & Bellinger Funeral Home, 171 Guy Park Ave., Amsterdam. Interment will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Fort Johnson.
Memorial contributions may be made to Historic St. Mary’s Church, 156 East Main Street, Amsterdam, NY 12010; St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105; or the African Mission Healthcare Foundation, P.O. Box 8598, Pueblo, CO 81008 (write “Dr. Tom Catena”on the memo line). Please visit the online memorial at www.brbsfuneral.com