Obituaries » Sam Stawisky
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February 18, 1914 - January 26, 2018
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Sam Stawisky, 103. 2/18/1914 – 1/26/2018 Born in Los Angeles, eldest of four, son of immigrant parents. All American Boyle Heights boyhood despite near-fatal asthma. Family adopts back yard milk goat to make Sam strong. Sam’s Pa peddles blankets from horse-drawn cart while Ma keeps kosher home. Goat milk works! In thanks family donates Torah to Fairmont Street Shul 1927, Sam leads bar mitzvah parade through neighborhood. Standout football player Poly High then UCLA, “back when they played both ways”-four-year starter, tackle and guard-Bruins Pacific Coast Conference co-champs 1935-Sam first-team all star, East-West game. Drafted by Philadelphia Eagles, Sam declines because they don’t pay enough. WWII, enlists. Physical Director, Staff Sergeant, Santa Ana Army Air Base. Hitchhikes home on rare 3-day leaves with pal Joe DiMaggio. Weds brainy leggy funny USO dance partner Lillian Schwartz 1945. Marriage blessed with three beautiful smart girls even if not one grows up nuts for football. Caps successful business career with 30+ years as pro bono counselor and chapter past president, Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). Firm believer well past 100 in a decent cigar, a companionable scotch, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Our champion and hero.
Survived proud parents Solly and Anna; adoring wife Lil of 65 years; younger brothers Gerald, Mark, and sister Hannah Rome. Survived by loving daughters Andrea (Philip) Wagner-Schwartz, Janet (Stephen) Cooper, Jean (Don) Houts; doting grandchildren Rachel (Leonard) Wagner- Torgin, Mikelle (Austin) Schwartz-Griswold, Erik Schwartz (Martyn Boddy), Daniel and Lizzy Cooper, Jessica (Matt) Canepa, Jenna (Adam) Montgomery, Dale (Mai) Houts; beloved great-grandchildren Ella, Jake, Cruise, Lila, Clara; loyal former son-in-law Tom Wagner; and devoted, deeply beloved caregivers Dexter Wahing, Fernando “Ding” Urbano, and Arthur “June” Mamauag. “Daddy.” “Grandpa.” “The berries.” A mensch and then some. Sam the Man. He hated the word “goodbye.” Funeral Monday, January 29, noon, Hillside Memorial Park & Mortuary. Please consider donating to SPLC.