In memory of
Age 63 of St. Paul, MN entered into eternal life peacefully surrounded by family on October 12th, 2016. Born as Saverio Pitera in Belcastro, Italy in 1953, Sam was the eldest of six children born to Luigi and Tommasina Pitera and the first of three of their children born in Italy. Sam immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1958 at the age of five. Always proud of his Italian heritage, Sam's October 12th death is fitting, as it is the same day that his favorite Italian explorer, Christopher Columbus, discovered the Americas. Sam was welcomed into heaven by his father, Luigi Pitera. He is survived by the love of his life and wife of 34 years, Elyse, who stood by his side in sickness and in health. With Elyse, Sam raised four children who loved him dearly, Gina (Christopher) Lombardi, Thomas, Marc and Henry. Sam is also survived by his loving mother Tommasina, sisters Josie (Mike) Nemetz, Maryanne (Matt) Fortuna, brothers Rudy (Jill), Nick (Anna), and Gino (Teresa) and many nieces and nephews, Petrucci cousins in Chicago, and many relatives in Italy who will be holding a second funeral for him in his birth town of Belcastro on Sunday, Oct 16th. Sam worked as a stockbroker for 36 years and truly loved his work and built long-term relationships with clients, many of whom became good friends over the years. Sam was proud to refer to himself as a "poor little immigrant boy" who was determined and scrappy. He learned English at age five, he put himself through school, he built a career that he enjoyed and he raised a family in a St. Paul home that was always filled with love. Sam considered his greatest achievement to be his family and his greatest joy to be spending time with his children and siblings. With a passion for cooking, Sam was a gourmet chef and was best known for his linguine and clams and his New Orleans style seafood gumbo. He enjoyed a love of horseracing and always dreamed of owning a Kentucky Derby winner. The Pitera family would like to thank all of the doctors and nurses of the Mayo Clinic Bone Marrow Transplant Team and Intensive Care Unit who treated Sam with such professionalism, respect and compassion over the past five months. Their care and kindness will never be forgotten. A very special thank you to Liza Dion who provided Sam with comfort and friendship while in Rochester. Mass of Christian Burial 10 AM Monday at Assumption Catholic Church (51 W. 7th Street, St. Paul). Visitation 4-8 PM Sunday at the O'Halloran & Murphy Funeral Home (575 Snelling Ave. So., St. Paul) and one hour prior to Mass at church Monday. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations are preferred to the MPN Research Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission of finding new treatments, and eventually a cure for Myelofibrosis and other blood cancers known collectively as Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPN's). 651-698-0796
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