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Genalco Inc. Remembers ’Gentle Giant’ Thomas Sammarco

Fri August 01, 2008 - Northeast Edition
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Thomas W. Sammarco, of Center Conway, N.H., and Millis, Mass., formerly of Needham Heights, died suddenly on June 30, 2008, from injuries suffered in an automobile accident in Wakefield, N.H.

Sammarco was married on June 29, 2008, to longtime friend Cheryl J. (Evans) and died the following day.

Besides leaving his wife, he leaves three brothers, Leonard and his wife Elise, of Clarendon, Vt.; Peter and his wife Gail of Westford, Mass.; and Paul of Needham; and a sister, Carolyn, of Framingham, Mass.; and two nieces, Erin Sammarco of Rutland, Vt.; and Amy Carvalho of Boulder City, Nev.

Sammarco was born in Boston and grew up in Needham, graduating from Needham High School in 1965. He was a resident of Needham for 55 years before moving to Center Conway N.H., and Millis, Mass.

Sammarco was general manager of Genalco Inc. in Needham Heights and had been employed with the company for more than 34 years. He also was co-owner of the Sportsman Lounge in Millis for more than 32 years.

He began his career at Genalco working in customer service and, over time, became a territory sales representative. For the past approximately 16 years, he was the company’s general manager in Needham.

In his position at Genalco, he was point man for many of the daily operations and was relied upon for his expertise that he developed over his many years in the industry.

“Tommy [Sammarco] was a respected leader and a mentor to many of the employees, suppliers and customers of Genalco Inc.,” said Joe Ciriello, vice president of Genalco Inc. “If you were a salesman or a Genalco warehouse employee or if there were any issues with product support or customer service or even about your employment with Genalco, Tommy was the guy that you would go to.”

Ciriello added that all who knew Sammarco, either in business or in his private life, thought of him as a “gentle giant.”

“He always took care of those around him and always had a kind word and a smile for you. The thing about his smile … he had a twinkle in his eyes all the time,” Ciriello said. “And he was also very humble; he never wanted a pat on the back or accolade. Tommy’s attitude was ’give me the ball and I’ll run with it.’ … If you were passing around kudos, he’d be last in line.

“We all are truly blessed to have known and worked with him. Until we meet again … ’Happy Trails’ our dear friend,” concluded Ciriello.

In addition to his career at Genalco and the Sportsman Lounge, Sammarco was, at the time of his passing, on the board of directors of the Construction Equipment Maintenance Association, or CEMA, which holds monthly meetings in Westboro, Mass.

In his personal time, Sammarco was an avid sportsman and enjoyed his days of playing football, hunting and dart throwing.

Funeral services were held at the Eaton Funeral Home in Needham on July 7, and interment was at St. Mary’s Cemetery, also in Needham.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Thomas Sammarco’s name may be made to the National Kidney Foundation, 85 Astor Avenue, Suite 2, Norwood, MA, 02062.

(This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s Web site at www.cegltd.com.) CEG STAFF