Generous, hard working, dedicated, loving; these are some of the first words, and lasting impressions, that come to mind to those who knew Tom Samalis best. Mr. Samalis of Reading, Mass., died Saturday, May 8, 2010 after battling with cancer since December.
Born in Boston, Mass., on Nov. 30, 1945, he was the son of the late Constantine and Blanche (Sangas) Samalis. Mr. Samalis was raised in Cambridge, Mass., and was a graduate of Ridge Tech High School, Class of 1964. A life-long basketball player, Mr. Samalis fostered his passion for the game during his high school days, culminating as a key starter for the 1963 team winning the Division 1 Massachusetts title.
Extending his work ethic and dedication from the basketball courts to the classroom, Mr. Samalis was the first in his family to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees. He was a graduate of Suffolk University with a degree in Accounting and obtained his MBA in Finance from Bentley College.
As a resident of Reading for the past 30 years, Mr. Samalis had been an active participant in the Boy Scout community there, helping his three sons earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. It was also through his experience of scouting where Mr. Samalis furthered his love for the outdoors. An avid gardener, Mr. Samalis could often be found tending his garden in Reading as well as cultivating even more vegetables and flowers at his log cabin vacation home in Bethel. When he was not working his green thumb, Mr. Samalis and his wife enjoyed hiking together in the White Mountains, so much so that both were members of the 4,000 Foot Club, an accomplishment earned only after climbing all forty-eight mountains in New Hampshire with an elevation of four thousand feet or more. Mr. Samalis found running as good training for his hikes, completing the Rhode Island marathon and twice running the grueling Mt. Washington Road Race.
A professional in the field of finance for nearly 40 years, Mr. Samalis had most recently worked at Black Duck Software in Waltham, Mass., as Corporate Controller. He especially enjoyed mentoring young employees, and the many relationships he fostered attested to the patience, guidance, and expertise he was willing to extend to those sharing his own dedication to hard work. Ever true to his humble beginnings and as in other aspects of his life, he treated all who he encountered with the same respect and dignity, from the most junior of employees to the most senior of management.
Above all, Mr. Samalis’ most lasting legacy, and that which was of paramount importance to him, was his family. A devoted husband, father, and son, he always emphasized the significance of family and through his love and unwavering dedication set the high standard for others to emulate.
He is survived by his wife of 42 years and high school sweetheart, Virginia Samalis, his three sons; Michael of Vermont, Matthew of Florida, and Andrew of Wisconsin, and his two brothers; Richard Samalis and Charles Samalis both of New Hampshire as well as many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
His funeral will be held from the McDonald Funeral Home 19 Yale Avenue, Wakefield, Mass., Friday at 9 a.m. followed by a funeral mass in St. Joseph Church, 173 Albion Street, Wakefield at 10. Visitation will be at the funeral home on Thursday 4 to 8 p.m. Interment will be at Lakeside Cemetery in Wakefield.
Mr. Samalis was treated at the MGH Brain Tumor Center and indicated that in lieu of flowers donations be made in his name to MGH Brain Tumor Research Fund, 165 Cambridge Street, Suite 600, Boston, MA 02114.