GREENSBORO – Ellsworth (Sam) Marcel Sammet, age 98, died on June 14, at Greensboro Nursing Home in Greensboro. He was preceded in death by his wife, Jeannine Sammet, who passed away on December 22, 2004.
Sam was born on January 5, 1924, in Fitchburg, Mass., the son of Alfred J. and M. Annie Sammet. He graduated from Fitchburg High School. He entered Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1941 and went on active duty in the Navy as a seaman in 1943. Where he was training to be a radioman/rear gunner on an SBD dive/bomber. He was then chosen for the V-5 Naval Aviator Cadet program and was commissioned as a Naval aviator at the end of WWII.
He was in training to fly the F4F Corsair from aircraft carriers when WWII ended and never ended up deploying to the fleet. After the war ended, Sam separated from the Navy and went back to school at WPI.
Returning to WPI, he received the degree of BS in Civil Engineering in 1949 and took his first job with the Army Corps of Engineers at the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River, at Riverdale, N.D., where he met and married A. Jeannine Sayler of Washburn, N.D., in 1950.
The couple settled in Ashburnham, Mass., on Stodge Meadow Pond and Sam began work as a resident engineer on highway construction for the Massachusetts State Highway Department in Worcester County.
Sam resumed flying as a Naval Reserve jet fighter pilot in the 1950s and as an anti-submarine multi-engine pilot in the 1960s. He was called up for duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
In the 1960s he worked with Bob Woodruff and Al DeGrace to build the Mount Watatic Ski Area in Ashby, Mass. He engineered all the lifts and trails. The whole family gained their love of skiing because of Mount Watatic. He remained active with the ski area until his transfer to Berkshire County where he enjoyed several years of skiing in the Berkshires.
From 1965-1971 he worked as an engineer out of the District Two MDPW office in Northampton, Mass., where he supervised the Interstate 91 construction from Greenfield to Springfield and was promoted to District Maintenance Engineer. He delighted in pointing out to his children the various bridges and interchanges that he helped to build.
Moving his family to Pittsfield in 1971, Sam became District One Construction Engineer anticipating construction of the Pittsfield Bypass. He was Acting District Highway Engineer from 1979 to 1981 and made permanent District Highway Engineer in 1987 until retiring in 1989.
Sam was a Registered Professional Engineer and Land Surveyor, a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Public Works Association, and the Massachusetts Highway Association. He received a 25-year Award of Merit from the American Association of State Highway Officials.
Sam was very active in the community. He served on several committees at South Congregational Church in Pittsfield. He was on the Salvation Army Advisory Board and participated in the Berkshire Bounty food distribution for the Red Cross.
Sam joined the Gardner, Mass., Rotary Club in 1962. In 1972, he became a member of the Pittsfield Rotary Club where he served as President from 1976 to 1977, and was named a Paul Harris Fellow in 1983.
Sam was an avid lover of music. He greatly enjoyed the yearly Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox, Mass. He also enjoyed concerts at Sevenars Music Festival, Lisa’s Music Box concerts, and Margo’s concerts with Portsmouth Pro Musica.
Sam was an avid sailor. He bought a sailboat that he moored at Lake George, N.Y., which became the scene of many family adventures. He loved to travel and led the family on many long camping trips across the country to visit his wife’s relatives in North Dakota, California, and Nevada, as well as across Canada, and up to Nova Scotia. Sam and Jeannine also enjoyed cruises in the Caribbean.
Jeannine passed away in 2004. He then moved to Salisbury Estates in Pittsfield where he made many new friends and was active in their speakers’ luncheons and newsletters. Sam loved his view of the Berkshire hills, the airplanes flying in and out of the local airport, and he enjoyed his view of Bousquet Mountain Ski Area, especially the night skiing.
When the COVID pandemic hit the country, he was far away from family, so he came up to live at the Greensboro Nursing Home, next to the town where his daughter, Lisa lives.
Sam is survived by his daughter Margo Carrier and her husband Bruce of Greenland, N.H., and their children, Jacob Carrier and his wife Amanda of Acton Me., and Jonathan Carrier of Greenland N.H., his daughter Lisa Sammet of Craftsbury, his son Jonathan Sammet of Winchendon, Mass., and his son James Sammet, his wife Emily Sammet, and their children Sayler and Mason, of Snoqualmie Pass, Wash.
Sam was a wonderful man, loved by many, a dear father who was a great role model for his children. He will be missed by many.
Visitation hours will be held on Tuesday, June 28, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., at Bosk Funeral Home, 85 Blossom St, Fitchburg, Mass., followed by the burial at Forest Hill Cemetery, 115 Mount Elam Road, Fitchburg, Mass. 01420.