On Tuesday, July 19, 2016, Dr. Thomas Samuels, 87, of Fisherman’s Beach, Cutchogue died at home surrounded by his beloved family and caregivers. He will long be remembered as a part of the East End’s business, civic and boating communities.
Thomas Edward Samuels was born on July 21, 1928, in Brooklyn, to Alexander and Henrietta Samuels. He attended Brooklyn Tech, Fordham, and Columbia University, where he graduated with a degree in dentistry. He was also an avid athlete, swimming competitively.
On Dec. 27, 1952, he married Anita Marie Keim, and shortly after began service as a dental officer in the U.S. Air Force, stationed on Okinawa during the Korean War. Returning to the states, he set up a dental practice in Forest Hills, Queens, and lived in the Gardens. In 1955 son Peter Alexander (deceased) was born, in 1957 son Thomas Christian, and in 1959 daughter Nancy Ann.
An avid sports fan, Tom passionately loved the New York Giants, whose season tickets he held for over forty years. He closely followed the New York Rangers, the Brooklyn Dodgers, then New York Yankees, but would watch any ball game or sports event with insight and relish.
In 1962 the family purchased a summer house on Fisherman’s Beach, Nassau Point, Cutchogue, and would spent summers there on the beach and the water. Tom became an expert fisherman both inshore and off, catching swordfish, marlin, tuna, sharks, and whatever could be hooked, and campaigned his boat “White Wake” in numerous tournaments from Shinnecock to Cuttyhunk, Mass. Later, Tom took up sailing and local racing, achieving success around Robins Island, in the King of the Bays and numerous Peconic Bay Sailing Association events aboard “Skilligalee.”
In 1972 while having his boat slip reconstructed by local marine contractor, James H. Rambo, Tom Samuels decided to make a major life change, buying the business, giving up dentistry, and moving the family east full time. Together with his partner, Chuck Guilloz, he set up shop in Southampton, and, known as “Doc Samuels,” soon became a major player on the East End waterfront, building docks, revetments and piling foundations along the ocean and bays. His expertise in regulatory approvals and plain-spoken approach to problem solving led to political involvement, culminating in the chairmanship of the Southold Town Republican Committee in the early 1990s.
Tom Samuels is survived by Anita, his wife of 64 years; son Tom and daughter-in-law Nancy Steelman; daughter Nancy Kelley; son-in-law Sergio Codina and grandchildren, Kate and Erik Samuels, and Lindsey and Erin Kelley.
Visiting hours will be on Saturday, July 23, from noon to 3 p.m. at Coster-Heppner Funeral Home in Cutchogue, followed by a memorial service at the funeral home, led by Richard King, pastor at Cutchogue Presbyterian Church. Burial will follow immediately after at Cutchogue Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to Cutchogue Fire Department rescue squad.
This is a paid notice.