Samuel Henry Sugarman
Samuel Henry Sugarman
  • January 30, 1928 - November 4, 2017
  • Cary, North Carolina

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Sam Sugarman was born in Patterson, NJ, on Jan. 30, 1928 to Frank and Rose Sugarman. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Gloria, his sons Joel, and Neal, with daughter in laws Debbie and Denyce, all of whom live in the Raleigh, NC area , son Eliot of Orlando Fl, and four grandchildren, Sarah, 22, Lauren 21, Eric, 20 and Ryan, 19. Sam moved to Brooklyn, NY at age 9. He attended Brooklyn College in 1945, then enlisted in the US Navy's V-5 aviation program and was sent to Duke University for 6 months for flight training. Sam flew PBY amphibious aircraft during WW2, and after the war ended, he transferred to a dive bombing squadron flying F4-U Corsairs, the world's 1st 400 mph airplane. After an honorable discharge from the Navy, Sam went back to college on the GI bill, and graduated with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Guggenheim School of Aeronautics at NYU. He held professional engineering licenses in PA, NY and FL. Sam met the love of his life, Gloria Green, in 1952, and she helped him finish his college degree. They were married on October 17, 1953, and that same year he began working for the Bulova Watch Co., Military Products Division. He managed a large engineering department there, mainly involved in R&D on ordinance timing devices. He also worked closely, as an ordinance expert, with the Nassau Co., NY PD detective and bomb squads. He developed and managed operations for Bulova's Phototimer program, which, for many years was the gold standard in sports timing. Sam and Gloria raised their family in North Bellmore, NY, and Sam retired from Bulova in 1988, after 35 years of service there. Sam lived a rich and full life after retirement, first moving to Boynton Beach FL for 8 years. He and Gloria then became "half backs" when they moved to Sun City, Hilton Head, SC in 1996, closer to their 4 grandchildren in Atlanta and Raleigh. Sam was an active community member and participant wherever he lived. As a scoutmaster, he mentored many young Boy Scouts, in addition to his own sons. He always believed in giving back, and during his retirement years, was active in many local groups. He also began teaching vocational skills in appliance repair at both trade schools and prisoner vocational rehabilitation programs in the Beaufort, SC area.
Sam and Gloria moved to Cary, NC 5 years ago so that they could be closer to family during Sam's final years. There was no one more dedicated to his family than Sam Sugarman. He was always loved by those around him as a very bright man with a fabulous sense of humor. He also had a great and hearty belly laugh that spread joy to those around him. He had an incredibly gifted mechanical aptitude, and was an amazing problem solver on almost anything with moving parts, especially cars, planes and boats. He volunteered at the Smithsonian's Cradle of Aviation museum, rebuilding historic aircraft weekly, for many years. His friends, neighbors and family all relied on his engineering expertise at one time or another. Sam had the respect of so many friends and colleagues that he encountered through his years, and was a model husband, father and grandfather that his family will always look up to. He passed quietly and comfortably in his sleep on November 3, 2017. Sam will be laid to rest in the Raleigh Hebrew Cemetery in Raleigh, NC.