The funeral home calling hours for Samuel L. Amodeo on Monday drew a crowd of people who remembered being hired by the former senior vice president at the Giant Eagle grocery chain.
That made sense considering that Mr. Amodeo, 74, of Oakmont, had been with the O'Hara grocery company for more than 40 years before retiring and was one of the first supervisors hired after the founding families started expanding their operation, according to his son, Jon L. Amodeo, also of Oakmont.
Mr. Amodeo died of a heart attack Saturday at UPMC St. Margaret, according to his son.
A native of Wilkinsburg, he seemed destined to be in the grocery business. His father had a produce operation on Penn Avenue that eventually became part of Giant Eagle.
"Every morning they would go down to the Strip District," picking out produce from the wholesale operations that sold there, Jon Amodeo said.
Samuel Amodeo attended St. James Grade School in Wilkinsburg and Central Catholic High School in Oakland, where he played football and baseball.
While he was in high school, he was also helping in the business.
"If he wasn't at Central, he was at Giant Eagle," his son said.
After graduating from high school in 1956, he studied business at the University of Pittsburgh for two years, playing baseball. But he left to go to work full time.
"That's right when Giant Eagle started to grow. They needed him," his son said.
There was a stint in the Army, but his enduring service was to Giant Eagle, where, his son said, he created processes and budget planning systems that are still in use. He retired in the 1990s.
Some of his children followed him into the grocery business.
Mr. Amodeo had other interests as well. A member of the Oakmont Country Club, he was chairman of the committee that created a weekly golfing group for members older than 55 called the Senior SWAT. He was pleased when he and his son won the Worsham Cup tournament together at the club in 2000.
In addition to his son Jon, Mr. Amodeo is survived by his wife, Kaaren L. Amodeo of Oakmont; another son, Michael Amodeo of South Park; four daughters, Sherry Farina of Johnstown, Rosie Biondo of Murrysville, Kay Janflone of Monongahela and Suzanne Amodeo of Tarentum; a sister, Roseanne McNeil of Penn Hills; and 10 grandchildren.
A Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. today at St. Irenaeus Church, Oakmont. Interment will be private. Arrangements are being handled by the English Funeral Home and Cremation Services Inc. in Oakmont.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Irenaeus Church or the Lupus Foundation of Pennsylvania.
Teresa F. Lindeman: email@example.com or 412-263-2018.