Sam Fumosa of Fairfield, New Jersey, celebrated his 90th birthday, with more than one hundred family and friends attended the celebration. In addition to many friends from his political circles, Sam’s longtime friend, Uncle Floyd Vivino, came to celebrate and entertain at the festivities. Family friend Bobby LaBanca, owner of the Appian Way in Orange, where the party was held, served an assortment of Sam’s favorite dishes.
Born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey to the late Giacomo and Barbara (Pese) Fumosa, who had immigrated to the United States in 1917 from Paterno, Sicily, Sam was one of 11 children. His older sister, Katie Cannella was with him at the party, as was his sister-in-law, Josephine Maggio.
Sam attended Rutgers University in Newark and served in the United States Navy during World War II. After the war, he started Redwood Express with his wife Rita. The two were married for 67 years before Rita passed away last year. The couple had three children – Barbara Wisniewski, Steven Fumosa and Joseph Fumosa. Sam is grandfather to seven grandchildren, Angela Laird, Ronnie Trisuzzi, Dori Warren, Serena DiMuro, Samatha Fumosa, Lucy Fumosa, and Joseph Fumosa. He is also the great grandfather to eight great grandchildren, Michael James Laird, Annabella Laird, Ronnie Trisuzzi, Johnny Trisuzzi, Ashton Warren, Maddy Warren, Elizabeth Warren and Benjamin DiMuro.
Sam has been a member of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America (“OSIA”) for 42 years and is also a charter member of the Padre Pio Lodge 2350 and a charter member of several other NJ OSIA lodges and founder of several lodges. Sam has held many positions in OSIA throughout the years, including President of the West Essex Lodge, as well positions in the National OSIA offices. He served as the Past National Historian and Chairman of the National Overseers for the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum and was a National Delegate for four years. Sam has long been involved with the National Commission for Social Justice Special Projects Committee, the Holocaust Resource Program, the Congressional Medal of Honor Program, the Positive Image Program, the Una Storia Segreta exhibit and he has been presented with the highest award given by OSIA, the Vincenzo Sellaro Award.
Sam has also been involved with other Italian organizations, including the Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations, in which he served as President and is now Treasurer Emeritus. As a leader of the Italian American community, Sam has been a member of the Governor’s Ethnic Advisory Council of New Jersey for over 15 years and is listed in the national Italian American Foundation Who’s Who Directory.
As part of his philanthropic work, he was Chairman of the New Jersey State OSIA “Save the Lady Campaign,” raising funds to refurbish the Statute of Liberty and was commissioned by OSIA to Chair the Italian American Awareness Day Committee at Seton Hall University. As New Jersey State President, he implemented the first Italian American Cultural Program and arranged to contribute to the Italian Chair at Seton Hall University.
Sam’s service awards include the Italian Tribune Columbus Community Service Award for outstanding contributions to the Italian American Community, the Heritage Community Service Award by the Giblin Association and a Certificate of Honor for an individual dedicating his life to Italian heritage and community by the New Jersey Governor. Sam has also received honors and recognition for his services from the Monmouth University Department of History and Anthropology, as well as from William Paterson University. Sam’s ninety years and exceptional life has been dedicated to involvement and service for the betterment of all. Buon compleanno Sam!