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William F. Space

May 1, 1941 ~ January 29, 2022 (age 80)

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Obituary

William F. “Sam” Space of Fairport, NY passed away on 1/29/22 after a long journey with Alzheimer’s Disease.  Those who were lucky enough to know Sam know that he was larger than life and lived his life based on love and devotion to family and friends, service to country and community, and stories that he loved to share.

 

Sam was born on May 1, 1941 in Williamsport, PA, the home of little league baseball, to Gerald and Ruth Space.  He was raised in Forty-Fort, PA and graduated High School in 1959. He attended Wilkes College and graduated with a BA in education and mathematics in 1963.  At the end of his senior year at Wilkes he was named “Young Man of the Year.”

 

Sam’s service to country began when he joined the United States Marine Corps in the summers of 1960 and 1962 in the Platoon Leader Class.  He received his commission as a Second Lieutenant upon graduation from Wilkes College.  He completed Naval Aviation training and became a Captain and navigator of F-4 fighter jets, flying over 400 missions during 2 tours in Vietnam. Sam received multiple recognitions and honors including the Distinguished Flying Cross and Navy Achievement Medal for Meritorious Service in Vietnam.

 

In 1970 Sam was honorably discharged from the Marines because he wanted to spend more time with his family.  He had met Bonnie, the love of his life in 1960.  Bonnie tells that he had seen her around and decided one weekend that he would spend time with her until he really got to know her.  By the end of the weekend they were dating, and by the next year they were engaged. They married in Wilkes-Barre, PA in June 1963.  Their beloved first child and only son, Michael arrived later that year.  Daughter Sharon arrived in 1964, and daughter Carol perfectly completed their family in 1968.  

 

After the Marines he became a sales manager for Procter & Gamble where he worked until he retired in 2000.  His job with P&G brought him to Fairport in 1971 and he lived there until his death.  This is where his service to community flourished. Sam was active in the Fairport Packers youth football association.  The family spent weekends skiing at Ski Valley where Sam served as president and was active on the board and membership committee. He joined Rotary shortly after moving to Fairport and remained active in the club until recently, serving as president and being honored as a Paul Harris Fellow.  Sam also served on the Zoning Board of Appeals for Perinton for over 30 years and on the board of the Fairport Federal Credit Union.  After his retirement he became a rules official and served on the board of the Rochester District Golf Association.

 

Sam is survived by his loving family including his adored first wife of 58 years, Bonnie; son Michael Space, daughter Dr. Sharon Space, and daughter Carol Space Fisher and son-in-law Barry Fisher and Swiss exchange daughter Maja Bamert;  5 grandchildren he idolized including Emily Elizabeth, Eric, Julia, McGwire, and Will; sister Janet Curcio and niece Lisa; sisters-in-law Judy and Carol and brother in law Jim, and many nieces and nephews; and distant cousins Johnny Yakabuski and former Senator Delbert Cragle of Nebraska. 

 

Rather than turn this into one of Sam’s endless stories that could entertain his family and friends for hours, we will end with a quote from Sam’s flight journal.  “I have too often looked death in the face to be afraid of him now.”  You’re right Sam, death should be afraid of you.  We love you and we miss you.

 

Celebration of Life will take place on May 13, 2022 from 4:00PM -7:00PM at The Perinton Community Center. 1350 Turk Hill Road.  Fairport, NY. 14450, with a service at 4:30 PM.

 

Sam’s family asks that you view a video featuring Sam speaking of his military service at https://youtu.be/7ILaAuWHOOo

 

We also ask that you share all your stories and pictures of Sam with us via email at rememberingsamspace@gmail.com

 

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to one of the organizations meaningful to Sam’s life including:  The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp (www.holeinthewallgang.org https://secure2.convio.net/hwgf/site/Donation2;jsessionid=DF224F15BC4DBC9CF3FC1404895AF444.app296a?1580.donation=form1&df_id=1580   555 Long Wharf Drive, New Haven, CT  06511), Hildebrandt Hospice Care Center (https://www.rochesterregional.org/locations/senior-services/hildebrandt-hospice    2652 Ridgeway Avenue, Rochester, NY  14626), or Rotary International (www.rotary.org).

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William F. Space, please visit our floral store.


Services

Gathering of Family and Friends
Friday
May 13, 2022

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Perinton Community Center
1350 Turk Hill Road
Fairport, NY 14450

Celebration of Life
Friday
May 13, 2022

4:30 PM
Perinton Community Center
1350 Turk Hill Road
Fairport, NY 14450

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