Samuel Gregg, known affectionately as “Chairman,” passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 23, 2020 surrounded by family in his home on Frosty Valley Road in McMurray. Sam and his twin brother were born on April 25, 1930 to Larry and Jenny Gregg. Along with his seven siblings, Sam grew up in Coverdale, Pennsylvania and lived most of his adult life in McMurray. Although his 90th birthday isn’t until April, he took great pride in telling people after his last birthday that he was living “his 90th year.”
Sam graduated high school in 1948 and immediately entered the service, commissioned into the U.S. Army where he rose to Staff Sargent in three years serving under General Duffie at Fort Eustis in Virginia. After honorary discharge, he met and married the love of his life Jeanne in 1954 while working in the warehouse at Morrison and McCluan. Early in his career at that company he envisioned, and expressed interest in, running the company. His goal became reality as he worked his way up to President and Owner. Sam was very proud of this accomplishment and went on to grow the company into one of the largest frozen food distributors in the country.
In 1969, Sam and Jeanne bought 10 acres of land in McMurray and named it “Frosty Valley” where they built the home of their dreams. On this small farm he was blessed to watch his daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren grow up. He also bred, and showed quarter horses there up until the late 80’s. Sam called Frosty Valley “almost heaven” and could often be found on his lawnmower, smoking a cigar, and grinning ear to ear.
In 1988, Sam purchased Hidden Valley Country Club and renamed it Frosty Valley Golf Links. With the help of his family, he was able to reshape this modest golf course into a meeting place for many. Patrons would often see Sam riding around Frosty in his Cadillac golf cart, wearing plaid knickers and a derby cap. Sam also took pride in his long-standing Friday night poker games in his basement – although the faces around the table changed over the years, he and his buddies never missed a week winning and losing the same pennies and nickels for decades.
Sam was a master storyteller and those who knew him would listen to the same punch lines over and over, each time with a few extra details, until he had spun a legendary past for himself and all who knew him. He loved nothing more than sitting on his back porch with an audience, solving the problems of the world. In the past few years, Sam cared for his wife Jeanne and, under her training, became a master of the domestic arts –– often remarking that he had no idea how much work it was to run a household!
Sam was many things – a salesman, the chairman, a golfer, a storyteller and as he liked to say, “the last of the cowboys.” His favorite role, however, was for those who called him “Pappy”. When his family was all together, Sam would inevitably gather everyone in the same room, especially his grandchildren (and eventually great grandchildren too), and remark that he was “the luckiest man in the World.” Sam Gregg was, and is, exceptionally proud of his family, and his family is incredibly proud of him and the legacy he leaves behind.
Sam is survived by his wife, Jeanne and his four daughters Patti (Jeff) Yingling, Jeanne (Dan) Ruffing, Shari (Joe) DeNardo and Sami Barry. His legacy will live on in each of his 12 grandchildren – Abby, Melina, Danny, Ross, Jeremy, Maria, Jeana, Hannah, Nick, Angie, Cody and Mickey and an impressive 15 great-children who adored him - Arthur, Norah, Cecily, Eloise, Maxwell, Lucy, Wyatt, Rowan, Emmett, Mason, Josie, Lilly, Emily, Molly and Colton. Sam will be remembered for many things by many people – a devoted husband, a loving father and a once in a lifetime friend.
Pappy will be missed and remembered – his family, and friends, will continue looking up to him for guidance.
A Roman Catholic mass will be held on Friday at 10 am, January 31st in St. Benedict the Abbott officiated by Fr. Richard Jones, a long-time family friend, in McMurray, PA with a celebration of life immediately following at St. Clair Country Club, Upper St. Clair, PA. Please RSVP for luncheon by Wednesday, January 29th to (724) 986-5127 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN LIEU OF FLOWERS, contributions may be made in Sam's memory to Little Sister's of the Poor, 1028 Benton Ave., Pgh., PA 15212, www.littlesistersofthepoorpittsburgh.org, or St. Jude's Children's Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, www.stjude.org
NO FLOWERS PLEASE!
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