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Ava M. Sammarco, licensed practical nurse, cable TV host, dies at 56

Oct. 16, 1958 – Oct. 28, 2014

Ava Maria Sammarco, of Town of Tonawanda, a licensed practical nurse and cable television health show host, died Tuesday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga after a battle against ovarian cancer. She was 56.

Born in Syracuse, she was a graduate of Niagara County Community College. She worked for Bassett Park Manor, Park Creek Assisted Living and the Visiting Nurses Association.

She hosted “Health Focus” on Lockport Community Television for several years and co-hosted “Health Matters” with Anna Marie Sinatra on Time Warner Cable.

Ms. Sammarco also hosted an online radio show, “Nurse’s Notes,” was a counselor and teacher at the University at Buffalo’s Equal Opportunities Center (EOC) and a volunteer at the Good Neighbor Health Clinic in Buffalo. She was a certified CPR instructor.

She was a member of the Western Academy of American Holistic Nurses Association, Nurse Christian Fellowship and the Parish Nurses of Western New York. She also was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Society.

She enjoyed acting, tennis, traveling, hiking and camping. She appeared in locally produced films “Seven Buddies,” “Recovery” and “Dwelling,” and wrote articles for Western New York Health magazine. She wrote about being a patient instead of a nurse in an article about her illness in last June’s edition of Nurses fyi Magazine.

She was honored as a professional by Cambridge Who’s Who and Continental Who’s Who. She also received an award from the Phi Theta Kappa Society.

Survivors include her parents, Samuel and Eleanor, and a brother, Damian.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Friday in St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 1085 Englewood Ave., Town of Tonawanda.