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Charles M. Samul, WWII vet, retired teacher

Oct. 21, 1919 – March 15, 2015

Charles M. Samul of Williamsville, a retired Buffalo schoolteacher and WWII Navy veteran who was an active volunteer in the community, died Sunday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst, after a short illness. He was 95.

Born Karol Mecislaus Samul, he was raised on Buffalo’s Polish East Side and attended various schools before leaving school to help support his family.

During World War II, he served as petty officer third class, aviation metalsmith in the U.S. Navy. Following his discharge, Mr. Samul married Cecilia Witczak, a teacher at Kensington High School, in 1948. While raising his family, he finished high school and attended University of Buffalo, graduating in 1956.

Mr. Samul taught physical education in the Buffalo Public School System for 29 years. He was known for his ability to reach out and help troubled students. He retired in 1977.

A longtime volunteer, he was a member of Forks Hose Fire Company 2 since 1963 and served as commissioner of the company. He belonged to the George F. Lamm American Legion Post.

He was a member of Rotary International, where he served as president of the Cheektowaga Chapter in the mid-1980s. He was honored as the Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation in 1985.

He remained active in the Rotary into his early 90s and was instrumental in the annual Christmas party held for the developmentally disabled citizens of the area. A skilled woodworker, he crafted hundreds of gifts each year for the honored guests at the event.

Mr. Samul was a lifetime member of the Polish Falcons of America Nest 6, where he attained the rank of Gold Legion of Honor.

He was named Fraternalist of the Year by the organization in recognition of his lifetime membership, service to community and support of the Falcons’ scholarship programs.

His wife of 56 years died in 2004.

Survivors include a daughter, Leah Caldarola; a son, Charles; and a granddaughter.

Services are private.

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