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Salvatore Ricotta of Depew, known as “Sammy the Barber”

Sept. 16,1937 – April 19, 2015

Salvatore Ricotta of Depew, who was known as “Sammy the Barber,” died Sunday in Hospice Buffalo. He was 77.

Born in Aliminusa, Sicily, Italy, he moved to this area in the 1950s.

A self-employed barber in Lancaster for many years, he worked out of a storefront on Aurora Street from 1962 until 1973, when he moved the business into his garage, which he had remodeled into a barber shop.

It was said that “the longer you sat in his chair, the shorter the haircut.” Mr. Ricotta cut hair until 2010.

He was a longtime member and past president of Lancaster Lions Club, where he started an eyeglasses donation drive that collected more than 135,000 pairs. In 1994, Mr. Ricotta received a Melvin Jones Fellow Achievement Award, which recognizes contributions to the Lions Club and community.

His interests included gardening, writing, poetry and reading; he was a lifelong learner.

Survivors include his wife, the former Maria Sciolino; a daughter, Anna Maria Fries; one sister, Gina Ortolano; three brothers, Charles, Philip and Jack; and two grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, 5271 Clinton St., Elma.