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Samuel G. Puleo, 75, attorney and Catholic deacon

July 2, 1943 – May 9, 2019

Samuel G. Puleo, a retired attorney who was active as a Catholic deacon, died May 9 in Tidewell Hospice, Englewood, Fla., after a recurrence of throat cancer. He was 75.

Born in Buffalo, he was a 1961 graduate of Lafayette High School, where he was freshman class president and played on the tennis team. He attended college briefly, then worked a variety of jobs in Buffalo and enlisted in the Air Force Reserve.

After a friend attending the University of Baltimore encouraged him to enroll there, he took a combined undergraduate and law program, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1975 and his juris doctor degree the following year.

While attending college, he worked at a Geico office in Baltimore, where he met Susan Boggs. They were married in 1976.

Mr. Puleo began practicing law in Shrewsbury, Pa., just north of the Maryland state line, then returned to Buffalo in 1984 to be near his ailing mother.

He opened an office in Cheektowaga, concentrating on residential real estate transactions, and retired in 2004 after welcoming his son, Samuel P., into the practice. He also founded and operated Capital Abstract Co., a real estate title company, in 1990.

He was ordained a deacon in 2009, two years after his first diagnosis of throat cancer.

“He liked helping people,” his son said. “The transition from law into the deaconate program was a natural. People have come up to me and said they really enjoyed going to church to see and hear him.”

After moving from Orchard Park to Port Charlotte in 2009, he continued to maintain a summer home here.

Mr. Puleo was active in St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church in Elma, Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church in Orchard Park and St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church in Port Charlotte, Fla. He became a deacon in the Diocese of Venice, Fla., in 2011 and was active in prison ministry there.

He was a member of St. Maximilian Council 11483, Knights of Columbus, in Port Charlotte.

An avid tennis player as a youth and young adult, he also enjoyed golfing. A longtime boating enthusiast, he spent summers with his family for many years at Lighthouse Point on Chautauqua Lake.

Later in life, he became a member of SASS, the Single Action Shooting Society.

In addition to his wife and son, survivors include twin daughters, Emily Bryant and Kate Unger; a brother, George; a sister, Patricia Aquilina; and five grandchildren.

A memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. June 8 in Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church, 43 Argyle Place, Orchard Park.

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