Samuel Calabrese

Samuel Calabrese (aka Sox) died peacefully on January 7.

Samuel Calabrese (aka Sox) died peacefully on January 7. He was 81 years old and had lived 52 of those years on Vashon, in a little house in Beulah Park. Born in Jersey City, NJ, on November 17, 1942, he grew up in an Italian community listening to doo wop on the street corners and acquiring a passion for two things: the Boston Red Sox (hence the nickname “Red Sox” shortened to “Sox” early on) and the Italian comfort foods his mother and grandmother cooked. The latter emerged as a main interest in his adult years.

Sam received his Culinary Arts degree at Seattle Central Community College in 1983. Armed with this degree he worked for both Sound Foods and the Alibi on Vashon and then cooked for a few years on tugboats in Alaska. In 1990 he began working on the Washington State Ferries, a job he thoroughly enjoyed, retiring in 2014.

At home he focused on making the Italian food he loved, inspired by his mother’s verbal recipes for dishes such as ciambotte, manicotti, and eggplant parmesan. In December, 2015, he planned and coordinated two evening benefit dinners celebrating the Italian traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes at the Eagles to raise money for the homeless and needy on Vashon.

Sam is survived by his wife, Shelley, son Eugene, and grandsons Brandon/”Bob” and Bryton; sisters-in-law, Iris Halvorsen, Rayna Holtz, and Marina Kavanagh; brothers in-law, Jay Holtz and Mark Kavanagh; nephews Rob Frishkoff, Morgan Holtz (Kurtis), Joel Lofton (Lauren) and Andriu Kavanagh; nieces Gwen Frishkoff-Malony (Allen), Ariel Dressler (Dan), Bianca Meunier, and Mira Meunier Henderson (Max); and, grandnieces Hazel and Anna Dressler and Penelope Lofton, grandnephew Marcus Lofton, and beloved dogs Hero and Piper.

The family is planning a memorial gathering this summer. Donations in Sam’s memory may be given to the Interfaith Council to Prevent Homelessness (IFCH), The Vashon-Maury CommunityFoodBank,ortheVashonKidsprogramatVashon Youth and Family Services (VYFS).