Sam Colombo


It is with great sadness that Samuel John Colombo, born May 16, 1936, passed away peacefully the night of March 3, 2023 among family. He was born in Helper, Utah to John Frank Colombo and Mary Saccomanno Colombo.

Sam spent his younger years making sure his little brother, Rich Colombo, stayed out of trouble; it worked some of the time. His grandfather immigrated to the US from Italy, and his life was immersed in a rich Italian history and culture. His father John worked on the railroads and the Saccomanno family worked in the coal mines and farms in Utah.

Sam was the first person in his family to go to college. Sam attended Notre Dame School, Carbon High School, and Carbon College. He graduated from the University of Utah, majoring in electrical engineering. He moved to Seattle to work for Boeing, where he met his wife of 62 years, Helen Maslanka Colombo. They met via a car accident; go figure. Sam and Helen had three sons, John, Mark, and Tom. Dad obtained his Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering at Seattle University. While working at Boeing, dad remodeled the entire lower floor of the house. This is how his boys learned swear words!

Sam worked in a highly-classified aerospace department in Boeing, in conjunction with the Department of Defense, designing electrical systems resistant to EMP, from the Minute Man Missile to the famed B2 Stealth Bomber (so we were told as we could not confirm this due to classified information!). He loved his work, and his co-workers became his best friends.

Sam retired from Boeing after 40 years (and one day, not sure why). Retirement life included many trips, Egypt, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, to name a few. And we cannot forget the annual trip to the Oregon coast where Helen got the water side of the bed as she was always hot. They had a love for the symphony, and most important, eating out. They had so many “regular” spots (Angelo’s, HD Hotspurs, Torero’s), they knew each servers’ names and could rattle off all their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments.

Sam was a simple, yet complex man. Integrity, honesty, faith, and most important, humility, are traits that we all try to emulate. He checked all these boxes. He always tried to keep his emotions internal, but we all knew just how much this man cared about his family, friends, and his job. Anyone who was part of Sam’s life became a better person by knowing him. Saying “I love you” came later in life, but none of the family questioned the love he had for us. The complete disgust of needing to smile for photos was definitely passed to one of the boys (Tom)!

Sam was preceded in death by his father, John; mother, Mary; brother, Ralph; and nephews, Richie and Paul Colombo.

Sam and Helen have 10 grandchildren, Sarah, Ellen, Emily, Joey, Christian, Mariah, Brennyn, Sammi, Arlo and Baylor.

While of course we are all sad, we feel blessed to have been a part of his amazing life.

Sam’s life will be honored at a private funeral in Seattle on March 23, 2023 at St. Philomena Catholic Church.

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