Samuel A. Teolis, Supervisor | Carmella M. Teolis, Funeral Director

Samuel Teolis, 95

A true Ellwoodian and American Patriot, Mr. Samuel Teolis, 95, of Ellwood City passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 25th, 2021 at the Northview Estates surrounded by his family.

Mr. Teolis was born on a farm in Shenango Twp. on September 25th, 1926 to the late Domenic and Flora (Innocent) Teolis. He is a graduate of Lincoln High School with the class of 1944.  Sam enlisted with the U.S., Army on November 20th, 1944 and served with the 101st Infantry Replacement Company in the 3rd Army and received a bronze star for the battle of Central Europe. He then reenlisted with the Army for an extra year in November of 1945 and was transferred to the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre and served in the Occupation of Korea until his discharge in December of 1946 with the 7th Infantry Division.

In 1948 Sam became a licensed barber and owned and operated a barber shop in Wampum from 1954 to 1955. He also worked part time in various barber shops in Ellport and Ellwood City for over 30 years. He graduated in 1950 from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. In 1956, after working at funeral homes in New Castle and Ellwood City he founded the Samuel Teolis Funeral Home and Crematory Inc.. Sam was also appointed as a Deputy Coroner for Lawrence County in 1956 and served in that position until 1970 and again from 1983 until retiring from the office in 2006.

Samuel was elected to the Ellwood City School Board in 1957 and served until 1963. He was instrumental in the building of the Lincoln High School Cafeteria and giving all school employees funeral leave. In 1960 he was one of the founders of the local Red Cross Blood Bank and was a 12 gallon donor. In 1965, Sam was elected Mayor of Ellwood City and served in that position until 1970. During his time in office as mayor, he was instrumental in the founding of the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration. In 1969 he was awarded the Outstanding Citizen Award from the Ellwood City Chamber of Commerce. He also designed and raised funds for all the monuments of the war dead in Legion Park and other memorials in Ellwood City.

In 2012 he was awarded the U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains Medal of Excellence for his years of service to Veterans and their families. On April 19th, 2015 he was awarded the Blessed John of Vercelli Award by the Beaver County Holy Name Society.

Mr. Teolis is a member of the Holy Redeemer Parish, Holy Name Society, Special Activities Group, Ellwood City Wolve’s Club, American Legion Post 157, Disabled American Veterans of Lawrence County #112, the former VFW Post 252, VFW Post 8106 in New Galilee, Beaver Lawrence County Veterans Honor Guard, Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association, National Funeral Directors Association, Sons of Italy #608, Knights of Columbus, Ellwood City Historical Society, and Ellwood City MOOSE #93.

Sam will be remembered by many for leading the Cake Walk at their wedding along with his wife Anita.

He is survived by his children, David (Lisa) Teolis of Elizabeth,  Dianne (Louis V.) Nocera III of Koppel, Anthony (Atsuko) Teolis of Fairfax, VA, and Samuel A. (Michele) Teolis of Perry Twp., grandchildren, Marisa (Nick) Costanzo, Louis V.(Megan) Nocera IV, Carmen (Stephanie) Teolis, Vincent Nocera, Carmella Teolis, Alec Nocera, Domenic Teolis and his fiance’ Samantha Balaj, Sam Teolis, Anthony Teolis, and Elina Teolis, great-grandchildren, Anthony Nocera, Adrianna & Juliet Costanzo, Luca, Dante, and Alexander Teolis, Louis V. “Bubba” Nocera V., and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Anita J. (Puncsak) whom he married on January 18, 1958 and passed away on October, 20, 2010, his sisters, Anna D’Amico and Jennie Lonnett, and his brothers, Father Anthony Teolis, James Teolis, Fred Teolis, Andy Teolis, and Sidney Teolis.

Visitation will be held on Sunday from 5-8 pm and on Monday from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Samuel Teolis Funeral Home and Crematory Inc.. A mass of Christian burial will be held on Tuesday at 10:00 am at the Holy Redeemer Church with Father Mark Thomas officiating. Interment will follow at the Holy Redeemer Cemetery. Members of the Holy Redeemer Holy Name, Special Activities Group, and Ellwood City Wolves Club are asked to meet at the funeral home on Sunday by 7:45 pm to conduct a service at 7:50 pm. Members of the Veterans Honor Guard are asked to meet at the funeral home on Monday by 7:45 pm to conduct a service at 7:50 pm and again on Tuesday by 10:50 am at the Holy Redeemer Church to conduct full military honors.

Memorial contributions in Mr. Teolis’s name may be made to the Holy Redeemer Angel Fund, Ellwood City Library, Ellwood City Wolve’s Club Scholarship Fund, or The Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration.

The Teolis Family would like to extend a special thank you to everyone at Home Instead, Good Samaritan Hospice especially Brittany, and all of the staff at Northview Estates for the wonderful  care they provided.


  • Anthony Lonnett Posted November 26, 2021 4:25 pm

    David, Diane, Tony and Sam,

    I always felt your father was a generous man and as you know, he had a tremendous memory, which always made his stories interesting to listen to. Putting that aside, I’ll never forget the look of shock on his face during my moms passing when my nephew Jeff gave him a letter to read that he wrote to my mom during WWII. Also priceless is that my mom saved that letter..

    • Jeff Lonnett Posted November 27, 2021 7:21 pm

      Uncle Ant— love seeing this. I specially as those letters are on proud display in my living room, and ironically, my brother Chris and I were reading them on Thursday morning. Spent many mornings listening to uncle sam at the garage, going to flea markets with him (looking for irons) and hearing stories from years past. Very happy that I got to take my son to his historical shrine in the basement and get to know uncle Sam.

  • Doreen Palatka & Walter Brewer Posted November 26, 2021 4:36 pm

    Our sympathies to each and everyone of you in this beautiful family. We love uncle SAM. This is an end of an era and this dedicated gentleman deserves the utmost respect as he departs this earth and is received in Heaven. God Bless you all…

  • Bob Cistolo Posted November 26, 2021 5:08 pm

    As a young high school boy I was hired by Sam to help out at the funeral home. It was my first real job and I learned much about life in my conversation with Sam. Every time I would see him on my trips to Ellwood he was interested in what I was doing and about my family. Much respect for Sam and all he had done for Ellwood City and the people of Ellwood City. A true patriot and human being. God bless

  • Dr Elizabeth Strenkowski Posted November 26, 2021 5:39 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Lisa and your family.. YOUR FRIENDS AT COMMUNITY COLLEGE COUNTY.. Dr.Elizabeth Strenkowski

  • Annamarie Teolis Frankenstein Posted November 26, 2021 7:19 pm

    Very sorry to hear of Sam’s passing. He was my father’s cousin
    And I remember visiting his home as a child several times. My condolences to David and Lisa and their families and everyone else in Sam’s family. God bless all of you.

  • Ron and Belinda Lonnett Posted November 26, 2021 7:33 pm

    I think the first line in the obituary captures most of who he was, “ A true Ellwoodian and American Patriot”. He truly Loved his town and was dedicated to his country and fellow veterans. Above all he loved his family. A hell of guy and we were proud to have him as our Uncle.

  • Mother Karitina Posted November 27, 2021 10:34 am

    Sam Teolis, a rare and beautiful person. God will rest his soul.

  • Marian Patrick (Bellissimo) Posted November 28, 2021 8:38 am

    The most beloved and honorable man, Sam was a cherished friend to my dad for decades,. He will be remembered as so genuinely kind and caring . Our family mourns his loss, but know he is at Heavenly peace , we love you and you’ll be so missed Sam

  • Tony Paglia Posted November 28, 2021 9:55 am

    Sorry to hear of Sam’s passing. He was someone I really looked up to as I was growing up in Ellwood city. He always showed an interest in us whenever we saw him and could talk about anything from politics to antiques and of course he was always interested in talking about family and the Innocent- D’Ambrosio-Teolis connection. We were fortunate to have him as a cousin and someone that we would turn to when a loved one in our family passed.

  • Ray Lonnett Jr Posted November 28, 2021 3:37 pm

    So sad to see people you love pass away. I can only hope Uncle Sam is finding Aunt Anita about now, and that they are planning to lead some cake walks in heaven.

    Uncle Sam, my godfather, spent a lot of time with me. He showed me how to be someone who cared for others ( and their graves) after friends and loved ones have passed away. He modeled how to provide support for people when they need it (especially if they are less fortunate), and how to be someone who cared to make a big difference for others in the greater community. I was very lucky, to have him as my Godfather.

    My deepest sympathies to David, Dee Dee, Tony, Sammy and your families.

  • Carl and Lorraine Koziar Posted November 28, 2021 4:39 pm

    We will miss Uncle Sam. He spent alot of evenings at my mom’s house after Aunt Anita passed. His stories were very was very proud of all his accomplishments.

  • Jeff Lonnett Posted November 28, 2021 5:58 pm

    Uncle Sam at the garage-Always wanting to tell a story about growing up in town. I got to got to a lot of flea markets with him in the 90s- always on the lookout for something for his collection. Later, got to take the museum tour with my then 8 year old kid—— holding rifles and helmets, artifacts of American history, and of course him telling us about John Wayne, the draft dodger. He had a lot of pride in sharing his collection with a young kid. Hearing grandma Lonnett and Uncle Sam tell stories about life in the 30s and 40s was magic. In an earlier post, my uncle Anthony referenced letters that they wrote to each other during WW2- In one letter, written in 1945, he makes reference to sending money ($5 each) to my uncles (little children at the time), $5 in 1945 is a good bit of cash for a guy in the middle of war to be mailing to his nephews a half of a world away- says plenty about his character. Cheers to Uncle Sam.

  • Chris MacDonald Posted November 29, 2021 2:59 pm

    Sammie and family – we are so sorry to hear for the loss of your dad Sam. He will always be remembered – everyone has a different story from his life. We here at The Color Center will remember him for always bringing in articles to be laminated !!! Gary and I personally will always remember him from leading the Cake Walk at our wedding. Like thousands of others that he attended. You are all in out thoughts and prayers.
    Your friends at The Color Center and
    Gary and Chris (Maielli) MacDonald

  • Laurie and Tony Nocera Posted November 29, 2021 5:08 pm

    To all who loved Sam Teolis, are deepest sympathy! Such a great man who loved God, family, community and his country. May he rest in peace.

  • Michael Cirelli Posted November 30, 2021 11:00 am

    Sam was a very good friend of my grandfather. He was very caring of family, friends and community like no other. He was a very special person and will truly be missed. Deepest sympathy to a wonderful family.

  • Ryan Lonnett Posted December 1, 2021 3:46 pm

    I often ask people I meet or have conversation with, what they’re most passionate about, besides family. It helps to make connections and I enjoy watching their body language changing as they describe their special interests. I’m especially intrigued when their interest is something that I have zero knowledge of personally. Uncle Sam’s obit describes so many unique activities and accomplishments but leaves out a lot, including his world-class collection, a museum of OTHER memorabilia, and that he was asked to be Godfather to more people than many can even consider friends. I’ll remember his style of story-telling and how Grandma Lonnett thought he was as funny as he thought he was:) I appreciate that he helped people when they needed a lift. I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to travel up in short notice for the viewing but I’m glad that I got to tell him (when I saw him last) what I thought about him. Condolences cousins.

  • Teachout Families Posted December 2, 2021 1:20 pm

    Sam and family and all of the Teolis families, so sorry to hear of your loss…you are in our thoughts and prayers. As a child and to adulthood, I remember Sam at many funerals, weddings, community events… He always had positive energy. around him to pass on no matter what… as I watched people at any of these events, I remember learning from him that death and loss are a natural life process that requires much understanding and acceptance. One is never gone when one is remembered. May he rest in peace and God bless all of you.

  • David Anthony Ranelli Posted December 11, 2021 2:13 pm

    Too everyone in the Teolis family let me send my deepest sympathies and prayers I live in Sharon but was born in Ellwood city. We were the best of friends almost family for so many yrs
    I drove for him so many many yrs
    Young Sammy plz keep up your fathers tradition in the business
    We were also in the Knights of Columbus to gether had many memories with him
    God bless
    And may the heavens open up for him
    May he Rest In Peace

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