Bluebonnet Hills Funeral Home & Bluebonnet Hills Memorial Park
5725 Colleyville Blvd, Colleyville, TX
Mr. Sam A. Baiocco
March 17, 1936 – May 12, 2020
Sam A. Baiocco was born on a blizzard snow storm day on March 17, 1936 in the house of his parents James and Nancy Baiocco in Youngstown, Ohio (Youngstown is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio, and the county seat of Mahoning County…The town gained the nicknames "Murdertown, USA" and "Bomb City, USA," while the phrase "Youngstown tune-up" became a nationally popular slang.”
He died at our home in Colleyville, Texas on May 12, 2020 at exactly noon. Sam had been in Hospice since April 4 after being diagnosed with non curative cancer in his throat. His wife of 45 years, Leslie and surviving children, Sam and Nina were present to say goodbye to dad. His oldest child Catherine had died about a year before from a long battle with cancer. Sam was 84 and up until early March was still the Sam you all knew and loved or not. He was always right!
Growing up in Youngstown was an adventure and Sam graduated from South High School in 1954. He played varsity football for 3 years and had excellent grades. He went on to attend college at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Sam majored in History and Political Science. He was accepted to Ohio State Law School but couldn’t afford to go so Sam joined the United States Navy in 1958 after graduating.
Sam was a naval aviator and instructor and also became a distinguished marksman. He got his pilot wings after 18 months of training in Pensacola, Florida and Corpus Christi, Texas. He went on to receive advanced training at San Diego and was given orders to Barbers Point, Hawaii. Sam traveled, mostly flying the planes himself, all over the world. One of his dearest memories of that time was when he landed on a carrier at night, 3 times!
In 1965 Sam retired from the Navy to join American Airlines. (his wife Leslie was a junior in high school at this time) He began his airline pilot career in 1966 and retired 30 years later at the age of 60. His last aircraft to fly was the DC-10. His first with the Navy had been a P2V.
During Sam’s years in the Navy and while working for American Airlines he continued his competitions with handguns. The Navy had taught Sam how to shoot competitively so he competed in many a gun match over the years and has received hundreds of awards. The highlight and low light of that was when Sam qualified for the Olympic Shooting Team in 1980 but the committee chose the younger competitor! Talk about mad……….after that Sam said $%#@&^$ and he started going to money matches. However he will be buried in the same outfit that you saw our USA Hockey Miracle Team wearing on the podium to receive the Gold Medal in 1980 because he was part of that USA Shooting Team. When you view the photos you’ll see him in that track suit!
Sam met his wife Leslie in 1971 at 5:30 in the morning by the coffee stand in the hotel the crews had been staying at in Detroit. Those days your flight crew changed with every leg of the trip! When they got to Love Field, there was no DFW airport he bought her coffee and cherry pie. Leslie had already heard of this bachelor named Sam the man! A couple of weeks after the initial meet he got to Memphis for his layover, checked the crew sign in log at the hotel and saw her name. Sam called her and asked her to dinner. They had ribs at the Rendezvous.
They both transferred to San Diego when American opened the base there in 1972. Sam had been based in San Francisco and Leslie was a flight attendant for American based in Boston. They dated a long, long time and married on February 15, 1975. While still living in California they had 3 kids. Catherine, Sam and Nina.
Sam wanted to fly Captain so they transferred to Dallas, DFW in 1983. That’s where Sam retired from American Airlines and the family still lives in Texas. He leaves his wife Leslie and surviving children Sam and Nina Baiocco. As mentioned his oldest daughter died in February of 2019. Sam also has a niece Sheri who lives in Ohio with her husband and two children. Both of Sam’s parents and brother Joe are deceased.
With the current Pandemic and social distancing choices we will not have a memorial service or gathering in our home. On Tuesday May 19, 2020 at 1230 pm central time Sam’s burial service can be seen on Facebook via the link posted at Bluebonnet Hills Cemetery. It will be available after the service also. Sam will receive burial military honors and Catholic Prayers for burial and committal prayer blessing of the Crypt.
Please don’t send flowers. Instead, if you want to (and Sam left this up to me as his wish would have been for you to send massive amounts of money to support the NRA……) but if you can or want to (we are very aware of how many don’t have jobs) you can send a donation to his Hospice.
Ardent Hospice, 700 Parker Square, Suite 105, Flower Mound, Tx 75028 OR Any feed the hungry organization to help our fellow hurting families (if you choose to do this I probably won’t be notified so tell me yourself so our family can acknowledge you !)
In closing I’d like to quote a friend who said “I am assured Catherine and Sam are loving their Eternal Companionship with their Heavenly Father and their Savior Jesus Christ”.
- FACEBOOK LIVE!!
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Mr. Sam A. Baiocco
May 18, 2020
I got to know Sam when Jennifer Meredith and I joined the Biaoccos for a day at Six Flags. Sam and I opted not to do the parachute and had a fun conversation waiting for our families. There were other rides we chose not to ride preferring to talk to each other. A day I will always remember.
May 18, 2020
My condolences to you Leslie, your family and friends. Marie Walton (AA -SAN.)
May 18, 2020
It was my honor and pleasure to know Big Sam. We had many endless conversations about his passions...Family, America, cars, Flying, good food, and of course shooting matches!
May 16, 2020
Leslie, Nina and Sam, we wish we could honor Sam and share our love for you by simply being in your presence, not necessarily saying anything, just being there.
We hold you tenderly in our hearts.
Lorraine and Jim Jamison
May 15, 2020
Sam will always be dear to me as he introduced me to my future husband. He stood for Al at our wedding, He and Al flew many trips together and enjoyed the camaraderie that pilots seem to share. God speed, Sam, say "Hi" to Al for me. Love, Linda Kralik
Jerry & Resi Amarante
May 15, 2020
Our deepest sympathy. So many memories of Sam and the time Jerry and Sam spent together at AA. They truly loved their jobs and airplanes.