Samuel Richard Rinelli

May 16, 1917October 8, 2020

Samuel Richard Rinelli of Elk Grove, California, was born on May 16, 1917 in Lockport, New York and passed away on October 8, 2020 in Sacramento, California at 103 years of age. Sam was a veteran of World War II (serving in the Asian Theater) and later in Korea. He had many adventures during his time in service; in one specific incident the plane he was in was shot down over India, giving him a crash course on how to use a parachute, and how to survive in a jungle. He left the army after WW II, but was recalled into service during the Korean Conflict, serving in Japan. After the wars he returned to the Sates, where he managed a fruit processing plant in Idaho with his brother Joseph. In 1959 he moved to Sacramento and began a career in finance with the Federal Government at the Sacramento Army Depot. Upon retirement from federal service, he continued in finance at the Army Depot Credit Union. Sam was an avid bowler and considered an 'Elite Level' bowler in Sacramento in the 60's. After retiring from the credit union, he began working at Cal Expo. There he dealt with many issues, as usual, he excelled at whatever assignment he was given. In his 80's and 90's he continued working there, often roaring around Cal Expo on a golf cart. He stopped working at the age of 99, after he was struck by a drunk driver in a vehicle accident. He decided he was done driving at that point. He continued his adventures though, going on cruises with family and friends he had made at Cal Expo. On one trip in 2012, at the age of 95, he even stood on an ocean sandbar off Grand Cayman Island petting sting rays as they swam by him. He is missed by his sons Michael and Stephen. His grandchildren Robert, Michelle, Sara Rose, Joe, Amber and Leslie. As well as a dozen great grandchildren. The word to describe Sam, as uttered by many doctors and the people who knew him was "AMAZING". To which we all agreed.


  • Graveside Service

    Tuesday, October 20, 2020


Samuel Richard Rinelli

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