Albert S. "Sam" Nader
July 8, 1919 – February 9, 2021
Albert S. “Sam” Nader passed away at his home as he wished, on Tuesday, February 9 surrounded by members of his family. He was born in Oneonta on July 8, 1919, the son of Elias Andrew Nader and Rose Rajah Nader (Nassar). He was one of six Nader children. Sam Nader spent nearly his entire life in Oneonta. He was a proud lifelong resident of the 6th Ward and became an integral member of the community.
He graduated from Oneonta High School in 1938, where he excelled as a lefthanded pitcher. Mr. Nader attended Bates College and later Hartwick College and played baseball at both institutions. As World War II approached, Mr. Nader began working for the Scintilla Magneto division of the Bendix Corporation in Sidney, NY. At the outset of the war, he sought to enlist in the US Army and was initially turned away due to poor vision. He later successfully enlisted and became a machine gunner in the European Theater of Operations where he fought at the Battle of the Bulge. Mr. Nader was honorably discharged in 1945 and during his service earned a Bronze Star, three battle stars, an Army Commendation Medal, and Army of Occupation Service Medal, American Theatre Service Medal, a Victory Medal and a Good Conduct Medal.
In 1954, Mr. Nader married Alice House at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Oneonta, and settled into their home on River Street. She predeceased him in 1991. Alice and Sam Nader had three children. John S. Nader of Farmingdale NY (Kathy), Alice O’Conner of Lilburn GA (Cliff) and Suzanne Longo of Havertown PA (Tom). Their River Street home was always open to hundreds of students, friends, family, baseball players, and notables for decades.
Upon his discharge from the Army, Mr. Nader resumed his career at Bendix in Sidney working in both quality assurance and procurement for over 40 years. He retired in 1983 as Director of Purchasing for Bendix Electrical Components Division.
Sam Nader was an avid sports fan and golfer. In his youth, he caddied at the Oneonta Country Club and became an accomplished player - once earning the club’s handicap championship. He became a season ticketholder of New York Giants in 1952 and saw the team play in every one of the six home stadiums used by the team. He attended some of the premier events in sports including, NFL and NFC champions, many World Series games, the Rose Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, and the Masters. In 1948, he obtained a copyright for a sports calendar.
Mr. Nader had an extraordinary civic career. He served as an Alderman representing the 6th Ward as well as a city assessor and as legislative assistant to Assemblyman Paul Talbot. In 1961, he was elected Mayor of the City of Oneonta and was reelected in 1965. During his two terms, the City made remarkable progress. His vision for the Oneonta Municipal Airport was realized, the Housing Authority was created and Oneonta became one of the leading recipients of federal funds for municipal infrastructure. Following his elected service, Mr. Nader also served as chair of the Otsego County Democratic Committee. His aspiration to bring minor league baseball back to Oneonta was fulfilled in 1966 when the Oneonta Red Sox became part of the New York-Penn League. Subsequently Mr. Nader secured a working agreement with his beloved New York Yankees. In 1968, along with nine other civic leaders, he formed the Oneonta Athletic Corporation, purchased the team and the Oneonta Yankees became a community fixture for over thirty years. Oneonta’s affiliation with the Yankees was one of the longest in minor league baseball. The Oneonta Yankees became well known as one of the most successful franchises in minor league baseball and operated in one of its smallest markets.
The team launched the career of dozens of major league players and hosted some of baseball’s greatest names at Damaschke Field.
Following the Yankees’ departure in 1999, the Detroit Tigers began a long and successful affiliation with the OAC and Oneonta. The Oneonta franchise was recognized with the Bob Freitas Award as the outstanding minor league operation of the year. The New York Pennsylvania League championship trophy was named in honor of Alice House Nader who was integrally involved in the team’s operation. In addition to his work in government and baseball, Sam was a member of the Board of Directors of the Wilber National Bank, AO Fox Hospital, the Oneonta City School District Board of Education, and the Future of Oneonta Foundation, among others. He served as honorary chair of Opportunity for Otsego’s Capital Campaign. Mr. Nader was fortunate to be widely recognized for his civic work. Sam was honored for his community achievements by the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce, LEAF Council on Alcoholism, The Daily Star, Future of Oneonta Foundation, Minor League Baseball and numerous other organizations, including SUNY Oneonta which annually awards the Alice H. and Albert S. Nader Scholarship.
In addition to his wife, Alice House Nader who passed away in 1991, Mr. Nader was predeceased by his siblings, Julia, Nausif, Adele, Dorothy, and Jemele as well as a niece and three nephews whom he loved. He is survived by his three children and their spouses as well as seven grandchildren: Danielle O’Conner of New York City, Mark Nader (Angela) of Oneonta, Kevin O’Conner (Sarah) of Atlanta GA, Allison Berquist (Peter) of Los Angeles, CA, Rachel Nader of Washington D.C., Sloan Longo of Philadelphia, PA and Sarah Nader-Marcus of Oneonta. He is also survived by his great-grandson, Levi Samuel Nader. In addition, Mr. Nader is survived by numerous nieces and nephews including Barbara Church, Carol and Rick Follett, Diane Minogue, and Anissa Shannon. He is also survived by first cousin Fares Nassar of Ithaca, NY.
He leaves behind a large network of close friends for whom he had a deep affection. The family wishes to extend its sincere appreciation to the devoted caregivers who provided outstanding care and attention to Mr. Nader in his final years.
A private funeral mass is being planned by the family. A celebration of life is planned for the summer of 2021.
Those who wish may make memorial contributions to the Albert S. and Alice H. Nader Scholarship Fund at SUNY Oneonta or Opportunities for Otsego, 3 West Broadway in Oneonta.
To leave a condolence for the family online, please visit www.grummonsfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are by the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, Oneonta.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Albert S. "Sam" Nader
February 17, 2021
Uncle Sam, I don't feel there are enough words that I could share about my dear uncle! Using words that I can describe him are loving, loyal, compassionate, genuine, honest, and non judgmental. Growing up I cannot think of a time when uncle Sam did not have a smile. Even in my adulthood I can clearly see the smile on his face when I would call him monthly. Uncle Sam never had one single bad word to say about anything or anyone. He was positive and brought sunlight to people. I know for myself uncle Sam was the dearest of people and I was so very blessed to have him in my life not only as my uncle but as a kindred spirit! I remember swimming in his pool and the ballgames I had gone to and the smile he always had. My last year of undergrad school i worked at the ballpark for uncle Sam and he complimented me each day of the job i was doing. He would always show people recognition for the job they were doing... to my family, john, alice, and Suzanne... my heart is with you right now and you are in my prayers but know uncle Sam is smiling away in Heaven as he did on earth. I love you uncle Sam and will miss talking to you and sending you cards. Karen
Kathy Wenck Spytko
February 15, 2021
Dear John, Alice and Suzanne,
We were very sorry to hear of your dad's passing. Your parents always made us feel welcome at your house and we have fond memories of the countless hours we spent there. We quickly learned that baseball played a major role in your lives. The memory of you all proudly announcing (loudly!) one evening when you returned from a game that, "The Yankees won the penant!" showed us exactly how dedicated you all were to the team made possible by your dad. Thinking of you all at this difficult time. Fondly, The Wenck Girls
February 11, 2021
John, Alice and Suzanne, my deepest sympathies at the passing of your father. He was a fantastic man and I really enjoyed myself whenever I made it home and had the opportunity to visit with him, as the leader of my baseball family many of my childhood memories involve him. Please stay in touch, I hope I get to see you all this summer...
Van, Stephaie & Kate Jaffie
February 11, 2021
Dear John, Alice, Suzanne & Families,
We were so saddened to hear of the passing of Sam. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We are fortunate to have known him. May your wonderful memories of Sam guide you. It is wonderful to know he did get his wishes, living a long life and being at home. I think we can all agree, Sam had "a life well lived".
Van, Stephanie & Kate Jaffie
Mame And Paul Cain
February 11, 2021
Dearest John, Alice, Suzanne and family,
We are so sorry. He truly did have a wonderful life.
RIP "Uncle" Sam.
Mame and Paul
Rosanne and Carl Miller
February 11, 2021
Sending our thoughts and prayers to the Nader family. He will truly be missed. He was a wonderful man.
February 10, 2021
Sincere sympathies to the Nader family.