The Obit For Sam Tosti

Sam Tosti
May 20, 1921 Sept. 26, 2012

Published in The Oregonian on October 1, 2012


Sam Tosti, 91, passed away Sept. 26, surrounded by his family and friends after a courageous battle with MRSA.

Sam's life was lived to the fullest. Sam was born in Portland to Rose and Luigi Tosti. His young life was filled with sports. He attended Commerce (Cleveland) H.S. where he lettered in four sports: baseball, football, soccer and basketball. Later, he would be elected into their hall of fame.

During his twenties, Sam attended Albany College which later became Lewis and Clark.

With his love of baseball, he went on to become a professional baseball player, playing AAA ball with the Salem Senators and Portland Beavers, a farm team for the Boston Red Sox.

When WWII arrived, Sam longed to serve his country patriotically. He enlisted in the Merchant Marines in the South Pacific. After the war, he married his longtime sweetheart, Jeanette Johnson and together they had four loving children. Having Italian heritage, Sam loved his pasta.

His career started with Porter Scarpelli where his father was a partner. After that, he went on to work for Majorette Macaroni Company, which later became Merlino's. He worked for them for 45 years as a western Regional Sales Manager.

Sam's love of sports was present every day of his life. His second home was on the golf course and he became quite the avid golfer. He won the Oregon Coast Invitational, as well as many other tournaments. Sports didn't end with golf. Sam became a referee for basketball and football officiating games for high school and college for 40 years. His oldest son, Lou, would also become a referee, which he had the honor of officiating his last game with. In 2005, Sam was inducted into the PIL Hall of Fame for his HS athletic accomplishments.

After retiring, Sam and Jeanette moved to Charbonneau where he became president of the Men's Club at Charbonneau Golf Club. He established "The Italian Garden Society", a social club for various parties and golf expeditions to Reno. This continued on for 20 years.

Sam founded the Western Srs. Golf Association and was active with Commerce (Cleveland) H.S. alumni association. As a member of the "Iron Man" of Commerce (Cleveland) H.S., Sam helped establish a scholarship fund to perpetuate Commerce H.S.

When Langdon Farms Golf Club opened in 1994, Sam was hired on as head marshal. This became his passion for the past 18 years. He spent hours upon hours patrolling the course, chatting with golfers, and enjoyed being around the sport he loved. Often he could be found at tee box number one, which became his favorite place to be. The staff became his second family and the course his home away from home.

Sam was loved by so many. Not only will he be remembered for his accomplishments in sports but for being the practical jokester that he was. He always thought of other people first and knew how to have a great time, especially in his garage. Even in his last days, Sam had to have the last word.

Sam is survived by wife, Jeanette; sons, Lou (Kathy Tosti) and Sam (Anita Tosti); daughters, Jane (Mark Harlan) and Trish (Greg Davis); seven grandchildren; 2.5 great-grandchildren; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Life will be at Langdon Farms Golf Club Sunday, Oct. 7 from 3-5 p.m.

We look forward to you joining us as we reminisce and celebrate Sam Tosti.