On Thursday, June 22, 2023. Beloved husband of Toni (Mayo) McGervey; son of Nancy and the late William McGervey; brother of Kathy (Denny) Della-Penna, Karen McGervey (Scott Blair), and Mary Beth (late Norm) Harkleroad; also survived by Jessie, David, Taylor, nieces, nephews, cousins, and many dear friends.
Sam was the kindest guy you would ever meet! He was truly selfless, always putting his family, friends, and neighbors before himself. If you needed help with a home project, needed a ride, or a shoulder to lean on, Sam was your guy!
As most of you know Sam truly enjoyed the outdoors. He learned his love for hunting and fishing at a young age from his Uncle Joe. This carried on long into his adult life where he enjoyed numerous hours of these outdoor activities with some of his closest friends. Sam also learned to snow ski when he was in elementary school. He spent countless hours on the mountains of 7-Springs and several trips to Colorado. There was a long stretch of time that Sam attended the Daytona 500, yearly. Always a trip he looked forward to. Sam’s love for watching car racing lead him to race old cars at the Pennsylvania Motor Speedway. For years he had fun racing the old timers car. When he wasn’t racing he was working at the race track. His love for race cars and as a way to give back after his nephew survived cancer, Sam volunteered countless hours with the organization Racers for Tots. Raising money and helping kids with cancer brought great joy and pride to him for years.
Sam’s greatest love was his family and friends. He’s one of the fortunate ones that remained thick as thieves with the OLG and Birdland boys! To death these boys were inseparable….what a special, faith based friendship they had. He was the center of many laughs and good times at family holidays and dinners. The care he provided his father and mother in their aging years was like no caregiver could offer. He went above and beyond the call to see that they were watched over, cared for, and most importantly truly enjoyed their golden years.
It wasn’t until later in his life that David met his soulmate, love of his life, Toni. Sam’s greatest regret is that he and Toni did not connect earlier in life. They surely made the best of and enjoyed their short time together. Not surprising, Toni’s family welcomed Sam with open arms and they developed a strong mutual love. He looked forward to time with his favorite little girls, and they loved their “Sammy”.
Now Sam rests peacefully, reunited with his dad, aunt, uncle, and numerous others that touched his life.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the SZAFRANSKI-EBERLEIN FUNERAL HOME, INC., where family and friends will be received on Monday, June 26, 2023, from 1-4PM and 6-8PM, at 101 Third Street, Carnegie. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held in St. Raphael the Archangel Parish, St. Margaret of Scotland Church, on Tuesday, June 27, 2023, at 11:00AM.
Family Florals by:
Pete Donati and Sons
David, Dave, McGerv, Groove, Uncle Dave, Sam, Sammy, Sammy Billy D
I’m sure I’m missing a few nicknames. As I said over 5 years while talking about my dad, a wise person once told me, you know you are loved by your friends if you are lucky enough to have a nickname. You all just heard Sam had MANY nicknames. This speaks volumes to describe the depth of friends and friendships he had. David was one of the fortunate ones, like myself, that had his Day 1, since birth, best friend throughout all the days of his life! There truly is something special about Grouse Drive and Birdland. All of us that had the privilege of growing up on this street and in this community are truly blessed beyond measure. Many Irish, Catholic families like the McGervey’s made Birdland home, and sent their children to Our Lady of Grace grade school. Dave’s friendships expanded and grew tighter through his years at OLG. These boys all took separate paths in life yet remained thick as thieves through Sam’s whole life. Speaking of Sam, as most of you know it was at OLG that the name Sam came about and our dear, life long friend Fr Joe was part of the naming. The OLG boys made the best of everyday they had together in school, whether it was serving as altar boys, playing football for the mighty Tigers, or heckling Sister Ardeth, they were always together. Boy if those classrooms and halls could talk……These strong, life long, faith based, friendships started in the halls of OLG but carried throughout Sam’s whole life. We are so grateful that these boys made it a priority to take Sam on their trip out West this past Fall. He had the opportunity to spend time with his BEST, life long friends, doing his favorite outdoor activities. God bless you Bill, Luke, and Tim!
Being a OLG/Birdland boy shaped David into the selfless man that he was throughout his life. It was early on that he learned to give back to others. He followed his dads lead and was always there to lend a helping hand to our neighbors. There were days that Riley’s driveway was shoveled before going to school and later on Gene & Marilyn’s shoveled before going to work. His ability to care for and do for others helped Sam later in life as he became a caregiver for both our mom & dad. He not only watched over them to ensure they were safe at 1311 but also took them to mass, & made it a priority for them to have their daily socialization, which they each enjoyed at Camp Hill & The Polish White Eagles. We are eternally grateful for the days he spent caring for mom & dad.
Sam was rooted as an outdoors man! He loved to hunt, fish, “garden” if you will, snow ski, and race old time cars. Over the years he experienced some spectacular fishing and skiing trips out west. Later on he enjoyed spending time at Pennsylvania Motor Speedway, working at the track and racing the old timer cars. His love for racing and his passion to give back led Sam to the charity he loved w/ all his heart, Racer for Tots. He wanted nothing more than to give back to this organization as it touched him personally to be able to help raise money for kids with cancer.
The thing Sam enjoyed most was spending time w/ his family, friends, and loved ones. Often times he was the center of holiday gatherings and family dinners. After a few of his favorite libations he would tell Jenn, Doug, Ryan, and Danny stories that probably shouldn’t have been told around the dinner table BUT oh so many laughs and great memories came from these days. We will forever laugh about Uncle Dave’s stories and raise a glass of whiskey or bourbon to toast him.
Ultimately, the one person Sam enjoyed spending the last 5 years of his life with was his soulmate, love of his life, Toni. As good Irish Catholics raised in the 70’s we didn’t vocalize our feelings well. I KNEW Toni was the ONE for Sam because he professed his love for Toni to me and my family. I NEVER heard him talk about his love for someone like this. They enjoyed the short time they had together surrounded by family and friends. They shared many laughs together and Toni was committed to caring for Sam & giving him the best possible life! Toni’s boys, David, Jessie, and Taylor quickly became like Sam’s own children and her sweet little grand daughters, Ce Ce and Andi became the apple of Sam’s eyes! He lit up when those girls were around. Sam’s only regret in life was not having more time with Toni and her family. I hope you all feel closer to Sam over the recent days and months, hearing stories of Sam’s life experiences, and seeing all the pictures that capture many heart-felt memories.
So I ask you all going forward to either remember or try to share in the good times had at the Wren Haven where the phrase “Buy Sam a Drink and his dog one too” was coined. Sam frequented this establishment w/ his husky and that’s where Mike Lang’s famous phrase came from. For now please raise your drink for Sam and if you are able buy the dog one too! For this ride, Elvis Has Just Left the Building and we all walk away with a HUGE win because our lives were touched by David, Dave, McGerv, Groove, Uncle Dave, Sam, Sammy, or Sammy Billy D!