Sammy R. Tufo, 70, formerly of Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY — Sammy R. Tufo, 70, formerly of Watertown, NY, passed January 18, 2023 at his home in Florida with his wife Lisa and son Ben by his side.

He was born on Jan. 7, 1953, a son of the late Benny and Jenny Tufo. He graduated from Watertown High School in 1972. He enjoyed playing baseball from a young age.

Sammy worked at the family restaurant, Benny’s Steak House for many years, later opening his own restaurant Mr. Sam’s Café.  He then partnered with his good friend Mike Schepis at North Country Home Improvements from 1993 until 1995. He then became a cook at the Watertown and Gouverneur Correctional Facilities, retiring after many years of service. He moved to Florida where he was a cook for Stewart-Haas Nascar Racing. He also owned two restaurants in Daytona Beach, Crane Lakes & Tufo’s Bistro.

Sammy was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Watertown.

He loved to do woodworking and could build anything. He was an avid NASCAR fan, he enjoyed hunting at Southern Tier with his brothers and many friends, and raising Great Danes. He especially loved his wonderful life with his wife Lisa Marie. His mother always said “Sammy is a Gem” and she was right.

Sammy met his forever love, Lisa Marie Couture at Crane’s Lake in 2011 and the couple married on March 12, 2019. Sammy loved his beloved wife and together they had a wonderful life.

He is survived by his loving wife, Lisa Marie; a son and daughter-in-law, Benjamin (Gina) Tufo, Skaneateles, NY; a son-in-law, Jason Nault, Washington; three brothers and their wives, Bernie (Renee) Tufo, Michael (Jeanne) Tufo, Joey (Heidi) Tufo, all of Watertown; a sister and brother in law, Karen (Jasper) Grant, Watertown; his stepchildren, Whitney (Josh) Rabbitt, Justin (Brittany) Rains, Judge (Mary) Rains, Torrey (Dane) Rains; two granddaughters, Corwyn Tufo and Catherine Rains; six grandsons, Wesley Tufo, Cullen Rabbitt, Jackson Rains, Leland Rains, Kinsten Rains, and Walter Rains; many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Besides his parents, he was predeceased by a daughter, Lisa Mae Tufo Nault.

It was his wish to be cremated. Services will be held at a later date. Burial in Glenwood Cemetery will take place in the spring.

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