Samuel J. Armato Sr., enjoyed meeting new people, never met a stranger


Samuel J. Armato Sr., 75, Rockton, was born in Rockford, Illinois on August 31, 1947, son to Joseph Alex Armato and Mary L. Pumilia. Soon after his graduation from Rockford West High School in 1966, Sam joined the U.S. Army and served during both the Vietnam and Korea conflicts of 1968 to 1970. On June 12, 1971, he married the love of his life, Diana Peak, in Rockford, Illinois. Sam was a loyal worker for Forest City Packers, Rockford Memorial Hospital, and finally at Royal Liquor Mart. Through that time Sam enjoyed meeting new people, and never met a stranger.

After retirement Sam enjoyed the next part of his life, being “Nanu” to his grandchildren. If he wasn’t working in his yard, gardening, painting, praying, or fishing he was spending time with his family and friends, reminiscing on their many memories together.

Sam passed away in his home in Rockton on May 3, 2023.

He is survived by those who loved him most. His wife of 51 years, Diana; his children Samuel J Armato Jr., and Michael (Theresa) Armato; his grandchildren Jessica (Josh Frazier) Armato, Hailee (Brian Banister) Armato, Miranda (Ethan Gentry) Armato and Benjamin (Journey Quast) Armato; great granddaughter Makenzie Frazier; brothers Albert (beloved dog Coco) Armato, and Charles (Cathy) Wallis; numerous nieces, nephews, and adored family dogs Nina, Hazel, and Velvet. A very special mention to his godmother and aunt, Theresa Torchia, as well as to his friend and partner in ‘figuring out the world,’ Janie Fogle. 

He is predeceased by his parents Joseph and Mary; his siblings Mary (Mike) Leon and William Wallis Jr.  

A heartfelt thank you to the nursing staff at Mercy Health Javon Bea and their hospice care team for their kindness and support to both Sam and his family, but a very special thank you to hospice nurse Ngozi Ezeani, RN, BSN. The family will always remember your love and compassion.

A visitation will take place on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. until the Rosary at 7:00 p.m. at Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory, 3910 N. Rockton Road, Rockford, Illinois 61108. Visitation will continue the following day, May 10, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. until the time of Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m. at Saint Anthony of Padua Church, 1010 Ferguson Street, Rockford, Illinois 61102. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family, Sam was passionate about many charities and memorials will be distributed accordingly. 

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