Samuel Laurella

1921 - 2013


Samuel Laurella

Jan. 30, 1921 — June 23, 2013

Samuel “Sam” Laurella was born on Jan. 30, 1921, in Italy to Giovanni Laurella and Maria Antonia Perfetto. He came to the United States when he was 17 years old and worked for the U.S. Forest Service in Avery, Idaho. He later worked for Boeing in Seattle before joining the U.S. Air Corps and served for three years during World War II in the European Theatre. He was honorably discharged as staff sergeant. On Aug. 30, 1945, he married Theresa Destito at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Walla Walla.

He later worked for the Walla Walla Meat and Cold Storage, the Union Pacific Railroad, and farmed part time. He retired from his job as a carpenter with the Walla Walla School District #140 in 1983. In addition, he devoted many years working for the Consolidated Water District #14. After retirement, he continued to drive school bus for the School District, worked for the U.S. Forest Service and volunteered at Providence St. Mary Medical Center.

Sam is survived by his wife, Theresa; three daughters, Toni Smith (Tom) of Walla Walla, Rosanne Schleer (Lee) of College Place and Theresa White (Malcolm) of Port Angeles, Wash.; his two granddaughters, Laurella and Alexandra White; and several nieces and nephews.

“Most people have read many stories that Horatio Alger wrote about boys from humble beginnings, who made a name for themselves.” Sam Laurella was an example of one of those boys.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, June 27, 2013, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla. The graveside funeral service will be held on Friday, June 28, 2013, at 11 a.m. at Mountain View Cemetery with Father Jeff Core officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to Providence St. Mary Medical Center or a charity of the donor’s choice through the funeral home. Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at


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