Samuel Thatcher, 78, former NYPD officer ‘created a new life in the tight-knit community of Ocean Ridge’ is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Samuel Thatcher
Samuel Thatcher

It is with a heavy heart to announce that Samuel Thatcher, 78, passed away on Sunday, June 5, 2016. What can be said of Samuel Thatcher, a man who was the father of five kids and the grandfather of five? Sam was a tenacious and devoted man, quick witted and tough, but one who quickly earned the respect of all who knew him.

Sam was born on August 14, 1937, to Samuel U. Thatcher and Catherine Tyrell Thatcher in Brooklyn, N.Y. Sam, a true Brooklynite down to the accent, would grow up developing a kinship to his city; it was a relationship that would toughen him and that would advance his maturity.

At 20, Sam met Helen at a picnic in Breezy Point and asked her to attend a Marine ball in Manhattan. The lifelong soulmates married in 1960 and began raising their children in Brooklyn.

In 1968, Sam joined the NYPD, New York’s finest, and was a dedicated and respected police officer. Raising his kids in Brooklyn was always the plan, but Sam and Pat decided that New York in the 1970s wasn’t the best place to raise a family, and they moved ‘upstate’ to Highland Mills, N.Y.

Their new life in Highland Mills was a tough choice in the beginning. Sam had to commute to the Bronx everyday to his new 44th Precinct, and Pat had to adjust to life in the country. What a team they were, and true to Sam and Pat’s personalities, they quickly became part of the fabric of the community. Even with his commute, Sam was an active member of the Woodbury Men’s Club and Boy Scouts of America, from whom in 1980 Sam received an award for being ‘Troop 149’s Spark Plug.’ He was also a parishioner at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church.

In 2003, Sam and Pat, with the persistent love of golf they found in retirement, decided to move to North Carolina. It was there where they would spend much quality time together and make many new friends. They created a new life in the tight-knit community of Ocean Ridge, one that the children also became a part of, but it was their own.

Sam’s children and grandchildren have memories that will never fade; how he jingled change in his pocket, the scent of his cologne, the Donald Duck impression he loved to make, and his laugh that resounded through the house and in our hearts. Pop, you may now rest with your beloved Pat, our Nan, Nannie, and live on through the love and laughter you inspired within us.

Samuel was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Helen Patricia Thatcher; and son, Michael Thatcher.

He is survived by his brother, William Thatcher, and his wife, Ellen Thatcher; children, Marybeth Runkowski, and her husband, Dennis, Kathleen Thatcher, and her fiancé, Chris Sharp, Bryan Thatcher and Robert Thatcher, and his wife, Lenore; five grandchildren who will always remember his sense of humor, his presents in the room and countless lessons he taught them in their formative years, Samantha and her fiancé, Patrick Choules, Dennis, Kassandra, Brendan and Emily. He will always be loved by his entire family, along with his many dear friends.

A Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 9, at St. Brendan’s Catholic Church. Inurnment will follow in the church columbarium.

The family requests, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 3 International Drive, Suite 200, Rye Brook, NY 10573; or Make-A-Wish, Hudson Valley, 832 South Broadway, The Wish House, Tarrytown, NY 10591.

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