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New Windsor mourns passing of Sam Pierce, former mayor and councilman

The life of Sam Pierce - Original Credit: Courtesy Photo
The life of Sam Pierce - Original Credit: Courtesy Photo (HANDOUT)

Former New Windsor mayor and councilman Sam Pierce is being remembered as someone who cared deeply about the town’s history and its people.

The current mayor of New Windsor, Neal Roop, worked closely with Pierce, who served as the mayor of New Windsor from 2001 to 2009 and as a councilman from 2009 to 2013.

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“I was on the Town Council for the eight years he was mayor and he was on the town council my first four years as mayor,” said Roop. “We worked on several projects during those years. The wastewater treatment facility was the biggest project. He defined what it means to give back to your community.”

According to Roop, one of the biggest impacts of Pierce’s tenure as an elected official was the purchase of the Dielman Inn.

“His vote broke the council’s 2-to-2 vote,” said Roop in an email. “He cared about the history and future of the town.”

Pierce, who died Aug. 22, was born and raised Greensboro, North Carolina. He married his high school sweetheart, Doris, in 1954 and began working for Carolina Steel Company and then Southern Oxygen Company. He was transferred to Bladensburg in 1960.

Former New Windsor Mayor Sam Pierce.
Former New Windsor Mayor Sam Pierce. (HANDOUT)

Pierce moved his family of five to New Windsor in 1965 and, with a colleague, started his own company, Metropolitan Medical, that sold medical equipment. In 1996, he retired and became interested in politics.

He and his wife were known as the neighborhood Santa and Mrs. Claus for more than 40 years.

“I’m sure there are three generations of families that all sat on Santa’s lap. He would also visit businesses during the Christmas season for a photo op that many people remember from many years ago,” said Roop.

It was something he loved doing, according to Doris.

“He so much enjoyed being Santa for the Arc of Carroll County,” said Doris. “We would go to their Christmas party and, of course, the clients all loved Santa and they had prepared their Christmas lists and would come up hug Santa and give him their lists and talk to him.”

Sam Pierce (left) dressed as Santa and his wife Doris (right) dress as Mrs. Claus - Original Credit: Courtesy Photo
Sam Pierce (left) dressed as Santa and his wife Doris (right) dress as Mrs. Claus - Original Credit: Courtesy Photo (HANDOUT)

New Windsor Councilwoman Kimberlee Schultz remembered Pierce for always giving back to the community.

“Sam and his wife, Doris, made very important contributions of time, talent and resource to help preserve the history of New Windsor," said Schultz. “In addition to their time working on the [New Windsor Heritage Committee], their Atlee House B&B was a regular stop on the NWHC’s historic home tours and ‘Spirited Tails’ tours, and they hosted the annual Heritage Teas for many years; all of these events were important fundraisers for the committee.”

Schultz worked with Pierce on the town council from 2011 to 2013 but had known him for nearly 30 years “as a neighbor and a friend." She said she got to know him best from working with him on the Heritage Committee, for which he served as treasurer at one point.

Pierce was also active in the New Windsor Lions Club and was awarded the highest honor in the Lions Club, the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award.

Sam Pierce, left, and Werner Fitschen prepare pancakes at the May Day breakfast sponsored by the New Windsor Lions Club on May 4.
Sam Pierce, left, and Werner Fitschen prepare pancakes at the May Day breakfast sponsored by the New Windsor Lions Club on May 4. (Sharon Burleson Schuster photo , Carroll County Times)

“Sam was one of the best and funniest master of ceremonies for the Lions Club, fire company and many other organizations,” said Roop.

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Roop announced Pierce’s passing on the town’s Facebook page. “Sam was very dedicated to making New Windsor a better place to live,” said Roop in the Facebook post. Schultz also took to the town’s Facebook page to share the funeral services that will be provided.

According to Doris, her husband had little spare time because of all of his volunteer work, but he enjoyed spending time on his boat after the couple officially retired and moved to West Fenwick Island in Delaware.

“We were back on the bay, we had a pontoon boat and he loved his boat and to go out fishing, loved to take people on a sunset cruise out on the bay to watch the sun drop,” said Doris.

Other than his work in New Windsor, Pierce was also a family man, as a father of two daughters and a son.

“He was attentive. He was never athletic so he didn’t play sports with kids but he was our enabler and provider,” said Doris. “The kids all did 4-H, we had a small farm at one time. He always transported the girls and their horses to 4-H horse shows.”

Pierce is survived by daughter Angela Pierce of Bradenton, Florida; daughter Claudia Pierce and fiancé, Gary Fleshman, of Milton, Delaware; son Trent Pierce and wife, Cari, of Westminster; grandson Phillip Morley and wife, Sheila; and grandson Tyler Morley; as well as great grandchildren Ethan and Addison Morley.

A memorial service will be held at the New Windsor Fire Department Hall, 101 High Street on Saturday September 14 at 11 a.m. In honor of Pierce’s wishes, his family will donate his body to medical science studies.

Former New Windsor Mayor Sam Pierce, right, with his wife, Doris.
Former New Windsor Mayor Sam Pierce, right, with his wife, Doris. (HANDOUT)
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