Samuel Sam J. Donato Jr.

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Samuel "Sam" J. Donato Jr.

May 11, 1948 - November 30, 2018

Samuel Sam J. Donato Jr. Salem, MA - Samuel "Sam" J. Donato Jr., age 70, formerly of Saugus and Wakefield, died November 30, 2018, after a long illness, surrounded by his loving family. He was husband to Kathleen M. (Stafford) Donato, with whom he shared 29 years of marriage. He was born in Malden to Samuel J. Donato Sr. and Phyllis E (Barratt) Donato. He was a graduate of Saugus High School, class of 1966, and he attended Emerson College.
Sam held many occupations, mostly in the field of entertainment. He began his career as a character actor at the Pleasure Island Amusement Park in Wakefield, from there he started his long tenure with Rex Trailer's Boomtown.
In 1974, he went into the music business performing in various bands until 1980. He then formed the class of '66, New England's Premier 60s and 70s Band, which lasted about 25 years.
He loved theater! He performed with the Wakefield Repertory Theatre for nine productions, winning eight EMACT awards. His favorite production was playing Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof" in 1999.
He also did many radio shows with the Colonial Radio Theatre as a voice artist.
He worked for the U.S. Postal Service in Andover from 1994 until he retired in 2004.
Upon retiring in 2004, he and his wife, Kathy, migrated to central Florida where he worked for Walt Disney World and Nickelodeon Hotel in entertainment. It was always his dream to work for Disney and to be part of the Disney Family.
He returned to Salem in 2016, where he worked at Pet Smart until he retired in 2018.
Husband, Dad, Papa, brother-in law, and friend, were some of the most cherished roles Sam played during his lifetime. He was taken from us too soon.
Sam is preceded in death by his parents, Samuel J. Donato Sr. and Phyllis E (Barratt); his brother Ronald "Jake" Donato and his sister Denise D'Anotuono.
Many loved ones will carry on his memory, including his loving wife, Kathy; his daughter, Jennifer M Cheever of Wakefield; his step-son, Ryan M. Chouinard of Burlington, Vt.; three grandchildren, Annabelle D. Cheever, Theo J. Cheever, and Harry J. Cheever of Wakefield; his niece Trisha Morrison of Amesbury; and his great-nephew, David Davis of Amesbury. Also, his two brother-in-laws and wives, Michael F. Stafford and his wife Loretta Stafford of Danvers; Richard W. Stafford and his wife Perla Peguero of Salem, and many friends.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to Care Dimensions, 75 Sylvan Street, Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923, or Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Philanthropy Office, 41 Mall Road, Burlington, MA 01805.

Visitation for relatives and friends will be held at McDonald Funeral Home, 19 Yale Avenue, Wakefield, MA, on Thursday, December 6, 2018, from 3 to 8 p.m. A Celebration of Life will be held at the West Side Social Club, 4 Harrington Court, Wakefield, MA, on Sunday, January 13, 2018, from 1 to 5 p.m.
Published on December 3, 2018
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