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January 21, 2018

Samuel Spina – Fallowfield

obits_SamSpina_PictureSamuel Spina, a mid-Mon Valley businessman and entrepreneur, died peacefully Monday, March 20, 2017, surrounded by the family he cherished. Mr. Spina, 54, of Fallowfield, was admitted to Monongahela Valley Hospital last week, two-and-a-half years after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Through sheer force of will, a deep sense of faith, and the power of love, he lived far longer than doctors thought possible. He refused to waste a single minute. In that time, he celebrated his 30th wedding anniversary and his 31st; he saw his daughter earn a graduate degree, and he walked her down the aisle on her wedding day; he watched his son succeed in law school; he traveled extensively; and he maintained his business interests, met regularly with his Supper Club, and kept a full social schedule. Among family and friends, Mr. Spina was known to be quiet, even somewhat shy, but he had a wicked sense of humor. When he spoke, he offered observations that were usually wise or funny, and oftentimes both regardless of the subject. “When Sam said something, he was usually spot-on,” said Shelly Booth Jones, of Fallowfield, a longtime family friend. Mr. Spina, who was raised in Van Voorhis, was a 1982 graduate of Charleroi High School. Three years later he married a classmate, Lori Balieu, his best friend, soul mate and one true love. The newlyweds made their home in Stockdale. The family soon grew to include the couple’s two children, Samuel J. and Mara Katherine. For two decades, Mr. Spina worked at Interstate Paper Company, but he was determined to build his own business with sheer hard work, a calm demeanor, and positive attitude. Mr. Spina opened Magic City Mart, Charleroi, and he would come to own convenience stores in Monessen, Ford City and Kittanning. Additionally, Mr. Spina opened and operated Sammy’s Smoke Shops in Charleroi, Monessen and Monongahela; his other business interests included several rental properties. Mr. Spina was known to be a generous contributor to a variety of nonprofit organizations and efforts in the community. In addition to his wife and children, Mr. Spina is survived by his mother, Betty Draganac, and her husband, John, of Belle Vernon; two brothers, Joseph (Becky), of Washington, and Eugene (Traci), of Reynoldsburg, Ohio; and two sisters, Vicki (Anthony) Dalfonso, of Belle Vernon and Gina (Ron), Sicchitano, of Bentleyville. He also is survived by his son-in-law, Matthew Boronsky, of Cranberry; father-in-law Art Balieu, of Stockdale; sister-in-law Cathy Balieu (Robert) Dean, of Eighty Four; brother-in-law Chuck Balieu, of Speers; grandmother-in-law, Sara Balieu, of Charleroi, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Joseph, and his mother-in-law, Catherine Balieu. Visitation will be held 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, at SCHROCK-HOGAN FUNERAL AND CREMATION SERVICES, 226 Fallowfield Avenue, Charleroi. Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 23, at Epiphany of Our Lord Catholic Church, 618 Knox Ave., Monessen with the Rev. Mike Crookston officiating.  Those attending the service should go directly to the church. The family suggests contributions to Mon-Vale Health Resources, Inc., Office of Fund Development, 1163 Country Club Road, Monongahela, PA 15063. Online condolences may be sent to the family at