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Illness took Sam Piazza’s life. Many people were impressed by this genius and looked forward to his concert. We regret to inform you that Sam Piazza, who spent his life making the world a better place via his curation, has passed away. His story will be recounted in honor of his life.
Let us pray that Sam Piazza’s loved ones can find the strength they need to go on after losing him. This is Sam Piazza. Little Rock, Arkansas native Charles Piazza Jr., son of Elfrida and Charles Piazza Sr., was born on April 28, 1921. Sam began working in his father’s well-established (1906) shoe shop when he was just five years old. In 1937, at the age of 16, he completed his education at Central High School and went into business with his father.
A short time later, in 1942, Sam was drafted and went on to become a Second Lieutenant in the Army’s Quartermaster Corps, eventually posting to a supply depot in a small English town. He met Ms. Francis Helen Jordan, a British Land Army member who was stationed on a farm close to Sam’s depot, at an officer’s dance.
He wed Ms. Jordan on October 28, 1944, at Plymouth St. Maurice, England, at a historic church with records dating back 500 years. On October 30th, he gave up his commission to return home and take care of his sick father. For an entire year, he would be apart from his new bride. He joined the Reserves in ’45 and served until he retired as a Captain in ’60.
Next to their house at 2121 West Fourteenth Street, Sam and his brothers founded a shoe repair shop in 1946. They settled on the slogan “A Sole of Honor,” which they displayed in neon letters in the store’s west window. Near the end of this year, he launched his own shop at 712 Main and worked there for the next 17 years.
This individual, following in the footsteps of his ancestors, crafted footwear, both everyday styles and medically-required orthotics, entirely by hand. Sam was an influential businessman who regularly attended the Pulaski Heights Kiwanis Club for 50 years after becoming a member on June 11, 1951. In 1973, he was elected president of the Club, and in subsequent years he served as lieutenant governor of a state that spanned two. His skills were not solely commercially focused (1960). He joined the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd as one of its original members.
The year 1963 marked a turning point in Sam’s professional life. Previously located at 712 Main Street, the shoe store has relocated to the more convenient location of 313 West Capitol Street, where it now operates as a retail boots and shoes store and repair shop.
In addition, he founded Town and Country Shoe Repair. A few years later, he sold his business and entered a period of semi-retirement, during which he occasionally fulfilled job obligations. Again, in 1994, an arm ailment forced him into permanent retirement.
Sam clearly enjoyed gardening, as he devoted eight hours per day to his hobby, focusing on bonzai trees. He was an avid traveler who once went in search of his paternal family’s roots in the little Sicilian village of Partinico. When he was with his loved ones, neighbors, and acquaintances, he would light up the room.
His wife Francis passed away in 2001, after a happy 57 years together. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in the past, but after taking part in a study on the disease in 2003, he began to feel better. Later the same year, though, he had a stroke that left him temporarily incapacitated and in the hospital.
For a while, Sam was able to remain in his own home with the help of Hospice Home Care. A patient named Sam was admitted to the Parkway Village Rehabilitation Center on March 16, 2004. Hospice Home Care was caring for him when he passed away on July 8, 2004.
Chris Piazza, Heather Piazza, and David Piazza; daughter-in-law Melody Piazza, grandsons Jason, Alex, and Sam Piazza; sister Elfrieda Bridges; brothers Dr. Eugene Piazza, Horace Piazza, and Harvey Piazza; all survive him. (He was preceded in death by his siblings Ben Piazza, Rose Ellen Piazza, Charles Piazza, and Richard Piazza.)
Donations in his memory may be given to Hospice Home Care at 1501 N. University, Suite 500, Little Rock, Arkansas 72207, or to the Alzheimer’s Association at 10411 W. Markham, Suite 130, Little Rock, Arkansas 72209. On Saturday at noon, mourners can pay their respects at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (310 West Seventeenth Street). At the Funeral Home, visitors are welcome.