Sam Guardino

Sam Guardino

Posted: 16 Dec 2014 10:48 AM PST

Sam Guardino, 85, of St. Joseph Township (Fairplain), passed away peacefully Saturday, December 13, 2014 at Lakeland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, with his family by his side.

Born in Chicago, Ill., on Sept. 30, 1929, Sam moved to the area as a young man after he met and married the late Grace Cordaro, then of Coloma. Sam and Grace were married for nearly 63 years and resided in Fairplain. They were members of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, where Sam ushered for many years.

Sam was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, neighbor and friend to all who knew him. He loved people and “if you needed it he’d gladly give you the shirt off his back.”

Mass of Christian Burial for Sam will be Celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, 555 E. Delaware Ave., Benton Harbor, with Fr. William J. Jacobs, Jr., officiating. Burial will follow at North Shore Memory Gardens.  Visitation for friends will be from 6-8 p.m. Friday, followed by an 8 p.m. Rosary at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Road. St. Joseph.  The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorials in his honor be made to St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, or Hospice at Home.  Those wishing to sign Sam’s Memory book online may do so at

 A workaholic, Sam retired from Auto Specialties Manufacturing Company in 1994 after over 40 years of service in the company’s maintenance department. After retiring from Auto Specialties, he also worked for a number of years at Vail Rubber Co., in St. Joseph.  In additon, Sam was a vocational education instructor at Lake Michigan College, where he was honored in 1985 by the LMC Board of Trustees for 16 years of service as an advisory committee member for electro-mechanical and metallurgical technology programs. He also helped obtain more than $25,000 in equipment for LMC, donated by area companies and distributors, and helped place graduates in jobs. In addition, he was a bartender at both the St. Joseph River Yacht Club and the former Vince’s Club 33. In 2000, he was named admiral of the yacht club’s annual Venetian Festival for over 20 years of dedication and volunteer work to the festival. It was an honor he cherished.  Sam was also a longtime, dedicated, volunteer of the St. Joseph Township Fire Department, a member of the Neighborhood Watch program, St. Joseph Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 96, and Benton Harbor Knights of Columbus Council 1120.  In his later years, he was a courier for Lakeland Regional Health System in St. Joseph, and together with his late wife, Grace, were honored in 2007 for logging 16,620 hours of volunteer service to the hospital.  Sam was a longtime fan of  Notre Dame Football.   He enjoyed attending the extracurricular events of his grandchildren.

He is survived by his two daughters, Marie (Alan) Arend of St. Joseph, and LuAnn Anderson of Baroda; grandchildren Allison Arend of St. Joseph, Matthew Arend of Denver, Colo., and Shelby Anderson of Baroda.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Grace, and his parents, Frank and Lena Guardino.  The family wishes to thank neighbors Herb and Jan and Parish Nurse Katrina Ogata for their support and care during Sam’s illness.