Sam Ferraro, 60, passes away; longtime director of Niagara County IDA

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Samuel M. Ferraro, of Niagara Falls, passed away Saturday, March 10, 2018, at the age of 60.

He was born in Niagara Falls, NY the son of Salvatore and Elvera (Matarazzo) Ferraro.

He was a graduate of the former Bishop Duffy High School and a lifelong resident of Niagara Falls, NY. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban-Regional Planning from Buffalo State University. In 1978, Sam began his professional career with Niagara County as a County Planner until joining the City of Niagara Falls, where he served as the Director of Planning and Economic Development.

Rejoining Niagara County as the Director of Planning, Development and Tourism. Sam was promoted to Commissioner of the Economic Devolvement Department in 1997 and appointed Executive Director of the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency in 2003.

His career covers over 40 years in planning and economic in Niagara County.

He loved to garden, travel with his wife, play with his two dogs and make family laugh.

Samuel is survived by his wife, Pamela (Dunbar) Ferraro; his siblings, Diane Butch (Joseph) of Niagara Falls; MaryAnn Fisher (John) of Canandaigua and Janet Morrow (Paul) of Newfane; nieces and nephews, Gina (Michael) Bellreng; Melissa (Jay) Santiago; Joelle Reynolds; Laura (Michael) Giroux; Renee Englert; Leanne (Rick) Primerano; Karl (J.B.) Hartman and Kristi (Eugene) McGrew; several great nieces and nephews.

There will be private services held at the convenience of the family. Memorials in Samuel’s memory may be made to Niagara Hospice, Inc., or to Roswell Park. The Lane Funeral Home Inc., is handling arrangements.

Sam Ferraro



LOCKPORT—Top County officials released the following statements in reaction to the death of longtime Niagara County Commissioner of Economic Development Samuel M. Ferraro.

Wm. Keith McNall, Chairman, Niagara County Legislature:

“It is with much sorrow that I announce the death of Sam Ferraro, Niagara County Commissioner of Economic Development. Sam Ferraro was a man of character and great integrity, and his hard work and contribution to economic development in Niagara County will be remembered for many years to come.

“His commitment to maintaining and fostering a climate welcoming to new businesses, and to business retention, has long been recognized. His years of service to bettering our Niagara County will be part of the legacy he leaves.”

Kathryn L. Lance, Chairwoman, Niagara County Legislature Economic Development Committee:

“I’m saddened to learn of Sam Ferraro’s passing. As our Economic Development Commissioner, Sam was a visionary whose ideas led to job creation in Niagara County. He was also a determined professional who understood that results came from the hard work of implementation, not just enthusiasm for ideas.

“I should also note that, as chairwoman of our Legislature’s Economic Development Committee, I worked closely with Sam, and over time came to think of him as a dear friend. I will miss him and his counsel, and I wish his family comfort at this time of grief.”

Richard E. Updegrove, Niagara County Manager:

“Sam Ferraro was one of the hardest-working members of this county’s team, and his upbeat personality and can-do attitude will be missed every single day. In the course of a 27-year career with Niagara County, and more than 40 years in the economic development field, Sam amassed great knowledge through his experience, formed valuable relationships, and was a great leader. He had the respect of every individual and organization that conducted business with Niagara County. His presence was felt well beyond the Center for Economic Development, and I know his absence will be as well.

“In my time as a county legislator, and former chairman of the Economic Development Committee, I came to know Sam not just as a department head, but as a good friend, a confidante, and a valued advisor—and that’s the reason I appointed him to serve as deputy county manager. His insights helped me succeed as a legislator, as a committee chairman, and as county manager. Niagara County lost a giant today, and I lost a friend.”




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