Sam Adrignola

Sam Francis Adrignola

Friday, August 17th, 1923 - Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020
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Sam Adrignola

The facts of Sam Adrignola’s life are like reciting a roadmap of history:

- Oldest of four children in an Italian-American family that struggled for survival during the Great Depression.
- First Italian accepted into the Swedish run tool-and-die industry in Rockford, Illinois.
- Served in the Army Air Corps as a navigator on B-29’s during World War II and the Korean War flying 54 missions and retiring from the Air Force as a Lt. Colonel.
- While working and raising a family he earned a degree in Engineering from San Diego State University.
- Led the team that invented the antenna system that allowed the Lunar Landing Module to land on the moon.
- Married to his childhood sweetheart, Anna Tangorra for seventy-four years.
- Father of five children: Diana (Bob), Carl (Sherry), Steven, Lucia, and Angela (Kirk).
- Grandfather of nine: Jennifer (James), Matthew (Blair), Michael (Kim), Nicholas, Tony, Samantha (Max), Amanda, Krissy (Danny), Laura (Darnay).
- Great Grandfather of Lance, Sedona, Harlow, Aston, Leia, Tobias, Micah, Aviana, Piper and Chandler.

Facts alone don’t fully describe a man of Sam’s depth and love. He dedicated his life to his family, his God, and his country in that order. He repeatedly would marvel at how blessed he was and wouldn’t hesitate to tell you that his greatest success in life was his marriage and his family. Within his family he was known for his wisdom, optimism, good nature, and willingness to give you a straight answer. To all in his family, Sam was most importantly known as a source of unconditional love and support.

To those who met him, he was like the heat lamp that brightens your world and warms your being. And to all of mankind he is the symbol of what is the best in all of us, the best we can strive to be.

In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to Rady Children’s Hospital via or your favorite veteran’s charity in his honor.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Holy Cross Cemetery
    4470 Hilltop Dr.
    San Diego, Ca 92102
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Services for Sam Adrignola will be held at a later date & time
Services for Sam Adrignola will be held at a later date


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Connie Terwilliger

Posted at 11:26am
Anna, I will miss your sweet husband. He was like a second father. When this quarantine is over, I will give you a long hug.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Sam Adrignola

Connie Terwilliger

Posted at 11:20am
I raise a cup of coffee to my dear friend. Always a kind word. Always a smile. Generous in every way. Sam will be in my heart forever.

Jerry Tucker

Posted at 10:24pm
So Sorry to hear about Sam. Please let me know if you need anything.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Sam Adrignola

Carl Maggio

Posted at 12:07pm
For my beloved Uncle Sam, who will be sorely missed. All our love is with you.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Sam Adrignola

The Talmadge Sisters

Posted at 06:50pm
On behalf of the Talmadge Sisters, we send our love and appreciation for Sam's friendship and generosity to our community.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Sam Adrignola

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