Robert H. Sammis ’51

Robert H. “Bob” Sammis, 89, of Lansdale, Pennsylvania, died Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at Abington-Lansdale Hospital. He was the husband of the late Joyce E. (Miller) Sammis.

After graduating from West Virginia Wesleyan College and completing his military service, Mr. Sammis began a lifelong career in finance. Initially on Wall Street as a security analyst after completing advanced programs with the New York Institute of Finance and then as a broker and manager with a regional NYSE member firm in the greater Bridgeport area. He then moved on to become the first Trust Investment Officer for the original Connecticut National Bank and subsequently a Senior Vice President at Union Trust Company (now a part of Wells Fargo). He also completed advanced studies at Williams College under the New England Banker’s Trust program. In addition to his professional career, he was heavily engaged in the area of community service. He served over his career as a Director of Family Services-Woodfield, the Greater Bridgeport Council of Churches, the Stratford VNA and a founder of the Community Foundation. He served as President of the Stratford Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce) and was awarded their prestigious Distinguished Service Award. He was a Director and President of PYE (Protect Your Environment) during the early years of environmental awareness. He was a Founder of Housatonic Community College and the Connecticut Harbor Management Association. He was the longest serving member and Chairman of the Stratford Waterfront and Harbor Management Commission and was recognized by both Governor M. Jodi Rell and the State Legislature for his service to the state and community in that role.

He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the American Festival Theater the successor to the Shakespeare Theater in Stratford. Because of its rich tapestry of aviation history, Bob and fellow enthusiasts formed the Connecticut Air and Space Museum covering the contributions of both lgor Sikorsky and Dr. Anselm Franz.

Mr. Sammis continued his post retirement activity acting as a portfolio consultant to other financial advisors, municipalities and charitable endowments in addition to individual clients. He takes particular interest in promoting a more global approach toward investments. Much of this interest stems from the travels with his wife, Joyce, to many corners of the world.

He has worked closely with various institutions including the University of Bridgeport where he was elected a Fellow of the International College dedicated to expanding the awareness of business potential of the Pacific Rim, principally China. He was also the sponsor of the Robert Sammis Lecture Series on doing business in China at the University of Bridgeport. He was a member of the committee, Trade and Diplomacy in Asia Pacific, which developed the certification of a graduate level curricula and parameters, thereto.

Upon retiring from banking, he continued to manage a number of portfolios and was instrumental in guiding many clients toward major gifts at various post secondary institutions.

Joyce and Bob retired once again to Lansdale, Pennsylvania so as to be nearer both children and grandchildren. They stayed active and continued to travel around the globe.

Surviving are his children, Nancy Hellendall (Kenneth) of Melrose Park and Jeffrey Sammis (Christine) of Leonia, NJ; four grandchildren, and sister, Martha Sammis of Allentown. He was predeceased by brothers, Donald S. Sammis Jr., and Wilson F. Sammis; and a sister, Martha.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

One thought on “Robert H. Sammis ’51”

  1. Bob and I were close friends both at Williston and afterward in CT where we both lived and worked. I’m just glad that we could see and talk to him at our virtual get together just a few weeks ago.

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