ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Samuel Watkins Sr., 61 years old, born on July 30, 1959, and passed away on May 15, 2021. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Kevin Lynch on June 9, 2021
Sam was not just a friend to me; I considered him to be my brother. I met him while I was a student at Princeton and he was a student at Princeton Theological Seminary. Our shared love of basketball initially brought us together and we played together almost everyday at Dillon Gym. Sam was an incredible player. I wish that we had social media back then because videos of Sam's exploits on the court would go viral. 

But everyone who knew Sam will attest that he was an even better person. An incredible package of good looks, intelligence, strength, kindness and humility.
He taught me so much and was there for me during some challenging times in my life. Words truly can not express how much he meant to me.

My thoughts and prayers are with Inga, their children and other family members.
Posted by Michael D'Arcy on June 5, 2021
You go through life and you meet a lot of different people but very few make an impression on you like Samuel Watkins did. I worked with Sam on several law related projects, and he was a joy to be around. I often thought what a much nicer, kinder world we would have if we had more people with his warmth, empathy, and fundamental decency. Sam loved to talk, and he had great stories. He was interested in people, and he had the ability to make you feel at ease no matter what the conversation or situation you were in.
He always spoke so positively of his family, and their security and well-being were his guiding light.
Sam was a Queens guy, and he was the best of Queens. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.

Posted by Wallace Jenkins on June 2, 2021
Words cannot express how deeply sorry I am to hear of his passing. Seems like yesterday we were in my car heading back to Westchester after a service for the mother of a close mutual friend.
Sam was a remarkable person. He was also like a younger brother during our collegiate days.
Sincere condolences to the family.
Gone but never, ever forgotten. Rest in piece my brother.
Wally Jenkins. Class of 1978
Posted by Haywood Miller on June 2, 2021
Losing Sam "too early" impacts a lot of his college classmates well beyond the circle that is familiar to Inga and the kids. The social media for Sam is definitely trending among his college friends and acquaintances.  I knew Sam from Kirkland House, the Owl Club and the normal jock circles. Since college, I ran into Sam often and got to meet his wonderful family at various stages of life. As we approach retirement, I was looking forward to spending more time with them all. Caroline and I remember meeting Inga at our house in Frederick, MD when our oldest were babies. We also met the family in DC for brunch when Sam was at Howard. I ran into Sam multiple time in NYC - once outside of Grand Central. We last had dinner at the Harvard Club in NYC. We spoke often, never going more than a few months despite the crazy schedules of young parents. Over the past year, we spoke more time than ever before and Sam helped me understand the crazy world we find ourselves living in. I last spoke to Sam in February before things took a downward path and he was very upbeat and optimistic about work and life. When I heard the bad news and missed the prayer vigil, I texted Sam and got a thumbs up symbol in return. It made me cry and I am not a crier. This loss is just too early. God Bless you Sam.
Posted by Yvette Jackson on May 26, 2021
My heart is heavy, and the tears continue to flow intermittently as I accept the reality that Sammy is now in Heaven with the Lord and other loved ones. I knew Sammy his entire life. Our families moved to Bayside within the same year, and lived three houses apart. I'm the same age as his sister Terri, so he and I didn't interact that much. Our Dad's used to take us kids to Jones beach in the summer, and there were birthday celebrations, etc.. However it was when Sammy became an adult that I realized just how unique (and special) he was. There was never a time that his heartwarming smile was not seen from without; or felt from within. It permeated his being. His genuine love and kindness was ever present. When I think of Sammy; I am reminded of the scripture which states, "Let your light so shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven." (Matthew 5:16) Samuel Watkin's light exemplified that scripture. It shined brighter than most. He shall forever be remembered (and admired) for that, as well as other attributes that made him so endearing, and Christlike....Rest In Heavenly Peace Sammy.
Posted by Nana Kwesi on May 25, 2021
Greetings, salutations, condolences, and most of all, Love, to the entire Watkins Family. I met Sam a little over thirty years ago but I feel as though he was with me much longer than that. At that time, he was one of the few African-American law associates at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, and I was one of the few African-American members of the support staff there who was interested in eventually practicing law. Sam embraced me as a mentee, a friend, and a brother. One of my uncles often says that if you live your life without helping another human being, then you really haven't lived. Well, all of you know better than I do that Sam truly lived! He was a consistent source of inspiration to me as a human being, as a man, as a father, as a husband, as a brother, as a lawyer, and as a friend. I can't say enough to express how much I appreciate the many ways that Sam touched my life over the years. In order to give honor and respect to Sam in his transition from this world, his example will continue to be guide for--especially his humility. May all almighty God continue to bless and caress you all!
Posted by Mitchel Kelly on May 25, 2021
To all the members of Sam's beloved family, please accept my sincere condolences on your great loss. I knew Sam from Harvard, we were in Kirkland House together for our upper class year's, and we were in the Owl Club together as well. I had the good fortune of seeing him fairly often in NYC over the years that followed; he came to various parties I had over the years, and I sought his legal advice on at least one matter. I will never forget Sam's wonderful smile which set any room aglow. He was one of the kindest and sweetest gentlemen I have ever known. I miss, and my heart goes out to all who were touched by his warmth and kindness. Mitchell Kelly
Posted by William Yun on May 25, 2021
To the Watkins Family - so sorry for your loss and my deepest condolences. Sam and I were friends at Harvard and spent many enjoyable hours together. He was a real gentleman and fun to be around; always with a smile on his face and friendship in his heart. I wish I could have spent more time with Sam post-college, but in the times we got together - he was always so proud of his beautiful family! He will be missed by all. 
Posted by Gordon Bell on May 25, 2021
Sam Watkins was more than an honest intellectual and spiritual advisor. More than that tall, good looking guy with the beautiful wife and kids. He was my humble, accessible pal who led an exemplary life. Sam blessed everyone around him.

Our train rides to Manhattan were too short to finish sharing and laughing about life, contemplating God, analyzing current events and planning the future. It turns out that life is too short as well.  To that Sam would retort, “You know God orders our steps, remember your Faith and be at Peace.” With tearful eyes I look to my friend Sam, and say, “Thank you for everything, brother - Amen.”
Posted by David Champoux on May 25, 2021
Sam and I were Harvard classmates, and I got to know him through the Owl Club. I was consistently impressed by his dignity and self-possession, and his open and friendly manner toward everyone. Sam exemplified the scholar-athlete-gentleman that college and university communities are so rightfully proud to have in their midst. My deepest condolences go to his family and friends for their tremendous loss.
Posted by Stephen Brock on May 25, 2021
Stephen Brock
Groton ‘ 1977
Sam and I were high school roommates for 5 years, 8th through 12th grades, and co – captains of the Groton Academy (high school) basketball team described by the coach as “certainly the best ever.” On a basketball court, Sam was in essence our magic Johnson. He had to be one of the most aware, best all around contributors to victory the school ever had. He was the epitome of the player who made all teammates better. The magical experience of playing with Sam on this team is captured in 42 pages of materials Sam and a classmate put together in 1995, entitled An Invitation to Remember, featuring an extensive interview of Sam. I commend it for anyone interested in these subjects, especially the interview of Sam. It can be provided to anyone curious.

He seemed to know everybody. Throughout life people frequently sent information to me through Sam, because communicating with him was enjoyable. I frequently communicated through him for the same reason. 
Race and diversity can be difficult subjects to talk about. I can not recall a single instance in which I had difficulty talking about them with Sam.
In school and life Sam did his best to help me through low moments.
Sam’s faith, curiosity about others, ability to have conversations about difficult subjects easily, and enjoyment of others’ success have been life long inspirations.
Posted by L John on May 25, 2021
Watkin's family - We love and adore your family. To hear of Sam's passings was truly overwhelming. He was such a kind, generous, and supportive person. His legacy is living through each one of you. Please know that we are thinking of you, praying deeply for you, and declaring God's provision and peace over you and your family. We know the loss of losing a father and husband - and I sincerely hope that your memories will sustain you and comfort you. Time will heal you. We love you. You have our deepest condolences. Leticia John and Patricia John -
Posted by Jeff Kirschenbaum on May 25, 2021
We played ball together as kids. I think that's how I will always remember you. Your smile always lit up the room.
Posted by selina caradona on May 25, 2021
My heart is heavy and I'm so sad about Sam's passing. But I'm very happy to have met such a beautiful and kind soul! Inga hit the jackpot with Sam. Truly a beautiful couple with beautiful children. So much love for each other. Philip and I will miss his smiling face.
Posted by R.C. Patriarch on May 25, 2021
I extend my most Heartfelt Condolences to the Watkins Family. I have known Sam my entire life. Always an encouraging, thoughtful person.
A Great Son. Husband, Father and Friend.
May He Rest in Peace.
He will be Forever Missed.
Raymond Napier
Posted by Tim Palmer on May 25, 2021
Sam was one of my college roommates. It was a privilege to know him. His joyful approach to life was infectious. His personal discipline was admirable. He will be truly missed.
Posted by Bryan Harris on May 24, 2021
I appreciate and deeply treasure my fellowship with Sam.
He was a true example of a man of Valor who's love for his family is a template that all should follow. I'm grateful for all the deposits of kindness that he Shared with me a so many other. You will be greatly missed

Posted by Jim Yannopoulos on May 24, 2021
I remember returning to Groton School 6th Form (12th grade) year in 1973, still feeling somewhat intimidated by this educational institution of America’s aristocracy when I met this new 3rd Former (9th grader) from Bayside who already possessed an easy, natural charm and grace I could only dream of having. On top of that, he was quite handsome and obviously intelligent. I remember thinking, “wow, this kid has it all”. It was like he was born and raised for a place like Groton (although that wasn’t at all the case) and seemed to fit immediately and hit the ground running. At the same time, Sam had the greatest warm and genuine smile that just invited you to get to know him. Despite brimming with self-confidence, Sam remained grounded and real without even a whiff of conceit. It is a shame that such a bright light has been extinguished from the world so soon. From comments of family and friends who knew Sam throughout his life, it is obvious that he led a good, God-inspired life, with his family at the center. It is also obvious that he was loved very much and loved you very much, too.
Posted by Larry Lawrence on May 24, 2021
It is with a heavy heart, that we bid farewell to our brother Sam, such a humble, loyal and loving friend. Knew Sam from the many basketball games, both at Harvard and in NY, where his talent and competitive nature, were only surpassed by his wonderful and beautiful spirit. Always so humble, Sam was a pleasure to be with and an honor to know. We are better having known him and will always carry his memory in our hearts.
Posted by Robert Seignious on May 24, 2021
So difficult to fully realize how such a noble and strong man such as Sam has passed. He was always a man amongst men. My first friend dating back to 1964.
Our lives naturally take us on unique journeys that eventually separate us from childhood friends yet I always vividly remember my friend Sam.
When we last spoke we shared memories of growing up in Bayside and the ways our Lives are positive and blessed.
Truly a great man and a friend who for many will be irreplaceable.
Posted by Denise Leggett on May 24, 2021
It is with a heavy heart but also with incredible joy that I write this tribute to Sam Watkins. Joy because I had the privilege of knowing him.I met Sam over 40 years ago when I visited my then boyfriend now husband Christopher Leggett at Princeton. Sam was an incredible human being whose Christianity and faith were a shining example to anyone who ever met him. He was kind, a loving husband and father and a Strong but gentle spirit. His sense of humor and infectious laugh will be remembered. Thank you Inga for being his life partner and bringing him so much joy! Gone all too soon but Sam will never be forgotten by any of us who had the joy of knowing and loving him as our friend. Rest In Peace my dear brother!
Posted by Kevin McElhinney on May 23, 2021
I try not to judge people by their behavior when they were 18 years old, and I know for sure I would not want to be judged by how I was then. I can make an exception for Sam Watkins. He was a classy, kind gentleman when we were college freshmen and he remained one for the rest of his life. The basketball team in Heaven just improved.
Posted by Kim Rogers on May 23, 2021
The first time I met Sam; I thought "Here was Prince Charming personified" My sweet Sister had found a Gem. I will always remember Sam being an attentive and kind Man. I adored that Sam took care of his Family and raised beautiful children. Most of all I am happy to have been in his presence when he laughed out loud; or came in a room and was a lawyer in saying "what's up?" I believe and know He loved the Lord ! I will miss seeing Sam when we gather together again. Until we meet again Sweet Brother In- Law1.
Posted by Domingo Aviado on May 22, 2021

I remember being so young when I first met Sam. Our innocence, our simple joy of being kids is what those years were all about. We all grew up and left our childhood behind. Now I find it hard to reconcile the two. The adult reality that Sam’s good soul has passed and the time capsule of those days at Groton. I didn’t know Sam as an adult, but knowing him as a kid I know he made a difference to all who knew him. 
Posted by B. Owusu on May 21, 2021
To the Watkin’s family, I would like to offer my deepest condolences. Words can’t adequately describe how saddened I was, to hear the news, of Sammy’s transitioning. Sammy and I grew up in Bayside, playing ball in the park. I always considered he and his family dear friends. What I’ll most remember about Sammy, is his compassion and warmth, that exuded through his personality. I’m going to miss our conversations, at the Bayside Reunions, about the basketball prowess of Jimmy Sherman and Craig Pendergrass. You are gone but never forgotten. Rest in Power, Dear Friend.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Kevin Lynch on June 9, 2021
Sam was not just a friend to me; I considered him to be my brother. I met him while I was a student at Princeton and he was a student at Princeton Theological Seminary. Our shared love of basketball initially brought us together and we played together almost everyday at Dillon Gym. Sam was an incredible player. I wish that we had social media back then because videos of Sam's exploits on the court would go viral. 

But everyone who knew Sam will attest that he was an even better person. An incredible package of good looks, intelligence, strength, kindness and humility.
He taught me so much and was there for me during some challenging times in my life. Words truly can not express how much he meant to me.

My thoughts and prayers are with Inga, their children and other family members.
Posted by Michael D'Arcy on June 5, 2021
You go through life and you meet a lot of different people but very few make an impression on you like Samuel Watkins did. I worked with Sam on several law related projects, and he was a joy to be around. I often thought what a much nicer, kinder world we would have if we had more people with his warmth, empathy, and fundamental decency. Sam loved to talk, and he had great stories. He was interested in people, and he had the ability to make you feel at ease no matter what the conversation or situation you were in.
He always spoke so positively of his family, and their security and well-being were his guiding light.
Sam was a Queens guy, and he was the best of Queens. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.

Posted by Wallace Jenkins on June 2, 2021
Words cannot express how deeply sorry I am to hear of his passing. Seems like yesterday we were in my car heading back to Westchester after a service for the mother of a close mutual friend.
Sam was a remarkable person. He was also like a younger brother during our collegiate days.
Sincere condolences to the family.
Gone but never, ever forgotten. Rest in piece my brother.
Wally Jenkins. Class of 1978
his Life
Sam was a people person and had many friends from many walks of life. He will always be remembered for his illuminating smile, quiet strength and humility.  His love of Christ was evident to all he encountered.
Sam was a graduate of Harvard University, BA -1981, Princeton Theological Seminary, MA -1983, and Fordham Law School, JD-1986. He was admitted to the New York State Bar, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and was a member of the New York State Bar Association.  
A lawyer’s lawyer, Sam practiced at several large New York City law firms and at the time of his passing was a partner at Schwartz Sladkus Reich Greenberg Atlas LLP.  Sam’s extensive career included work as a trial lawyer with the U.S. Department of Justice, and as a senior counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  Sam was a corporate litigator with extensive experience in both the private and public sectors and had the opportunity to argue cases in the state and federal courts.
Although an accomplished attorney, no corporation could ever promote Sam to his most rewarding title of family man. With a love that spanned over 32 years, Sam and Inga were married on June 17th 1989 at the Fountainhead in New Rochelle, NY where they ultimately settled and raised three beautiful children, Brooke, Samuel Jr. and Brea. Sam prioritized his family at every turn of his life and instilled in his children the importance of character, honesty and determination.
Sam was one in a million! his kindness and compassion touched all who knew him. He will be sorely missed.
Lovingly Submitted,
The Family
Recent stories

My Eternal Brother !

Shared by Henry J Young on May 24, 2021
Sam, and in essence,  the  entire Watkins family of Bayside had always  been a presence in my childhood years . His father , LeRoy Sr , brothers LeRoy Jr and Joseph , as coaches in bball tournaments in Bayside and Corona , Patricia and Dorothy , as Sam’s supportive sisters and also my friends , and Sam as classmate, competitor / teammate . Sam and I were July birthdays and I saw that as a brotherly bond . I recall it was the summer before freshman year, “ the “ Summer of  Sam “. I had received my conditioning workout from Columbia Football . I had been talking with Sam about it . Progressive workouts meant to prepare me for the Freshman team that Fall . I don’t remember how it played out but I do recall not only did I have Sam offering his support by participating in those workouts , Sam’s father also participated ! I was overwhelmed by this father/son show of support. I will never forget it ....I can see how Sam developed into the great man that he became! His father and family provided the imprint , his community nurtured it , his spiritual beliefs guided him and his spirit soared ! What a wonderful human being ! I will always remember this beautiful man that enriched all who came across his path ! A humble, lovable man with an incredible intellect and the most endearing smile and laughter. Always even ! I never saw him upset or angered.  I extend my utmost condolences to his family !
RIP Sam , my eternalbrother !
Henry J Young

A great man!

Shared by Anthony Scott on May 23, 2021
I remember meeting Sam for the first time at St. Catherine AME Zion Church. It was an immediate click and I realized right away that Sam was a great man. As I got to know him and Inga and the children, I realized that he was a great husband and a great father. As the years went on and I got to know Sam better, I realized that he was a great Christian and a great friend. I am grateful that God brought Sam and his family into my life. We shared some great times at St Catherine and outside the church doors. To the family, I love you all and do know that I will truly miss Sam. He was a role model to me, how he carried himself, how he cared for his family, how he cared for others. This is a blow and I pray that God will comfort the family. May God continue to bless Sam's family.