Samuel Jefferson DiNicola (70), of Tullahoma, Tennessee, succumbed to cancer and passed away on March 10, 2023.
Sam was born to Tony and Ruth DiNicola (Wood), on July 6, 1952, in Utica, New York. He attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, graduating with a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Sam dedicated a 37-year career dutifully serving Tennessee’s Department of Corrections, primarily as the Director of Training and Superintendent of the state’s Correctional Academy where all corrections workforce personnel were trained before being stationed across Tennessee. Before he retired as the Assistant Commissioner of Corrections in 2016, the academy’s auditorium was named in his honor.
Sam will be forever cherished and remembered by his son, Louie DiNicola, daughter-in-law, Tara, and beloved granddaughter Isabella of Charleston, South Carolina, along with lifelong friends and countless others he touched during his life.
Sam was a loving father and grandfather as “Pop Pop” and enjoyed classic movies, music, and cheering on Vanderbilt athletics. He embodied his beliefs as a Christian and attended First United Methodist Church for over 30 years.
Sam was a true servant leader and modeled courage, wisdom, discipline, and justice to those around him. His passion was volunteer community service and committed countless hours to Tullahoma’s Kiwanis International and the American Red Cross’s Heart of Tennessee chapters. Sam particularly enjoyed his time as the Master of Ceremonies for Tullahoma’s annual Fourth of July fireworks event and as a coordinator for the Red Cross’s Disaster Action Team, helping over 300 families and 900 individuals across middle Tennessee in their time of need. He was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2021.
At Sam’s request, there will be no funeral or memorial services. Instead, he asked that friends and loved ones enjoy a meal together and consider donations to the Heart of Tennessee chapter of the American Red Cross in his honor.
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