Samuel J. Magaro

Samuel Joseph Magaro, 82, retired Magisterial District Judge of Lower Paxton and West Hanover Township, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by his loving family on May 9, 2015.   He was born in Steelton, Pennsylvania and was a lifelong resident of Dauphin County.  He graduated from William Penn High School and attended Elizabethtown College and Penn State College.  He served in the United States Air Force and was a veteran of the Korean War. 


            Sam was a probation officer for Dauphin County, Chief Inheritance Tax Officer for Dauphin County, Research Analyst for the Speaker of the House of Representatives serving under Ken Lee and administrative assistant to the Republican State Committee.  In 1961, he owned and operated Magaro's Pizzeria and later Magaro's Tavern in homage to his parents, Guiseppe “Joseph” and Adelgisa “Agnes” Lappano Magaro, who, in 1938, were the first to introduce homemade pizza in the Harrisburg area. 


            In 1964, he was voted Outstanding Young Republican in Pennsylvania and he ran the nationwide seminar in Harrisburg and introduced Gerald Ford as the next president.  Samuel was elected Magisterial District Court Judge for Lower Paxton and West Hanover Township in 1975, where he served for 28 years.  In 1976, he was recognized for Legislative Service.  In 1983, he became Legislative Liaison for the Special Court Judges Association of Pennsylvania (SCJAP) under the leadership of the late Jimmy Russo.  In 1990, the Superior Court appointed Samuel to the Pennsylvania Forms Committee.  In 1992, he was appointed to the PA Minor Court Rules Committee.  In 1994, he was the first District Justice to be appointed to a 4 year term on the Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Disciple.  In 1996, he was recognized by the Special Court Judges Association of Pennsylvania.  In 2000, Samuel was elected District Justice of the Year and was the first recipient of the John Jeffers Award from the PA Special Court Judges Association for Outstanding Service.  He was the only lay person to hold the position in the SCJAP of “Chief Counsel”.  In 2000, he was elected President of the Special Court Judges Association of Pennsylvania.  In 2002, he was awarded the Themis Award for Dedicated Service and was the first judge to be honored with both awards by the SCJAP.  In 2002, the PA Supreme Court acknowledged Samuel for his dedication and service.  Sam rose to Senior Magisterial District Court Judge in 2002, serving until 2010.  In 2011, he was appointed to the Minor Court Education Board by the PA Supreme Court.  Sam was a member of the Judicial Conduct Board from 2001-2015 and over the years held the positions of member, Board Chair, Board Vice Chair and was currently holding the position of Board Secretary upon his passing.


            Sam was a member of Holy Name of Jesus Church, the Knights of Columbus 4th degree, American Legion Post 272, Special Court Judges Association of Pennsylvania, the Hershey Italian Lodge and Sons of Italy.  He had love of family, of faith, of friends and of the United States of America.  He loved continuing the Italian family tradition of cooking Sunday dinners for his entire family.  Sam loved to travel with his wife, loved the outdoors and enjoyed the company of his family and friends.


            Sam was married to his loving wife, Mary Roberto of Harrisburg, for 61 years.  In addition to his wife, he is survived by his five children, Natalie Behe of Harrisburg, Ninette Miller and husband Darrell of Harrisburg, Ann Marie Sallusti and husband Charles of Cumming, Georgia, Samuel Magaro, Jr and wife JoAnn of Oberlin, Anthony Magaro and wife Jacqueline of Camp Hill, 12 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, and a sister, Eleanor Mapes of California.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Guiseppe “Joseph” and Adelgisa “Agnes” Lappano Magaro, born in Cosenza, Italy, and sisters, Grace Bechtel, Anna Tarasi, and Francis Keller, and brother, Louis Magaro.


A mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, May 15, 2015 at 10:30 AM at Holy Name of Jesus Church, 6190 Allentown Boulevard in Harrisburg. Burial will be in Resurrection Cemetery, West Hanover Twp.


There will be no visitation.


The Dailey Funeral Home is honored to serve the Magaro Family.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Holy Name of Jesus Church or Grane Hospice of 4 Lemoyne Drive, Suite 201 Lemoyne, PA 17043. 

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