Joseph Alfred Samson

Passed 09/04/2021


Obituary For Joseph Alfred Samson

Joseph Alfred Samson, 91, of Halifax, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Sept 4, 2021, , with
family by his side.

Born in the village of Little Anse, Isle Madame, NS, Joseph was the son of the late Albert and Mary Samson. He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Barbara (Parker) Samson; children, Kenneth Samson, Elizabeth Samson, Dean Samson (Beth) and Michele Samson (Robert); grandchildren, Kevin Samson (Ashley), Sarah Samson (Jonathan), Brandon Samson (Allison), Brittney MacLean (Jeremy), and Jillian Stubbert (Connor); great grandchildren, Kayli, Nicholas, Scarlett, William, and Lochlan; sisters, Margaret Landry and Yvonne Field; brothers, Harold (Linda) Samson and Leopold (Eileen) Samson; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sisters, Mary (Danny) Marchand, Martha (Bob) Peddle, and Edith Marchand, and brothers Ralph (Lydia) Samson, and Leo Samson.

Joseph left Cape Breton at the early age of 17, and headed for Halifax, NS, where he started working for Imperial Oil onboard the ships in the engine room. He talked fondly and often about his time there, telling stories of travelling through the Panama Canal, Paraguay, Venezuela, and Argentina. During his five years with Imperial Oil, he would spend his shore leave in Halifax. This is when he met Barbara, the love of his life. He was sure to remind her at every opportunity that it was love from the first moment. Barbara was new to the city and a few years his junior. He told her he was going to marry her in a few years, which he did! They were married in 1957. Shortly after they had their first child, Kenny, followed Liz, Dean, and Michele. Over the years their home became home to countless family members. Their door was always open to anyone in need of a warm bed. When expecting their first child, Joseph started what would be a 36-year career at the HMC Dock Yard as a supply man, so he could be home to raise his family. In later years he was joined at the Dock Yard by his sons: Kenny and Dean. He could not have been happier about it. Family was the most important to Joseph. He was a very proud father, grandfather, great grandfather, and uncle.

He was a remarkable Man, described by friends and family as generous, kind, warm, and tender. Acts of service were very important to Joseph. He was a dedicated blood donor with
over 200 donations in his lifetime. You could also find him at the Halifax Armouries, where he was a CIL Officer RCACC, 2501 Cadet Core. He was joined five years later by his son Kenny. They continued this together until Joseph retired in 1994.

One of Josephs many passions was horse racing. At any given time, you could find him at the track with his best friend Denny- caring for the horses and maybe placing a little wager here and there. Denny had many horses over the years and even named one after his best friend. “Samspace” became a champion racer and Joseph was incredibly proud of his namesake.

Joie De Vivre- Joy of Living, a perfect phrase for Joseph, or Papa as he was known to his family! Papa took pleasure in the small things in life. He would stop to smell the roses, iterally-maybe a little too much and would drive Barb a little crazy. He never sweat the small stuff. He knew the secret to a life well lived. He was generous with his time, love, and humor. He spent much of his time with his children, grandchildren and even his grand-puppies!

A hockey dad through and through, he loved to tell the story of gearing up his son Dean, who could not even skate, with goalie gear and carrying him to the net!

He was an avid gardener. His garden was abundant, and he loved to share his surplus with everyone. He loved being active and kept himself busy. More than anything, he loved spending time with his family. Even in his late 80’s he would go to work with his son Kenny or grandson Brandon as a helping hand. Papa was also very proud of his daughter Elizabeth and her many special Olympics medals. His youngest, Michele (“Me-Shel” as he would pronounce her name), was his little girl- they had a special relationship. She was a “daddy’s girl” and Papa cherished the time spent with her and her dogs.

To put into words who Papa was to his family, friends, neighbours, or anyone he met on the street on his daily walk, would be an impossible task. He loved to meet people and chat, boy did he like to chat. He could strike a conversation with anyone and instantly make a connection.

Joseph and Barb raised their family with unconditional love that radiated through generations. Life without Papa will never be the same, but we are so fortunate to have had the love and guidance of Joseph Samson, a “man of men” and a true friend to all.

We would like to give a special thank you to Dr. Andrew Humphrey, Family Medicine, Dr. John Grantmyre, Urologist, and Dr. Lori Wood, Oncologist, as well as the nurses, doctors, and caring staff at the VG Palliative Care unit. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the compassionate, loving care, and thank you for allowing Papa to be himself to the end- helping him reach his 100 Hugs to mark his hundredth birthday that he so often spoke of looking forward to. We are forever grateful.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Canadian Cancer Society, or Special Olympics

Celebration of Life will be on Oct 24, details to follow.


  • 12/03/2021

    My sincere condolences to Barb and her family. What a beautiful tribute to your loving husband and father. Sending big hugs to all the family. ❤️

  • 09/23/2021

    What a beautiful tribute to Papa Fred! He always had the best stories to tell and I'll sure miss hearing them. May his stories live on through all the great memories he shared with us. Lots of love ❤️

  • 09/20/2021

    So sorry to hear about condolences to Barb and all the family...Kathy Banfield-Powell

  • 09/18/2021

  • 09/18/2021

    To all the SAmson FAmily my deepest sympathy. Thanks to Elizabeth for telling me of her dad's passing. Remembering your dad and husband with fond memories. A wonderful neighbor to us at the Convent. Please let me know when the service will be.You are all in my prayers. Love and Sympathy, Sister Cecilia Mac Neil

  • 09/17/2021

    What a beautiful life lived and filled with so much love. Such an example for all. May he be greeted by all the angels in the heavenly realm and rest in peace forever. He will be truly missed by so many. Our deepest most heartfelt condolences to all his family.

  • 09/17/2021

    Beautifully written tribute to a special Uncle Fred in my life ❤️ I will cherish and always remember the stories he told me over the years, he was such a loving caring Uncle that will be missed by us all. The relationship he had with my Dad (Ted Duffy) is just unforgettable and they sure knew how to entertain us over the years with soo much laughter and love ❤️ ❤️ Valerie

  • 09/17/2021

    i am sorry to hear of a good friend(sammy),which is what I called him,has passed,he was my right hand man,in the dockyard,in QHM,it's a wonderful tribute to a great man, Steve Lutley

  • 09/17/2021

    A Great man. I had the pleasure of Serving with him at the 2501 Cadet Corps. Always was friendly and helping others. I know he will be missed by all... William Sampson

  • 09/16/2021

    Our condolences to all of Uncle Fred's family. He was such a kind, loving & fun uncle. There was never a dull moment when he was around. He was joined by his sister, 4 days later. I'm sure he was right there to greet her, at the gates of heaven. You will always hold a special place in our hearts. Until we meet again, sweet Uncle Fred💔🙏💔

  • 09/16/2021

    He was a father figure to me when I left Cape Breton he was the reason I moved to the big city and he and Aunt Barb helped mild me into who I am today he will be sadly missed by all the people in the world who knew him ,another angel taken from us to help in heaven RIP Uncle Fred You will forever be in my thoughts.

  • 09/16/2021

    Fred was best friends with my dad Ted. They enjoyed life together. This is a very sad time but as family lets all stick together, support one another and remember the great times. Dad and Fred were both perfect examples of enjoying life to the fullest. We love you and will miss you very much. Terry

  • 09/16/2021

    A lovely tribute to a wonderful man! I knew Fred from when he would drop into the Red Cross on Gottingen Street and was friendly to everyone. Loved his French accent and he would always ask me when I was going to retire even though I may have only been in my 40's. Love and condolences to his family.

  • 09/16/2021

    He will live on in many hearts. Beautiful tribute for a beautiful man. Nancy Wheaton

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