A photo of Dr. Paul Henry Sammelwitz

Dr. Paul Henry Sammelwitz

March 13, 1933 - January 1, 2021

Dr. Paul Henry Sammelwitz passed away peacefully on January 1, 2021 after a brief illness.

Paul was born in Buffalo, NY on March 13, 1933 to the late Frederick and Elsie (Blum) Sammelwitz. He grew up as the younger brother to three older sisters. Paul spent many summers at his relative’s farms where he worked and enjoyed farm life. He graduated from East High School in 1951. Paul attended Cornell University where he was the manager of the football team for all 4 years. He graduated with a degree in dairy and agricultural sciences in 1955. Paul went on to attend the University of Illinois where he received his Masters’ and Doctorate Degree in reproductive physiology in 1959. Throughout his training and career, Paul was a member of various scientific fraternities and organizations.

He joined the University of Delaware in 1959 as an Associate Professor in the College of Agricultural and Natural Resources, teaching anatomy, physiology, and genetics. “Dr. Samm”, as he was referred to by his students, was well loved and admired. Paul’s area of specialty was poultry sciences, and he was known as the expert on the Blue Hen bird. Paul was a pioneer in the use of technology in teaching. In the late 1970s, he was among the first in the College to use computer programming as a supplement to laboratory lessons. In 1974, Paul and Dr. David Frey started the Annual Ag Day event which continues today. Paul became a tenured professor later retired from University of Delaware in 1999 after 40 years of teaching, mentoring, and advisement.  His passion was being an educator, as witnessed by the many students he inspired.

Paul was an active member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Newark, where he served in many leadership capacities and on various boards over the 60 years. He was a big supporter of Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of Delaware. Paul also volunteered his time for many years as a member of the Delaware Maryland Synod, and traveled to monthly meetings in the Baltimore area.

He enjoyed many activities and sports including sailing, skiing, running, biking, canoeing and camping.  He learned to snow ski in his 30s after he arrived in Delaware. Paul enjoyed football especially watching the University of Delaware Blue Hen’s and the Philadelphia Eagles. He instilled a love of sports in all his children.

Paul and his wife, Diane, celebrated 58 years together in August of 2020. Their first date was in Longwood Gardens and they continued as members throughout the years. They enjoyed traveling and attending Elderhostel programs in their retirement. They moved to Jenner’s Pond Retirement community in West Grove, PA in 2011. At Jenner’s Pond, Paul sang in the choral group, participated with the wood shop and perfected his hobby of caning chairs. He liked to play Sudoku and spent time learning new things and communicating to others via his computer.

Paul is preceded in death by his wife Diane; son, Michael Moore; and sisters, Ruth Preusch and June Holden. He is survived by his children, Christopher Moore Sammelwitz and Ellen (Stephen) Casey; 3 grandchildren, Deirdre, Niall and Rebecca Casey; sister Alice Kryszczynski; many nieces and nephews; and beloved friends and colleagues.

Services and interment will be held privately.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages contributions to:

  1. St Paul’s Lutheran Church, 701 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19713 or the Tithe.ly link to Paul Sammelwitz Memorial www.stpaulsnewarkde.org

And/Or

2. Paul H. Sammelwitz Scholarship Fund, University of Delaware, Gifts Processing, 83 East Main Street, 3rd Floor, Newark DE 19711

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23 Condolences for Dr. Paul Henry Sammelwitz

  • An outstanding teacher, a great listener, a kind & genuine person. Hands down my favorite professor in the ag college. Will surely be remembered by everyone he taught & mentored. My sincere condolences to his family & friends. —Steve News (Class of 1988)

  • Uncle Paul was quite a pioneer will surely be missed. He and Aunt Dee were such a special couple. Our love and prayers to Ellen & Chris and family.

  • Chris, Ellen, and family,
    Sending our condolences and a big virtual hug. I’m remembering a particular Halloween in the early 1960s when your Dad assembled the neighborhood children, darkened the family room, and with spooky music playing passed bowls of blood vessels (spaghetti), and eyeballs ( baby onions), around and told scary stories to a large number of us. Creative, humorous, playful, he had a great chuckling laugh. Your Dad and Mom lived the qualities of integrity, humility, and honesty, and were such a warm and caring couple. Strong and steady, adventurous, creative, and showing grace in the face of grief, – an example to us all.
    There was a tree along the fence line in their back yard that was slowly being toppled by time and gravity. When they asked me if it should be removed I could tell how much they cared for and loved that tree. I told them I thought we could wait until it was really ready to fall. We carefully watched it bending slowly ever-lower, until it was inevitable. Those additional years were like an allegory of their own slow movements toward the decision to leave their home and make a new home at Jenner’s Pond.
    Your parent’s qualities are well-mirrored in your own lives: integrity, caring, honesty, humility, goodness. Their legacy lives on!
    Love,
    Pat

  • Dr. Samm was indeed an exceptional person and a true pioneer. He took the time to learn all our names freshman year, making the transition in to college much easier. He introduced us to computers, always had a silly question on his exams to make us laugh. A kind and gentle. My condolences to his family. Marcy Murphy (class of 1987)

  • So sorry to hear of Dr. Samm’s passing. I will always remember his passion for teaching and his genuine concern for the students in his classes. He was one of the best, most dedicated and supportive members of the faculty at UD. RIP Dr. Samm.

  • I was so sorry to hear of Paul’s passing and to learn of Diane’s as well. Paul and I were co-directors of the UD Summer Institute of Educational Technology. He was a wonderful friend and mentor as we worked together. He and Diane hosted summer evening get togethers for all and were the most gracious of hosts. Although we lost touch over the years, we were always so happy when we did run into each other. My condolences to all his family and know that both Paul and Diane were well-loved and respected.

  • I decided to go back to school at U of D when I was 42 yrs old. I wanted to major in animal science and I loved the Ag dept. Dr. Samm taught anatomy and physiology which I enjoyed so much, he was a fine teacher and actually taught me how to use the computer and use the technology that I never learned growing up in the 60s and 70s. He definitely had a life well lived!!!

  • Lots of good times at the lake. Playing cards swimming and watching children grow. Another void in our lives.

  • Paul was a great father whom enjoyed every moment of life. He will be missed.

  • Dr Same was my favorite professor! Such a kind gentle soul who genuinely cared for his students. He made the transition to college a lot less scary! And, years later when I became a teacher I patterned a lot of teaching methods after his. God bless you Dr Samm, may you Rest In Peace.

    Kathy J. King class of ’87

  • Dr. Samm was a truly wonderful colleague and mentor that brought so much to our department. Whenever I would attend events that attracted alumni, the first question always asked was “Is Dr. Samm still teaching.” He has mentored thousands and thousands of teachers, veterinarians, scientists, extension specialists, animal scientists and colleagues. Known for his kindness and for truly listening to students, his impact and legacy are immeasurable. Dr. Samm’s scholarships are awarded each year to the most improved student – which says so much about him. We are blessed to have known him.

  • Many happy memories of Dr. Sammelwitz and classes while at UD. His influence as an instructor and leader were important to many – including myself.
    Condolences on his passing.

  • Dr. Samm, you will be missed. You taught so much more than Animal Science. Humility and passion for your career were some of the Important things I learned in your class and lab.

  • I remember and give thanks for Paul; a friend and a fellow worker in the vineyard; a leader of St Paul’s (though he , could claim many committee chairs and church council positions, his proudest work was as an usher which he did for over 50 years) a champion of Lutheran campus ministry (the chapel at the UD center is named for him), a tireless worker for the poor and needy (at St Paul’s he started the Code Purple ministry of housing the homeless on the coldest nights and was involved in launching the FISH grocery club that includes students as workers for the hungry). By my estimation he spent over a million hours at Synodical meetings as a Synod Council member, Assembly delegate and Campus Ministry advocate. His pioneering work of interfacing computers with class-room learning was so early he was ten steps ahead of us all. He was an athlete to the end, biking around town into his 80’s. And on top of all that he was a beloved professor, a great husband and a loving dad. Paul and Diane were an inspiration and a teacher to us all. They both will be missed.

  • A sad passing for this world that could certainly use many more like Dr. Samm. A passionate teacher, great colleague and with his wife, Diane, always a fixture at any and all Ag Days, CANR and ANFS holiday parties, they were truly a pleasure to know. Certainly a life well-lived. His impact will live on in our alumni (ae) for generations.

  • Saddened to hear of the passing of Paul and his wife Diane. He was always a friendly and welcoming face in Townsend. It was joy to travel as the birds (DE Blue Hen) and bees for student recruitment efforts prior to his retirement. May he rest in well deserved Peace with the Lord when he will remain, I am sure, as a life-long learner and teacher.

  • Dr Samm taught me A&P over 40 years ago — because of his solid foundation I was able to pivot my research to meet new challenges. In my second act, I too am teaching A&P — I hope that I can do as good a job for my students as Dr Samm did for me.

  • Dr. Samm was always such a gentleman, character (tootling around campus on his bike) and passionate professor. I have such fond memories of his classes and time at Ag Hall RIP Dr. Samm.

  • Dr. Samm was a great teacher and person to work under as a teacher’s assistant. He was a great adviser to the Ag College Council when I was there. I graduated in 1981 to go on to veterinary school. He and Diane welcomed ag students to their house for social events. I saw him about 8 years ago at Ag Day and he had not changed a bit. He had seats across the aisle from me at UD football games and that is when I last saw him. My sincere sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the family. Rest in Peace Dr. Samm

  • Paul was one of the kindest, gentlest people I have ever known and a part of the fabric of my life through St. Paul’s for 30 years. I will miss him. My prayers and blessings to the family. Kathryn Keating

  • I grew up at St Paul’s with Paul Sammelwitz as a mentor and later a friend and fellow worker for God. His son, Michael, was a classmate of mine. His wife, Diane, was a light of peace and hope for me after my own father died during my junior year of high school. Paul’s gentle spirit and mentoring was a genuine and gentle guide for the students at the UD and the high school students in the church. He will truly be missed. His smile that reached his eyes, his lovely chuckle and laugh will be treasured by me. Your memory will be a blessing. Rest In Peace, Sir. Much love.

  • Dr. Samm was my introduction to Animal Sciences and I went on to graduate from the department and become an employee here, I never left. He was a wonderful teacher… kind, funny, excited and passionate about getting us to learn. He always had a smile on his face. We can all remember him riding his bicycle to class and through the college campus. He was the best of all of us, a genuine old fashioned person seemingly straight out of a Norman Rockwell. I feel truly fortunate to have had the opportunity to be his student.

  • Paul and Dianne were an active part of my life at the U of Del through the Lutheran Student Association. They were both such caring people. We saw each other throughout the years when I can back to Newark to visit family. I was blessed to have know both of them and shall miss their smiles and joy of life. My prayers goes out to their family in sympathy for their loss. I have been blessed to have had them in my life. Carol Smith
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