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Dec. 17, 1942 – June 18, 2013

Samuel R. Jempson, a retired Buffalo News district manager and a former officer with the Buffalo Newspaper Guild, died Tuesday. He was 70.

Born and raised in Buffalo, Mr. Jempson worked as a district manager at the Buffalo Courier-Express before leaving for The News, where he spent 38 years.

While at The News, Mr. Jempson was active in the Newspaper Guild, the union representing district managers, reporters, editors and others. He served on the union’s Executive Committee and several bargaining committees and rose to the office of unit chairman.

“Sam was never in it for himself,” said Dave Irwin, a close friend and fellow union member. “He was in it for the working people. He didn’t care who you were or what job you held. He worked on behalf of everyone.”

Mr. Jempson also was a charter member in the mid-1970s of Buffalo Neighbhorhood Housing, a group dedicated to revitalizing the city, and was active in forming the original Taste of Buffalo on Bailey Avenue.

Known for his trademark goodbye, “Have a Happy,” and his large adopted family, he was always the first one to offer a helping hand to anyone in need.

“If just one person benefited from what he did, he thought it was worth it all,” said Dennis Jempson, one of his many nephews and nieces. “Why does anyone do stuff like that? He just thought it was the right thing to do.”

A graduate of Seneca Vocational High School, Mr. Jempson went on to the Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science in Syracuse.

After school, he worked at E.J. Meyer Memorial Hospital in Buffalo and the Sieck and Mast Funeral Home in West Seneca.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday in Annunciation Catholic Church, 7580 Clinton St., Elma.