Mr. Leo J. Sammon Jr. was raised in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Mr. Sammon was a star athlete at Pittsfield High School. He was a three-sport student and played baseball, basketball and football. He was the substitute first baseman on the high school baseball team. He graduated from Pittsfield High School in 1943. During World War II, he served as an officer in the Army Air Force.
Mr. Sammon began his career, in education, as a member of the staff at Hudson High School. He served on their staff from 1953 to 1956. He transferred to Herkimer High School in 1956. Mr. Sammon came to Ilion High School in 1957. At Ilion, he began as a citizenship education teacher and football line coach.
From 1959 until August 1960, he was Ilion's vice-principal. He was named acting principal of Ilion High School in August 1960. He succeeded Robert H. Hall whose resignation became effective September 15, 1960. Mr. Sammon was later permanently appointed principal.
Mr. Sammon was the Principal during the 1963 high school fire. On Sunday night, April 21, 1963, the high school was destroyed by a fire. Damaged areas of the building included the auditorium, girls' gymnasium, 25 classrooms, and the administrative offices on the second floor. There was evidence that the fire was the result of arson.
Leo J. Sammon Jr., age 49, of 5 Hall St., principal at Ilion High School, died Sunday, August 4, 1974, in Mohawk Valley General Hospital. He died after being stricken at the high school track while jogging with his son.
Herkimer County Coroner Malvin Applegate, ruled that death was due to natural causes. Mr Sammon died of a coronary thrombosis. Dr Zafar Haider, a pathologist, performed the autopsy.
Mr. Sammon was a member of the Ilion United Methodist church and formerly was a member of the church's Board of Trustees. He was also a member of the Ilion Conversation Club.
Mr. Sammon also served as president of the Iroquois League. The league members ranged from Little Falls High, with a 400 enrollment to Oneonta Central, which had 700 students. Rome Catholic High School, Norwich, Mohawk, Ilion, Herkimer and Frankfort were other members of the Iroquois League. It sponsored varsity and junior varsity teams in football, cross country, basketball, wrestling, baseball, track and field. The League also operated winter sports competition in badminton, volleyball, bowling and table tennis.
His professional affiliations included serving as state chairman of the resolutions committee of the Secondary School Administrators Association of New York; a member of the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Herkimer County Principals Association. He coached football and basketball and served as director of boys and girls camps.
Mr. Sammon was survived by his wife, Audrey, a daughter, Deborah and a son, Leo J. III, both at home. He also left a sister, Mrs. Charles (Marjorie) Frambach, and a brother, Herbert, both of Pittsfield.
Mr. Sammon's wife, Audrey Sammon, was also a teacher at Ilion High School. She died in 2002.
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