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Samuel Cortina

Samuel Benjamin Cortina

Friday, May 29th, 1925 - Saturday, February 6th, 2021
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Samuel Benjamin Cortina, age 95, of Pennington, NJ, entered into God’s eternal rest on Saturday, February 6, 2021. Born and raised in Trenton, NJ, Sam was a lifelong area resident, residing in Mercerville for 56 years. He was a graduate of Trenton Central High School Class of 1943, he received his Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education from Trenton State Teachers College and his Masters in Education from Rutgers University. In high school he was All-State in both football and track. He captained the Trenton State Varsity Football team as a freshman, upon returning from WWII. Samuel was a teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent in the Trenton School system for over 40 years. Sam served as the Principal at Monument, Woodrow Wilson, and Grant Elementary Schools prior to serving as the Vice-Principal at Junior 2 and then as Principal at Junior 4.

Sam served in the U.S. Coast Guard in the North Atlantic during World War II beginning in August of 1943 until his honorable discharge on April 1, 1946. Sam was involved in many civic and social activities in the Trenton area. He was associated with the Boys Club of Trenton and the Trenton Jewish Community Center “JCC” for over 20 years. He was a member of the Hamilton Knights of Columbus Council No. 6213 where he served as a 3rd Degree Knight, a member of the D.A.V. Chapter 41 of Hamilton, a member of the V.F.W. Post 3525 of Hamilton, and a member of the FERMI Federation. He was a member and Official Emeritus of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. He was certified as an NJSIAA football official in 1949 and also administered the NJ State Cadet Training Program that trained others to become football officials. Sam officiated football and track on the field well into his 80’s, at the concern of his children, for a total of almost 60 years. As a concession, he resigned to running the clock for the remainder of his career. A lifelong learner, it was necessary for him to learn how to use the computer and the Internet in order to receive his scheduling assignments for track and football.

Sam was a parishioner of Our Lady of Sorrows Church since 1961. He was a loving and devoted son, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, friend and mentor to many.

Son of the late Luigi and Mary (DeReno) Cortina; husband of 70 years to the late Gilda (DiPastina) Cortina; brother of the late Gino, Pasquale “Pat”, Louis Cortina, and Antonia (Cortina) Frascella; Samuel is survived by his four children, Dr. Gary A. Cortina and wife Leslie, Dr. Gregory S. Cortina and wife Donna, Jane R. Cortina-Demorest and husband Mark Demorest, Dr. Karen G. Cortina Davis and husband Mike Davis; seven grandchildren, Michael Cortina, Christopher Cortina and wife Jamie, Douglas Cortina, Brian Cortina and wife Cathie, Matthew Cortina, Lauren Williams and husband Jeff, Gregory Davis and wife Rachel; six great-grandchildren, Samuel, Ben, Julia, Lily, Rowen, and Brooke; sisters-in-law, Florence and husband Andy DePativo, and Dorothy Cortina (Gino); and cousin, Pasqualino “Lino” Cortina and wife Geri; as well as many nieces, nephews and other family and friends.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 11:00 AM at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 3816 E. State St. Ext., Hamilton, NJ. Entombment will follow in Greenwood Cemetery, 1800 Hamilton Ave., Hamilton, NJ. There will be no calling hours. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Parkside Brenna-Cellini Funeral Home, 1584 Parkside Ave., Ewing, NJ 08638. Please visit Samuel’s tribute page at
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Service Details

  • Service

    Wednesday, February 10th, 2021 | 11:00am
    Wednesday, February 10th, 2021 11:00am
    Our Lady of Sorrows Church
    3816 East State Street Extension
    HAMILTON, NJ 08619
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Greenwood Cemetery
    1800 Hamilton Avenue
    HAMILTON, NJ 08619
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


  • Coast Guard
  • Disabled American Veteran
  • Knights of Columbus
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars


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Private Condolence
Plant a Tree in Memory of Samuel
6 trees have been planted in memory of Samuel Benjamin Cortina

Don and Denise Marazzo

Posted at 08:21pm
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Your father was a kind and generous man. With heartfelt sympathy and fond remembrances. Love

3 trees were planted in the memory of Samuel Cortina

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Heartfelt Sympathies

Posted at 03:52pm
So sorry to hear of Sam's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this unimaginable time. - Ben, Christine, and Ella Taylor
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Samuel Cortina — Plant a Tree Now

Margaret Thacker

Posted at 11:37am
I was so sorry to hear for "Sam's" recent passing. As a past member of the Brandywine Living staff I got to know Sam pretty well in the years I was there. Sam used to come to the chair yoga class I led, even after I retired due to Covid 19. Because of the pandemic we had to have the class outside in the parking lot until it became to cold to do so. Sam had a great sense of humor and was always so grateful for any extra help I could give him (like helping him match his clothes or fix his phone, etc...). He loved music and though he couldn't read the song sheets he still came to our sing-a-longs and any other musical programs or educational progarms that were offered. He often lamented about the challenges of getting old but kept right on going when the going got really tough. Sam will be greatly missed by all that knew him. Rest in peace, Sam! Sincerely, Peghi Thacker

Jack and Susan

Posted at 11:05am
Janie, Wishing you comfort and sending you love.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Samuel Cortina — Plant a Tree Now

Peter Felix John Lieggi

Posted at 09:32pm
Dear Dr Cortina and Family,

My deepest sympathy, and my prayers for you and the entire family.

Pete Lieggi


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Book of Memories - Brenna-Cellini Funeral Homes
Proudly Serving the Communities of Hamilton , Hamilton, Bordentown, Trenton, Ewing, Lawrenceville, Princeton, Robbinsville, all of Mercer County, Burlington County, Bucks County, and and surrounding areas.
| 609-584-8080 | Brenna-Cellini Funeral Homes
2365 Whitehorse Mercerville Road
Hamilton , NJ 08619
| 609-882-4454 | Brenna-Cellini Funeral Homes
1584 Parkside Avenue
Ewing, NJ 08638
| 609-584-8080 | Brenna-Cellini Funeral Homes
2365 Whitehorse Mercerville Road
Hamilton , NJ 08619
| 609-584-8080 | Brenna-Cellini Funeral Homes
2365 Whitehorse Mercerville Road
Hamilton , NJ 08619
| 609-584-8080 | Brenna-Cellini Funeral Homes
2365 Whitehorse Mercerville Road
Hamilton , NJ 08619