Reynaldo C. Samala — also known/loved as simply Rey, Boy, Boyito, Lolo, Papa Samala and Chico — took his last breaths and beats the evening of Sunday, July 26, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. He was 73 years old and passed peacefully with Fe, his wife of 52 years and his favorite travel buddy, by his side. Two of his children, Glenn and Christina, were also with him on his last day and final moments.
Boyito was born in the Philippines and emigrated to the United States in 1971 on Fe’s H1B visa to work in Harlem Hospital’s ICU, narrowly escaping the Marcos dictatorship. He created beautiful and warm homes for himself and his family in Yonkers, Coral Springs, Nyack, Nashua and Orlando. In addition to being a superlative husband and proud father, Rey also excelled at being a “local” — frequenting pizzerias, bagel shops, favorite restaurants, food carts/trucks and delis until he became a well-known and much-loved fixture — both in cities he did and did not live in.
Lolo, an alumnus of Mercy College and Philippine Christian University, held Bachelor's Degrees in Finance and Marketing. He spent the majority of his career at Bide-A-Wee Home Association in Manhattan. As its President & CEO, he created the world’s first ever pet retirement home in Long Island, found good homes for countless dogs and cats, and made an unknowable number of families happy. In the moments after 9/11, he swiftly organized veterinary care and support for the dogs working search and rescue at the World Trade Center. Rey had many professional achievements including holding senior management positions at PepsiCo Inc., Aircoa Hilton and InterContinental; serving on the Board of Directors of Global Media Distribution and as Executive Vice President of Global Media Entertainment; and serving as a Trustee and Director of the Board of Dominican College. His storied and diverse career spanned leadership in Corporate America, Finance, Consumer Products, Manufacturing, Not-For-Profit and Higher Education. For all his tremendous professional accomplishments, Rey took the most amount of pride in the fact that he was able to send his kids to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University at Buffalo, Pfeiffer University, Clemson University, and the Wharton School and the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.
Chico was a strong person in every way who also had a soft spot for animals. Together with his beloved wife of more than five happy decades, they gardened everyday. He took particular joy in feeding the birds and saying good morning to geckos, frogs and other animal friends. Boy enjoyed tennis for decades but enjoyed traveling, delicious food, good wine, being in excellent company and long conversations most. He was never one to shy away from a fight or a debate and was known to maybe pick one from time to time. His wit was sharp, his words short but never minced, his heart generous, his mind curious. He delighted in learning. Rey revelled in a good story and had seemingly endless ones of his own to tell. Those who knew him best know he was never above an embellishment or two to really make a story memorable.
He is survived by his wife Fe; his children George, Glenn and Christina; his daughters-in-law Laura, Skye and Amy; and grandchildren Dylan, Hana, Paxton, Rachel, Lindsay and Jordan.
It was always Rey’s wishes that there be no viewing and no memorial. Instead, please enjoy your favorite beverage and meal, for and with him. If you drink wine, a nice glass of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo would be particularly appropriate.
If you are so moved, Rey would have appreciated donations in his name be made to:
●Fund research for a rare kidney disease called C3GN research via the Kidneeds Fund
●American Diabetes Association
●John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases
●Your favorite local animal humane society that does not practice euthanasia
His family humbly asks that, in his honor and instead of any services, you share a favorite story or memory of him.
The family is being cared for by CONRAD AND THOMPSON FUNERAL HOME 511 Emmett St Kissimmee, FL 34741 (407)847-3188.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Reynaldo C Samala, please visit our floral store.
American Diabetes Association
John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases