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Fiber Optics Pioneer Passes

Sam Di Vita, 97, of West Long Branch, died Friday, July 2, 2010, at home. Born in Rochester, N.Y., he was a resident of West Long Branch for the past 59 years. Sam was a scientist for the Department of the Army, Fort Monmouth, N.J. retiring in 1982 after 41 yrs. He began civilian service to the U.S. Army Signal Corps in 1941. His research on moisture proofing signal corps radio components resulted in a patent for hermetic seals.

He contracted with Rutgers University to improve ceramic insulator materials. He established a ceramic laboratory at the U.S. Army Research and Development Laboratory at Ft. Monmouth. Involved with the investigation of ceramic dielectric materials, this research resulted in fine particle ceramic material for which patents were awarded for the nano powders which were hot pressed into stable ceramic dielectrics. He was instrumental in establishing fiber optic research at Rutgers University. Sam was the driving force in recognition of fiber optics as a viable science. At Mr. Di Vita’s insistence, Ft. Monmouth pursued this viable science. Retiring in 1982, he remained a consultant to CECOM until 1997. He volunteered until the present as a consultant on nano science. Sam received the Decoration For Meritorious Civilian Service 1959-1967, the Meritorius Civil Service Award, Outstanding Civil Service Award and the Army Research and Development Award in 1964. He was a communicant of St. Michael’s R.C. Church, West End, Fellow of the American Ceramic Society, a member of the Ceramic Assn. of N.J. and a member of the West Long Branch Historical Society. He was also a member of NARFE Association.

He was predeceased by his parents, Carmelo and Crocifissa (nee Tropia) Di Vita. He was also predeceased by his wife Rose R. (nee Speziale) in 1999 and his three brothers and three sisters. Surviving are several nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 2 to 4p.m. and 7 to 9p.m. Tuesday, July 6 at the Woolley Funeral Home, 10 Morrell St., Long Branch. A funeral mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, July 7 at St. Michael’s R.C. Church West End. Entombment will follow at Woodbine Mausoleum, Oceanport. In Lieu of flowers, please contribute to St. Barnabas Hospice and Palliative Care Center, 300 Second Ave., Long Branch, N.J. 07740. You may light a candle of condolence by visiting

The above was published in the Asbury Park Press on July 4, 2010

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