Angus Clarence Sampath, MD, Dr.Sci
November 18, 1924 – November 7, 2019
During a long and full life, Dr. Sampath touched many lives and his good works and deeds will reverberate far into the future. He was born in Trinidad and was one of eight siblings many of whom ended up moving abroad to seek education and career opportunities. Dr. Sampath also ended up leaving Trinidad and in 1949 ended up as a researcher at Lederle Laboratories in Pearl River where he met and fell in love with Elizabeth Jean Farnsworth (Betty). They were married and in 1956 had their first son, Lester, and were off to Europe.
While Dr. Sampath was studying and carrying out research at the University of Würzburg in Germany, Betty worked as a civilian army nurse on a US Army base. His second son, Glenn, was born in 1959 and shortly thereafter, the family moved to Strasbourg, France where he worked at the Centre de Recherches Nucleaire. While there, Dr. Sampath carried out some pioneering research of the infectious mechanisms of tobacco mosaic virus and was on his way to establishing himself as a world class scientist.
In 1966, he decided to return to the US with his family in order to pursue bigger and better opportunities than were available in Europe and he ended up at NYU Medical Center. His third son, Douglas, was born in 1967 and this completed his family. He was offered, and he accepted, a directorial position in the Department of Pathology at Columbia University Medical School in uptown Manhattan in 1969. At the time, Columbia University was providing the directors for various departments of Health and Hospital Corporation city hospitals and he accepted an Associate Directorship at Harlem Hospital in Manhattan. He worked unceasingly as an advocate for his department, patients and the community throughout his 47 year tenure at Harlem Hospital. He also published many papers in top scientific journals. During this time he taught pathology to Columbia University medical students and residents and became Professor Emeritus of Pathology. Up until his retirement at age 93, he contributed to solving difficult infectious disease diagnoses and was an on-call first responder for bioterrorism for the upper Manhattan district.
Dr. Sampath always referred to himself as a collector. He was especially fond of antique books and acquired a first edition of Darwin’s Origin of Species in an off the beaten path bookstore somewhere in France. He restored his beloved 1961 Volkswagen Beetle that he bought in France and used to tour Europe with Betty and their two boys. His extensive collection of books covered all subjects
including history, medicine, natural science, and politics- indicative of his curiosity and thirst for knowledge. He was an avid botanist and loved his tropical plants that he kept alive year after year by ritually bringing them indoors every fall and putting them back outside after the last frost. He was particularly fond of all types of ferns and would collect and transplant them in his yard whenever he found an interesting variety in the woods.
Over the past few years, he immersed himself in the art and science of Complementary Medicine and the use of natural healing to cure himself of any ailments he had. More recently, he was particularly interested in the healthful benefits of hemp extracts and their uses for the treatment of many maladies related to aging.
He will be remembered by all who knew him as fiercely independent on the one hand, and as a gentle and kind man on the other hand, who helped anyone who needed it whether it was financial, emotional, spiritual, or professional. His life was not easy but the love he gave and received sustained him through the good and bad times. He was particularly affected by the loss of Betty in 1994 but got through it with support from his family and by focusing on his growing brood of grandchildren and his work. Dr. Sampath was an eternal optimist and strongly believed that every problem had a solution- the way he lived his life gives proof of the virtue of this way of thinking.
What he left us cannot be written into any Last Will and Testament for there is no material or monetary value to all the Love and Humanity the man showed to all those he knew. He was one of the finest human beings to walk on this Earth and his Spirit is Indestructible and Eternal.
REST IN PEACE
Visiting is Sunday from 2:00 to 4:00 pm and 7:00 to 9:00 pm at Wyman-Fisher Funeral Home Inc. A funeral service will be held 11:00 am Monday at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Rockland Cemetery, Sparkill, NY.
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