“We’re here to honor Sammy,” said John Riesebeck of Smokin’ J’s BBQ, host of a memorial on Monday, October 26 at for Isam “Sammy” Ammoura. “Sammy had a lot of friends and we’re here to celebrate his memory.”
Sammy, as he was known to friends and customers, passed away at home in late September. He was the owner of the Citgo Station on Gulfport Boulevard and a beloved member of the community.
Nearly 100 people, from Gulfport and beyond, came to pay their respects, including Mayor Sam Henderson, Vice Mayor Michael Fridovich and State Representative Jennifer Webb.
The atmosphere was solemn, but overall light – the kind of energy Sammy inspired.
Riesebeck provided light bites and refreshments, including mini Cuban sandwiches in honor of Sammy’s famous favorite.
Henderson wrote in a note shortly after Sammy’s death that he was “one of my favorite people in the city, and a friend to so many here in Gulfport. He will be deeply missed, and I may never have a Cuban sandwich as good as his.”