When you think of century families in the Historic Northeast communities, the Valenti family certainly has to be part of that discussion.
“We lived out in Shawnee for a year or so during WWII when Dad worked at the bomber plant in Kansas City, Kansas but we moved back and we’ve been here ever since,” says Sam Valenti.
Valenti grew up in the 300 block of S. Indiana, about a block away from the Assumption Parish grade school where he attended classes. He attended high school at De LaSalle, and then went to UMKC. An apprenticeship with IBEW led to a 25-plus year career with R. F. Fisher Electric Company.
Valenti and his family live in the heart of the Columbus Park neighborhood.
Community service is what drives Sam. His long-time association with Boy Scout Troop 80 at Holy Cross Catholic Church is a testament to that commitment. To date, his time mentoring scouts spans over 29 years, from their entry as Cub Scouts, through completion of their Eagle Scout projects and everything in between.
Troop 80 is the last of a number of troops that used to dot the landscape in Northeast, outliving troops 125 at Unico, 165 at Budd Park Christian Church, and troop 5 at St. John’s Baptist Church.
“We’re the second oldest troop in the Heart of America and the Kaw Districts,” said Sam.
Troop 80 is now seeing former scouts bring their boys back into scouting.
“It’s really neat to see,” said Sam, whose most recent project with Troop 80 was the construction of the annual Holy Rosary St. Joseph’s table. Not the baking part, mind you, but the table itself, which consists of thirteen pieces, including twenty-two 1.5-inch gas pipe legs, and weighs in at over a ton when completed.
“We try to instill a ‘lead or get out of the way’ mantra,” said Sam.
That mantra must work because the troop’s Eagle Scout list stands at roughly ninety participants and it’s alumni list has a number of notables in prominent positions scholastically and professionally.