Samuel Jacob Spielberg, who loved his hometown of East Hampton and was raising his own daughter here, died on Feb. 22 following a single car accident in Amagansett. He was 31.
Hundreds filled Ashawagh Hall in Springs and gathered on the lawn outside during a celebration of his life on Feb. 28.
Mr. Spielberg was dedicated to his family and to his friends, both lifelong and new, and they spoke last week of his generous and caring nature.
One friend described how Mr. Spielberg had taken immense joy, from the very start, in being a father, and had determined to be the very best dad to his daughter, Bianca Mar Spielberg, now 6. By all accounts, he succeeded. The job he loved the most was being a devoted and loving parent, his family said. It was “the role that he was put on this earth for,” his sister, Summer Wolff, said at the memorial.
He was a thoughtful man, colleagues said, who, as he entered his 30s, was growing to become more and more like his father.
For the last four years, Sam Spielberg worked alongside his father in the family business, Spielberg Nursery.
He was born in Reading, Pa., on Feb. 7, 1982, the son of Jason Spielberg and the former Sherry Richards. The family moved that year to Springs, where Mr. Spielberg attended the Springs School. He graduated from East Hampton High School in 2000.
Relatives recalled a lively, sometimes mischievous little boy, one of a pack of cousins that were like siblings.
As the younger sibling, his sister said, he took his share of teasing, but when he got older, instead of turning the tables, Ms. Wolff said her brother looked after and protected her, as well as her friends. He had a “huge heart,” she said.
After high school he lived in Colorado and then in California for a time, working and taking classes at community college.
In June 2008, he was married to the former Karriann Huff. Mr. Spielberg liked to snowboard and to surf. Surfer friends are planning to gather for a “paddle out,” circling together in the ocean in his memory, on a future date.
He was a fan of reggae, and, at his memorial, Mama Lee (Lawler) and Rose performed some reggae songs a cappella. He loved East Hampton, Ms. Wolff said, loved being a local in his hometown, and loved his parents’ house on Three Mile Harbor.
Besides Ms. Wolff of Montaldo, Italy, his wife, Kariann Spielberg of East Hampton, and his daughter, Mr. Spielberg is survived by both his parents, who live in Springs.
In her father’s memory, the family has established a scholarship fund for Bianca Spielberg. Donations may be sent to Jason Spielberg at 16 Three Mile Harbor-Hog Creek Road, East Hampton 11937.