Samuel Sokol 1941-2012

Samuel Sokol, beloved husband of Heather Edelman of Newton, MA, loving father of Jennifer Havican (Mark Havican) of Franklin, MA and Brad Sokol (Chellise Morey) of Burbank, CA, and loving brother of Kathy Sokol Hodge (Clay Hodge) of New Bern, NC, died at home on September 18, 2012, at age 70. Born in Pittsburgh, PA, he was the son of Samuel Jr. and Letitia Sipolino Sokol.

Since 1994, Sam worked as a neuropsychologist at the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, evaluating children, adolescents, and adults. Prior to his career as a neuropsychologist, Sam was noted for his distinguished career as a vision scientist. He joined the Department of Ophthalmology at Tufts in 1970 where he conducted research and provided clinical services in infant vision, and developed an electrophysiology service for the department. Sam was the first to determine that infants develop visual acuity much earlier than previously understood, and developed and refined vision assessment methods. With Dr. Gerald Fishman, he authored a definitive manual on electrophysiology for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which is still in use today. He received a Bachelor’s Degree from Washington & Jefferson College, a Master’s from Bryn Mawr, a Ph.D. from Lehigh University, and conducted post-doctoral research at Brown University and Sussex University in England.

In addition to his wife and children, Sam is survived by three grandchildren whom he adored: Ryan and Jessica Havican of Franklin, MA, and Ashlyn Morey Sokol of Burbank, CA.

Outside of work, Sam was passionate about many things, especially jazz. Since childhood, he had played piano and, in the last few years, participated in jazz ensembles at the New England Conservatory. He was also a marathon runner and a triathlete.

A private memorial service will be held. Donations in Sam’s memory may be made to The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp benefiting children with serious illnesses ¬†and the New England Conservatory Student Scholarship Fund.

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