Sam A. Gafford, age 56 of Warren, dearly loved husband, brother and friend, passed away on July 20th after a short illness.
Born in Attleboro, MA, the son of the late Vincent Gafford and Florence (Worth) Donovan, he moved with his family to Connecticut and graduated from Darien High School. After moving to Providence, he graduate from CCRI and studied at Bryant College. Because of his lifelong love of comics, he co-owned a comic bookstore for several years in Bristol, RI. He worked in the accounting field for thirty years and was the account manager for ProMail Etc.
Sam was known for many things including his encyclopedic knowledge of comic books and comic book history, Jack the Ripper, H. P. Lovecraft, W.H. Hodgson, but none more than his love of books and the written word. He was a devoted admirer of Jack Kirby, the writings of Harlan Ellison and was considered a scholar and expert of the writer W. H. Hodgson. He was most happy with his involvement in the small press and publishing worlds. He created many publications including zines, magazines, and various periodicals and also published several books with Ulthar Press, where he was owner and editor. He was an author of several books including “Whitechapel”, “The House of Nodens” and “Some Notes on a Non-Entity: The Life of H.P. Lovecraft,” a graphic novel and true labor of love with his longtime friend Jason Eckhardt. His knowledge of comic books extended from theory to practice and he produced many comic books and zines of his own . He loved the world of Horror and especially Universal Horror movies, a fan of film especially film noir, and always kept up with pop culture. A true Lovecraftian, he will be remembered as one of the original Providence Pals and will be missed by the remaining members including Jason Eckhardt and Marc Michaud who were with him until the end. He was involved with many Lovecraft Conferences including NecronomiCon 2015 and 2017. He leaves behind many devoted friends in the Weird Fiction, Horror, Mystery and Lovecraft communities. He will be forever missed by his friend Jim Main, with whom he worked on many publishing ventures. Sam also loved music and played guitar. His tastes ran the gamut from Mozart to Stevie Ray Vaughan to Leonard Cohen.
He is survived by his beloved wife of thirty years, Carol (Martineau) Gafford, and two brothers, Carl Gafford of Arizona and Paul Gafford of Pawtucket, RI, and many beloved friends. He will be remembered by his Mother and Father in law, Roland and Mary Martineau, Brother-in-laws Roland Martineau, Steven Martineau, Anthony Martineau and William Martineau, sisters-in-laws Paula Dupont and Liza Girard, and numerous adored nieces and nephews. He will be painfully missed by his beloved cats, Sophie and Samson. Special thanks to dear friend and EMT Ken Winland for all his help during Sam’s short illness. Thank you to all the family and friends that visited and kept vigil at the hospital. Their kindness will not be forgotten.
Burial will be private and a memorial service will be held in October. In Lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Warren Rescue Squad, 34 Miller St, Warren, RI 02885 and the Swansea Free Public Library, 69 Main St., Swansea, MA. 02777