Samuel Salem Chasens, better known as Sammy, was a beloved institution for over 35 years as a teacher of English at Stivers High School. The son of Russian and French parents, Sammy was born on April 6, 1899, in New Jersey. He received his college education at the University of Pennsylvania before moving to Dayton, Ohio, in 1927.
Sammy was known as an excellent teacher and was just as famously remembered by all of his students as we walked down the halls, hearing his beloved classical music coming out of his homeroom. For a few of us, we occasionally met up with him after school in the detention room where he dealt with us in his own way!
During his college years he was a member of the wrestling team and also played a bit of football. Even then however, his chief interests were literary, his hobby at that time was rst edition books and ne bindings.
Mr. Chasens was a great lover and collector of books. In connection with “Book Week” at Stivers in 1957, he brought some of his choice volumes from his collection of 1500 books for display in the library. “There is truly great joy in discovering a good book in a second hand store,” he said. Some of his more prized books are a rst edition of “Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, Dante’s “Divine Comedy” bound in orange vellum (nest calf-skin), “Leaves of Grass” made with a leather back with Phillipine boards and a seven volume edition of Shakespeare’s plays which increased in value over the years.
Sammy was married late in life to his wife, Gertrude, and had two daughters. Eileen Chasens Blumenthal was born in 1949 and Carol Chasens Easterday was born in 1945. He also had two grandchildren. He passed away March 1, 1977, and left a legacy that will always be remembered by his students.