Sam Frigo, 28

Oak Park native Samuel Andrew Oliver Frigo, 28, known simply as Sam to his friends and family, died suddenly and unexpectedly on Jan. 6, 2021, in his home in Washington, D.C. Like many children of Oak Park, he was deeply connected to the community, from lining up behind Longfellow School on the first day of class in 1998, to lining up on the OPRF High School football field to graduate in 2011.

He went on to study at the University of Dayton in Ohio, earning a bachelor’s degree in Special Education & Teaching and began his career as a teacher and intervention specialist, working for five years at Dayton Early College Academy, a public charter school in Dayton. Last summer he moved to Washington, D.C., to continue his work at KIPP DC College Prep.

In addition to his family, Sam is survived by his girlfriend Rachel “Rae” Mowat, whom he loved deeply. A shared passion for education and a love of the outdoors drew them together. He is also survived by their two cats, Pepe and Taz.

He was an inspiration to always do better; an exemplar of unconditional love, of community engagement, of kindness and compassion.

Sam is survived by his parents, Melanie Frigo and Phil Frigo (Mary Jeans); his two brothers, Dominic Frigo (Bri Lugo) and Joseph Frigo; his sister, Helen Behl (Travis Behl); his birth father, Tino Olivares; his half-brothers and -sisters, Marco, Lizete, and Eric; and countless aunts, uncles, and cousins. The youngest in his immediate family, he dedicated himself to others, making sure everybody around him felt the same love he was shown as a child.

A scholarship fund is being set up in Sam’s name. For anyone interested in donating, please visit the Dayton Foundation’s website ( and give to Friends of the Dayton Early College Academy – fund #3637. In the special instructions please indicate “Sam Frigo Scholarship.”

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