Northport Systems Founder Sam Rea Loses Battle With Cancer

Software manufacturer Northport Systems Inc, announced that company founder Samuel Arthur Rea, Jr. died this past Sunday, December 18th following a two-year battle with cancer.

Born November 10, 1944 in Indianapolis, Indiana, Sam grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and attended Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University in 1966, earned his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in 1972 and joined the University of Toronto faculty in 1971. Sam wrote four books and dozens of scholarly articles on Labor Economics, and Law and Economics, focusing on torts, contract law and insurance. In 1982-83 he served as the Civil Liability Fellow at Yale Law School. Sam also served as a consultant to the Federal government on matters related to unemployment insurance and pensions, and frequently appeared as an expert witness in Canadian courts.

After taking early retirement from the University of Toronto in 1995, Sam founded Northport Systems Inc. and developed Fugawi marine and terrestrial mapping software. Well-known and respected in the marine and outdoor recreation markets, Fugawi software is currently used by boaters and mariners worldwide. Sam retired from Northport Systems in 2010, selling his stake in the company the now President and CEO of Northport Systems, Robin Martel.

“In the 10 years that Sam and I worked together, he proved not only a great mentor, but a great friend,” said Martel. “Sam’s friendship and humor will be missed, but his insight and dedication to perfection will live on as Northport Systems continues to expand upon the vision Sam fostered over the past 15 years.”

An avid skier and an impassioned boater, Sam and his wife Wendy Thompson raced and cruised extensively for the last 40 years. Together they sailed 20,000 miles during the 2005-2009 winters as they explored the Caribbean and the East Coast of the US in their 50-foot sailboat, ''Maestro''. A lover of music, Sam was active in the Harvard Glee Club, the North Toronto Players, the Orpheus Choir, the Hart House Singers and the Annex Singers. He performed with the Harvard Glee Club Alumni Chorus in Japan and Hawaii.

Sam was a wonderful husband and friend to Wendy, devoted father to Sarah Rea and father-in-law to Jim Griswold.

A private interment has taken place, and a celebration of Sam's life was held on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 11am in the Chapel of Mount Pleasant Visitation Centre in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, in Toronto, Canada.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Sam's memory to the Gerry & Nancy Pencer Brain Tumor Centre or the Kensington Hospice via

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