“A survivor, who made his life beautiful.”
Sam was born in 1922, in the Panhandle of Oklahoma. His early years, and that of his 8 sibling, was one of struggle and a fight to survive. The 1930's brought the dust bowl, bringing even more suffering. Sam lost a brother to " the dirt lung." No sooner had this begun to pass, than WW2 exploded in the States. Sam served as a Higgins boat driver, in the Pacific. He will tell you " the famous fight, when the Marines raised the flag? Ya, I wasnt at the one...I was all the rest." He also recalls dropping Marines , as close to shore as possible...the ocean water red with blood...at times...the Marines he just dropped would be dead, by the time he returned with another group. Sam served on the USS Ormsby. Despite all this, before his 25th birthday, Sam had hope. He struck out from home, after being discharged, ending up for a time in HorseFly, BC, Canada. Eventually he came to family in Ellensburg, Wa. Sam married Margaret M. Hennig, becoming an instant father to 3 young children. The oldest, Jeannie, Is my husband's mother. David was raised on or near the ranch Sam and Margaret made near the small town of Benton City, Wa. Sam worked as a millwright, at our Hanford nuclear facility, bred award winning Arabian horse and ran cattle. David often comments he doesn't know how in the hell Gpa did it! Sam and Margarets horses were special to them, one of their mares was decended from Secretariat, one of their studs a decendent of Citation. Margaret has passed away, and Sam still lives in their home. David and I reside in his mothers home ( she to has passed) ostensibly to care for/ help Sam....he has given us more than we could ever return. His quiet character, infectious smile and kind heart, make this ranch a beautiful place to call home. He celebrated his 94th birthday this year....he doesn't think of himself as anything extraordinary...or a survivor......but those of us who have been given the honor of knowing him, would disagree!