Horace James Sam, a longtime resident of Fairfield, was born in Opelousas, La., Jan. 26, 1950. “Smiling Sam,” as he was affectionately referred to by family and friends, transitioned into eternal life peacefully in his home on Friday morning, Aug. 15, 2014, with his family at his side after enduring a courageous bout with cancer.
Smiling Sam honorably and faithfully served in the United States Armed Forces, Air Force Reserve, and federal civil service for a combined 35 years before retiring from Travis Air Force Base as a Master Sergeant from the 349th aircraft maintenance squadron. Smiling Sam received 13 military service ribbons, nine military service medals, six military service pendants and two military service organization patches (945th and 349th), including the meritorious service medal in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Noble Eagle and Iraqi Freedom, America’s war on terrorism. During his military career, Smiling Sam was known for his impressive outstanding reliability rate in support of 80 presidential missions.
Smiling Sam served his community as a faithful volunteer with Mission Solano for six years as a driver, picking up weekly food donations from local stores and vendors and delivering it to homeless shelters. He truly enjoyed his favorite pastime of purchasing and renting investment properties with his best friends Wade Morris and Jeffery Hancock. Together, they built loving, productive and supporting friendships that forever endure the test of time. He was a member of the Revival Center Ministries in Vallejo for more than 20 years, faithfully serving as an usher.
He had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that was evident by the way he treated people and how he lovingly adored his wife of 11 years, Sundria (Hauer) Sam, who he met in 1972 when he first arrived at Travis Air Force Base from Lake Charles, La. He was the proud father of Donte’ L. Baldwin (Liliana Vasquez Baldwin) and Sheria L-J. Brooks. He daily thanked God for his grandchildren, Tayveon L. Baldwin (6), Ezekiel L. Brooks (3) and Percais A. Baldwin (1). He believed in spending quality time with all of his loved ones. His extension of love was showered on his goddaughters, Keila M. Jones and Brooklyn J. Worthan, both of Suisun City.
Smiling Sam is survived by two brothers, Donald Sam (Beverly) of Channelview, Texas, and Lawrence Sam Jr. of Lake Charles, La.; mother-in-law, Anna M. Joe of Raymond, Miss.; sister-in-law, Latricia Hauer-Moore of Suisun City; brother-in-law, Reginald Joe (Regina) of Vacaville. He is also survived by a host of nephews, nieces, cousins and in-laws. His most beloved cousin and godsister Marjorie “Nell” Broussard (Preston) was dear to his heart and an ever-present source of comfort and support, along with his cousin-in-love Felecia A. Lawson.
Smiling Sam is preceded in death by his loving parents, Lawrence Sam Sr. and Mary Duplechain-Sam; sister, Ann Broussard; and father-in-law, Arthur Joe, Jr.
He will forever be known as a kindhearted man who was dedicated to God, family, business, and community.
Interment will at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday Aug. 26, 2014, at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon.
Arrangements under the care of Bryan-Braker Funeral Home. 707-425-4697 www.bryanbraker.com