Obituary of Samuel Stevens III
Surprising us all, Sam passed away suddenly and peacefully at his home in Penn Valley on Sept. 26, 2014, having played a short game of tennis followed by a full day with the woodworking hobby he so enjoyed.
Following Sam’s wishes, a celebration of life will be held here in Penn Valley in the spring of next year. Date and details will be forthcoming. If one wishes to do so, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice. A memorial service for Sam was held in South Dakota on Oct. 5, and was attended by his family there and his many friends and neighbors.
Sam was born in White Plains, N.Y., Dec. 30, 1938, but spent his growing up years and most of his adulthood in California, graduating in 1957 from San Ramon Valley Union High School in Danville, Calif., followed by a short stint in the U.S. Coast Guard and then studying drama and business at Palomar University in San Diego, Calif.
He found a lifelong and successful calling in the business world by buying failing businesses, creatively turning them around and then reselling them. His gift of gab and ease of meeting people found him lasting friends wherever he went and brought him out of retirement several times doing handyman jobs for friends and neighbors wherever he landed.
He loved life, his children, grandchildren, and many sports and had an amazing way with all creatures great and small. He was someone who people turned to with their problems as he had the ability to listen and turn a negative into a positive.
As a proud member of Alcoholics Anonymous for over 26 years, Sam was a sought-after speaker for the group. His guidance, caring and support helped turn many lives around.
Until last fall when he and his wife became permanent residents in Penn Valley, they had been spending winters here and enjoying summers in a home he built himself on a family ranch in Keldron, S.D.
He is survived by his wife Kathleen; sister Carolyn Jackson and her family; stepsister Cynthia White; stepbrother Lee White; daughters, Cathy Stevens, Stephanie Blyth, Christine Lopez and their families; stepdaughter Karen Ball and her family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Betty Timmerman and Samuel B. Stevens Jr. and stepson David C. Ball.
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