A celebration of life for Benjimen Howard Sams, 93, of North Bend, formerly of Coos Bay, will be held at noon, Sunday, July 26 at the Bastendorff Beach County Park (the kiosk). All those who knew Benjimen are invited to attend and share a story about him. Cremation rites were held at Ocean View Memory Gardens with private inurnment to be held at Sunset Memorial Park in Coos Bay.
Benjimen “Howard” was born July 18, 1926 in Broken Bow, Nebraska to Chester Arthur Sams and Sarah Franklin Sams. He was the youngest of seven children. He passed away of heart failure June 23, 2020 in North Bend.
The family moved from Nebraska to Caldwell, Idaho during the Great Depression when Howard was 8 years old. He attended school in the Caldwell area until he was in high school, when he left to join the Navy during World War II. He served in the Seabees on Manus, an island in the South Pacific. Shortly after returning home following his service in the Navy, Howard met his future wife, Maxine Deshazer, at a dance in Caldwell. They were married in 1947; their daughter Lynda was born in 1948 and their son Lyle in 1950. Howard and Maxine moved the family to the Oregon Coast in 1951 seeking better employment during the “boom times” in the lumber industry here. Howard worked in the woods for a short time but thought it was a little too dangerous, so he got work as a truck driver and worked for Twin City Laundry for a few years, then drove a delivery truck for Pacific Motor Trucking when the Southern Pacific train depot was still in Coos Bay. He worked for PMT for 25 years. Howard knew just about everyone in town in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s and delivered appliances, furniture and whatever came in on the train to the stores in Coos Bay and North Bend, then later Florence and Reedsport. Everyone called him “Sam”.
Howard and Maxine were members of the “Good Sam” camping club and enjoyed many camping trips with the group in their 5th wheel. After he retired in 1989 Howard bought and sold used cars and became a regular at local garage sales and auctions. He enjoyed buying garage sale items and reselling them at his own sale (always at a profit, of course). After Maxine died in 2008, Howard continued to live in his home of 56 years in Eastside until 2014 when he moved to an apartment at Evergreen Court. He enjoyed many outings on the bus, the food there, and the music (especially the Old Time Fiddlers) and he continued to enjoy watching baseball games, college football games and golf on TV. He was a member of the American Legion for over 50 years.
Howard is survived by his daughter, Lynda Payton of North Bend; son, Lyle Sams of Eagle Point; grandson, Dr. Joshua Payton and wife Julie of McMinnville; granddaughter, Sarah Ross and husband, Shaun of Santa Rosa, California; granddaughter, Brenda Mehus and husband, David of Bandon; grandson, Justin Sams and wife, Trish of Central Point; nine great-grandchildren, one great-great grandchild and many nieces and nephews in Idaho.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Maxine; his parents; two brothers and four sisters.
The family wishes to thank Howard’s caregivers at Evergreen Court and is grateful for the loving care he received at Dishner’s Adult Foster Care Home and from South Coast Hospice.
Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131. Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at www.coosbayareafunerals.com
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