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Samuel Van Dam, 84, passed away on the morning of Friday, August 16, 2019 surrounded by loved ones.
Sam was born on October 27, 1934 in Conrad to Cornelius and Mattie Van Dam. He spent his childhood creating the best of memories with his two older siblings, Anna and Mike.
As a young man, he proudly served his country in the United States Army stationed in Korea. It was there that he met the love of his life and the woman who would always remain by his side, Jung-Ja Kim. Together for 61 years, they raised three children in their forever home of Conrad.
After his military service, Sam made his living as a carpenter and built many homes in the Conrad area. He later opened a fish taxidermy, and his outstanding work soon attracted clients from all over Montana.
An avid outdoorsman, Sam cherished memories of hunting trips with his son and sons-in-law and fishing the nearby lakes and streams with his closest friends and family. He was a gifted artist and held a lifelong love for drawing and painting. His greatest joy was taking his family camping at Two Medicine, a tradition his family will carry on. Sam also loved to share his enthusiasm for guns and the art of shooting. He spent many hours with family, grandkids, great-grandkids and his buddy, Jerry Naylor, at the Dry Fork Shooting Range. His friends and family will forever value the wealth of knowledge and life lessons he passed down to each and every one.
Sam also enjoyed lunches and playing games with Robert Hicks and other dear friends at the Conrad Senior Center. He spent his last years at his second home, PMC Extended Care, where he received excellent care and made many friends. He was an advocate for others, always ready to listen and firm in his opinions. During this time, Sam was blessed to have his loving wife by his side every day.
Above all, Sam’s unconditional love for his family was always his highest priority and something he lived his life by until the very end. Those left to cherish his memory include: his wife, Kim; daughters, Sandra (Bob) Sill and Linda (Vernon) Stokes; son, Mike Van Dam; grandsons, Sam, Chris, Ross, and Dylan; granddaughters, Melissa and Colleen; great-grandsons, Zane and Jesse; and numerous nieces, nephews, and their children. Sam was preceded in death by his parents, Cornelius and Mattie; brother, Mike; sister, Anna; granddaughter, Vanessa; and nephew, Larry.
Funeral services will be officiated by Pastor Coby Bennett on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at 11:00 AM at the Conrad Baptist Church that Sam helped to build as a longtime member. Burial with military honors will be in Hillside Cemetery. A reception at the church will follow the burial.