Smith, Samuel

Samuel Smith, 1st Lt., USAF
August 15, 1986 – March 02, 2013

Resided in Cridersville, OH –

1st Lt. Samuel Smith, United States Air Force, 26, went to be with his Lord on March 2, 2013, at 8:38 AM in his home surrounded by his family, after a seven-month battle with Burkitt’s lymphoma. His faith never wavered, his courage never faltered, and he inspired all those who cared for him.

Sam was born on August 15, 1986, in Lima. He was a 2005 homeschool graduate and enjoyed many subjects, but his favorite pastime was drawing airplanes. He enjoyed reading, basketball, fishing, and bird watching. He helped with the family landscaping business and earned his private pilot’s license at age 18 at the Allen County Airport. He dreamed of flying for his life’s work. Sam attended Ohio State-Lima and Air Force ROTC before being appointed to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado. He graduated from the Academy in 2010 with a BS in military history.

Sam participated in cadet Bible studies, air assault training and internships in England, Wyoming, and New Mexico and served as a squadron physical training officer and a glider instructional pilot. He attended undergraduate pilot training at Columbus Air Force Base in Columbus, Mississippi, and basic helicopter flight school at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Sam was a member of the 23rd Flying Training Squadron, flying the TH-1H Huey II. He wanted to serve his country and fellow airmen as a search and rescue pilot.

Cancer shortened his life but could not dim the love he felt for his country nor his loyalty to his Air Force friends. Sam accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior as a preschooler and lived a faithful Christian life. He was a member of Cable Road Alliance Church and participated in AWANA, Bible quizzing, church softball, and chili cook -offs. His favorite author was C.S. Lewis and he enjoyed the music of Rich Mullins and Antonin Dvorak. Sam’s quiet testimony and servant attitude spoke to many people. He faced death with no fear because of his relationship with Christ.

Sam is survived by his parents, Jay and Ruth Smith of Cridersville; sister Rebekah (Kevin) Deitering and Ezra, Joe, Tessa, Evie, and Tommy of Archidona, Ecuador; sister Sarah (Zac) Leland and Emma of Lima; brother Jason (Elizabeth) Smith and William of Columbus; brother Joshua (Kate) Smith and Hadassah of Lima, and brother Daniel Smith of Lima; maternal grandparents George and Betty Faul of Dallas, Oregon; and three aunts, four uncles, and 11 cousins.

A private family service will take place at Willow Branch Cemetery, Waynesfield, with military rites by the United States Air Force. Friends, extended family, and the community are invited to a memorial service at Cable Road Alliance Church on Wednesday, March 6 at 10:30 AM.

Sam’s family extends heartfelt thanks to the Air Force community, Hope Lodge of Cleveland, and the staff of the Cleveland Clinic for their kindness and care.

In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to the Hope Lodge of Cleveland, OH or The Masters Mission of Robbinsville, NC. Condolences may be expressed at

Chiles-Laman Funeral & Cremation Service are in charge of arrangements

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