Samuel Martin Meeks
1929 ~ 2013

Samuel Martin Meeks passed away peacefully in the early evening of November 16, 2013 after a brief illness, surrounded by his loving family.

Sam was born November 2, 1929 to Homer Dodwell Meeks and Ethel "L" Cutcheon

Meeks in Compass Lake, Florida. Raised in a small rural home, Sam had a happy childhood. As the firstborn son, Sam enjoyed many privileges. When he was fussy as an infant, his parents would take him for rides in the old Model A, until he fell asleep. As a toddler, Sam was asked to sing solos at church. When he was a little older, Sam was a "regular" on a local radio station for a time. Sam was soon joined by his sunny younger brother Homer "Rip" Meeks (Jr.) and feisty baby sister Sue (Susan Meeks Worrell). Once, when Sam was no more than four, the house caught on fire. His mother instructed Sam to take little Rip across the road where they would be safe. Sam grabbed his brother, his ukulele, and his favorite rocking chair, and waited obediently across the street. The house still stands. But we do not know what happened to the rocking chair. According to family legend, it is still sitting in the home. During his childhood, Sam enjoyed New Years fireworks, homemade Christmases, singing with his cousins, listening to his father tell stories, and many other adventures.

The family moved north to Dothan, Alabama, when Sam was a teenager. His natural leadership skills and easy charm led him to become the senior class president. Sam’s rural education had been so thorough that he was able to graduate early from high school. Sam attended Troy State Teacher’s College (now Troy University), where he was equipment manager for the football team and participated in drama and chorale endeavors. He earned his degree in education. His studies were concentrated on English and psychology. Upon graduation from college, Sam served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS Church) to the Southern States mission, and, through adversity, increased his own testimony ten-fold. Sam later enlisted in the United States Navy, where he served for seven years.

This Naval enlistment changed the course of his life. While stationed in Long Beach, California, Sam bore his testimony on tithing to the local MIA. In the audience was the lovely and mesmerizing Madeleine Annie Curtis. The talk was so memorable, and the young sailor so charming, intelligent, and handsome, that when he came courting, Madeleine was pleased to be courted. They were married in March 1954 at the Mesa, Arizona Temple.

Soon after they married, Sam was posted to Honolulu, Hawaii. Madeleine soon followed. There, Sam worked with the Navy Chaplain at Pearl Harbor. Almost two blissful years later, Sam and Madeleine began their family with the birth of their first son, Mark Thomas. Just before he was re-posted to San Diego, Sam was called to be a member of the Stake High Counsel. Upon their return stateside, their daughter Sidne Susan was born, followed by daughters Deborah Lynn and Jennelle Ilene. After his discharge from the Navy, Sam embarked on his lifelong career in the insurance industry. On August 12, 1962, Sam was ordained a bishop in the LDS church. Later, he was a member of his stake high counsel. After a move to Boise, Idaho, Sam and Madeleine added two more daughters, Sarah Ann and Rebecca Shereen, to the family. In 1972, Sam was set apart as Bishop of the Boise Idaho 18th Ward. He was released from that position in 1977 and was made an alternate member of the stake high counsel.

During his time in Idaho, Sam expanded his education and received additional certifications from the insurance industry. In 1973, Sam received his masters of business administration from Boise State University. In 1974, Sam earned his chartered property casualty underwriter certification (CPCU) from the American Institute for Property and Liability Underwriters, Inc. In 1975, Sam served as chairman for the Committee on Insurance Arbitration. From 1975-76, Sam served as secretary and vice president of the Idaho Chapter of CPCU. Sam also was a charter completer of his Associate in Claims and received an Associate in Management. Sam published a number of articles discussing his areas of expertise in professional trade publications.

Sam worked most of his insurance career with Industrial Indemnity, a worker’s compensation company. In 1977, he was transferred to the California Bay Area as home office manager. While in Concord, California, Sam and Madeleine completed their family with the birth of their son James Edward. After Sam was called to the stake high counsel in 1980, he accepted a job offer as Vice President in Claims with Western Employers Insurance and moved his family to Southern California. In his later years, Sam consulted with a medical equipment concern.

Throughout his life, Sam was active in the Boy Scouting program. As a youth, he completed his Eagle Scout Award. Sam served as various times as Scoutmaster in the communities in which he lived. His favorite scouting movie was "Follow Me Boys," which should be no surprise to anyone who knew him. Through sheer will and determination, Sam made sure his eldest son earned his Eagle Scout Award in 1974. Sam completed Wood Badge advanced scout leader training. He later received the "Silver Beaver Award" in 1988 and an Award of Merit for Service to Youth in 1985 from the Orange County Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Sam and Madeleine eventually settled in Cedar Hills, Utah, to immerse themselves in the culture of the Gospel and lived a good life in retirement. Sam spent many waking hours working on geneological endeavors with his brother Rip and in conjunction with the local geneological library. In Cedar Hills, Sam found his musical outlet as a member of the Mendolssohn Men’s Chorus. Sam enjoyed conducting geneology, painting, singing, listening to music, spending time with his family, reading aloud to Madeleine in the kitchen, perusing the newspapers, caring for his much-loved son James, doing crosswords, putting together jigsaw puzzles, composing poetry, writing novels and non-fiction, and researching on his computer. Sam loved the LDS gospel and bore his strong testimony of it whenever the opportunity and need arose. His favorite music included many hymns and Handel’s Messiah. Sam was a serious man who loved his Savior and his family, and enjoyed a good joke, even if it was only a pun.

Sam is survived by his beloved wife of almost 60 years, Madeleine; his brother Homer "Rip" (Virginia) Meeks; his children Mark Meeks, Susan (Steven) Curtis, Matt Alexander, Jennelle (Jess) Barton, Sarah (Greg) Jackson, Rebecca Meeks, and James Meeks; and grandchildren Amanda Meeks, Nicholle Pacheco, Taryn Alexander, Stefanie Pacheco, and Joshua Curtis. Sam is also survived by four great-grandsons and has a great-grandchild on the way. He was preceded in death by his parents, Homer and Ethel Meeks, sister Susan Meeks Worrell, daughter Deborah Alexander, and great-grandson Tyler Meeks.

A memorial service will be held for Sam at the LDS Chapel at 9737 Chesterfield Drive, Cedar Hills, Utah at 11 am on Friday, November 22. There will be a viewing prior to the service beginning at 9 AM. Afterward, a graveside dedication with military honors will be held at the Utah Veterans Cemetery & Memorial Park 17111 South Camp Williams Road in Bluffdale, Utah.

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