Chuck Sams

Former West Linn resident Charles 'Chuck' Alan Sams died Feb. 15, 2011 at the Rogue Valley Manor in Medford. He was 82.

Mr. Sams was born Dec. 30, 1928 in Grants Pass, Ore., to Lyle and Margaret (Gray) Sams. He graduated from Medford High School and continued his education at Southern Oregon University.

He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1950 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He completed his service in 1955 and then attended the University of Oregon, graduating with a business degree in 1957.

Mr. Sams married Constance (Stokes) Skinner of Medford in July 1956.

While a student at Willamette School of Law, Mr. Sams flew for United Air lines. He retired in 1989 as a two-star major general, after 37 years in the Air Force and Oregon Air National Guard, amassing more than 6,000 hours as a command pilot.

Mr. Sams also had a career in law and retired after 24 years as a Clackamas County judge. He began his law career in private practice and was then appointed to serve as district court judge in 1971 and elected to the position in 1972. He was appointed to the circuit court in 1978 and won elections to the post in 1984 and 1990. He retired in 1995.

He was a director on several boards and was a member of the Oregon State Bar, Multnomah Athletic Club, Emmanuel Presbyterian Church and Columbia Aviation.

Mr. Sams enjoyed vacationing with his family at Lake of the Woods in Southern Oregon and Maui, Hawaii. He enjoyed playing tennis and golf and reading.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Connie of Medford, sister Carol Ohman, sons and daughters-in-law Mike and Vicki Skinner, Bob and Mignon Skinner, all of Medford, Greg and Janet Sams, Doug Sams, Curtis and Lisa Sams of Portland, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

A private graveside service was held at Mountain View Cemetery in Ashland.

A public memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. on April 1, 2011 at Sunset Presbyterian Church, 14986 N.W. Cornell Road in Portland. Remembrances may be made to the Asante Hospice Program, Rogue Valley Manor Foundation Pastoral Services and Emmanuel Presbyterian Church.

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