Samuel William Bliss, age 89, died peacefully Wednesday, August 31 after a brief illness at his home in Lake Placid surrounded by family and friends.
He was born on February 23, 1927 in Hominy, Oklahoma, to Samuel William Bliss and Mary Haines. Sam and his three brothers grew up hunting and fishing to help provide for the family. As a young man he was known for his resourcefulness, earning money by selling frog legs and setting pins at the local bowling alley to working as a wildcatter in the booming oil fields of Oklahoma and Illinois.
When Sam turned 18, he enlisted in the US Army and was sent to France where he served in the army of occupation. He was grateful for the GI Bill that made it possible for him to go to college. He began his professional career as a high school teacher and coach while continuing his own education eventually earning a PhD. He taught at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and then later at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. After retiring from teaching, Sam worked as a consultant in Arizona, Alaska and Florida, assisting rural school districts.
Sam and his wife Maggie moved to Lake Placid in 2004, where they found good fishing, of course, and a close community. Sam was president of the Placid Lakes Home Owners Association for 6 years and a member of the Rotary Club of Lake Placid. They found friendship and fellowship at the First Presbyterian Church.
Sam is survived by his wife of 44 years, Margaret Grimmer; his daughter, Laura Bliss (Mike) Spaan of Anchorage, Alaska; his son, Drake (Barbara LaFara) Bliss of Cape Coral, Florida; and grandchildren, Kayla and Tyler Spaan.
A memorial service was held Saturday, September 3 at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Lake Placid. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making a memorial donation to the First Presbyterian Church Genesis Center at 118 North Oak Ave, 33852, or Good Shepard Hospice, 1110 Hammock Rd, Sebring, Florida, 33870.
Sam’s ashes will be scattered in places he loved in Florida, Alaska and Arizona.