"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course and have kept the faith 2 Tim. 4:7"
Samuel Melvin Wilder passed away at his home in Ladysmith on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. He was 92 years old.
Samuel was born on Nov. 15, 1927 to Emory and Daisy Wilder in Butternut, . He was the sixth child in a family of 11. He spent his childhood years on the family farm in Bruce. During his freshman year of high school he had to drop out of school in order to help with the family farm. He was always a hard worker and enjoyed a strong relationship with his family.
On June 16, 1951 he married Thelma Jewel Thompson in Muskegon, Mich. He was soon drafted into the Marine Corps during the Korean War, and he was stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, Calif. He earned the rank of sergeant before completing his term of service. The family then moved back to Wisconsin and purchased a small dairy farm near New Auburn. He often
referred to his farm as the "rock farm."
After 10 years of farming, he decided to sell the farm due to declining milk prices. He started a new job in construction, helping to build the Chrysler Assembly Plant in Rockford, Ill. The mountains were calling, so the family moved to Moscow, Idaho in 1966. He loved hunting and fishing. On one of his hunts he was able to tag a record size elk and it is recorded in state of Idaho record books. They enjoyed living in a log cabin on Moscow Mountain. Sam enjoyed self-employment as a building contractor. In 1977, they moved to Newport, Ore. continuing in residential construction. He and Jewel then moved to Prescott, Ariz. in 1984 to be close to their son, Russell.
In 1988 his wife, Jewel, was diagnosed with cancer. They moved to Woodland, Calif. to be close to family. Jewel passed away May 30, 1989.
During his years in Woodland, he met Mary, who he later married. In 2004, he moved back to Ladysmith. He bought and remodeled a home. He
finished the home when he was 80 years old.
Samuel was very active in many social events within the community and his church. He loved music. In his teenage years he and his three sisters sang together in a quartet. He enjoyed playing hymns on his carpenter's saw using a violin bow. He enjoyed serving in his local church in Glen Flora. He taught Sunday school class, led congregational singing and served on the board.
Sam was always creative, resourceful and a problem solver. When people said it couldn't be done, he would find a way to do it. If someone was in need, he was there to help. He was also known for his agility and physical strength. He was quite good at walking on his hands. For fun, he would disguise
himself as a toothless old man and play tricks on his family. He also loved telling silly jokes to family and friends. He met with his sisters, Emily and Linda, to play cards together. Gardening occupied a big part of his life every summer. He would plant enough produce to feed all of Ladysmith.
Samuel will be greatly missed by his family. He is survived by his four children, Chad Wilder of Bozeman, Mont., Linda Rodgers of Ladysmith, Phillip Wilder of La Pointe and Russell Wilder of Potlatch, Idaho and sisters Emily Strehml of Sheldon and Linda Wilder of Ladysmith. He had 12 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Preceding him in death were his wife, Jewel (1989) his wife, Mary (2014); and his children, Rhonda (1956), Rodney (1957) and Marcia Lutz (2005) and granddaughter, Paige Lutz (2017).
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Feb. 8, at Ladysmith Baptist Church in Ladysmith. Please join us for a potluck reception following the service.
The Nash-Jackan Funeral Home is assisting the family.