Sam was born in Boise, Idaho, on August 2, 1944 to Homer and Del Stivison. Sam graduated from Boise High School in 1962 and some of his best friends are from that class. From there, he went to Boise Junior College for two years and graduated from University of Idaho in 1967 with a degree in business finance and an Army ROTC commission as a second Lieutenant. After a couple months of water skiing at Lucky Peak, he entered active duty and completed Infantry Officer Training and Army Rotary Wing Aviator training on his way to Vietnam. He flew Heuy helicopters as a captain while serving in Vietnam.
Sam's work experience started when he was 14 driving a delivery truck for Carlton's Grocery. Later on he was in the Army for four years. He served in the National Guard in Maryland, Idaho and Utah. After his active duty, Sam worked as a civilian for the Air Force in Brigham City, UT. That is when he met Sandra Kailing and his life changed dramatically; for the better! Forever.
Sam began working for the FBI, about six months after he and Sandy married in 1977. They had two sons (Ross and Chuck) while Sam was an FBI agent in Seattle and Los Angeles. Sam treasured his time with the FBI, but he wanted to raise his family in Boise. Sam and family returned to Boise in 1985 when he accepted a contracting position with the US Bureau of Reclamation. He went on to a contracting position with the US Department of the Interior, Office of Aircraft Services (OAS) at the National Interagency Fire Center. After 36 years of government service, he retired in 2005.
Retired life was good, but beginning in 2009 and ever after, cancer at the base of the tongue and its effects were part of Sam's daily life. He steadfastly endured and survived every assault, every surgery, and every treatment, for 12 years. Sam and his family deeply thank and appreciate the exceptional support from Dr. Tolman, Dr. Mings, and the medical community. His battle was epic, his mark was deep. His courage and faith in God were an inspiration for all who came to know him.
Sam was an avid motorcycle enthusiast; having owned 16 different motorcycles throughout his life. He was an Idaho STAR program instructor and most of his weekends in retirement included a motorcycle ride with his wife Sandy. Each time the cancer returned, he would sell his motorcycle and then he would recover and buy another motorcycle. He always said the world looked better to him through the windshield of a large touring bike. He was also active in many sports: karate, racquetball, skiing, horseback riding, pickle ball, and golfing. He loved playing cards with friends and family. Sam had many treasured friends from these special activities.
Above all, Sam was a Christian and a family man. He had deep faith in and love for God, Jesus Christ. Sam shared his faith throughout the challenges he endured and by the example of how he lived. He was a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church. Sam walked with a quiet dignity and strength throughout his life and into his death.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his younger brother and best friend, Tom. He is survived by his wife Sandy of 44 years, sons Ross Stivison (Jake) of Walnut Creek, CA and Chuck Stivison (Emily) of Meridian, ID, and granddaughters Elyse and Chloe. He was proud of his granddaughters and loved them beyond words. The joy they brought him lifted his spirits through these difficult times. He is also survived by his sisters Sally Stivison and Carrie (Rick) Prange and Erni Stivison (Doc Schweitzer) and many nieces and nephews who loved him dearly. The family bond established by his parents continued through Sam and his family.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 4848 N. Five Mile Rd, Boise, ID. Masks are required. A private military service for family at the Idaho Veterans Cemetery will be held on Monday, November 15, 2021.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the "Idaho STAR Motorcycle Safety Program," 3500 W. Chinden Blvd, Boise, ID 83714, or a charity of your choice.
To send flowers to Samuel's family, please visit our floral store.