Arthur Samuel (Sam) Burford, 86, left this world on June 10, 2017.
Sam, an only child, is survived by his wife of 62 years, Darlene N. (Moore) Burford, his dearly loved daughters, Karen L. (Burford) Williams (son-in-law James H. Williams) of Shenandoah Junction, WV and Kay L. (Burford) Wells (son-in-law Yancey D. Wells) of Mexico, NY; and his treasured grandchildren: Jessica K. Williams, Kassandra J. Williams, Brennan J. Wells, Dusten S. Wells and Logan M. Wells.
Sam was born on January 11, 1931, in Sand Point, Idaho and lived there with his grandparents and great grandparents until the age of four. Sam’s father eventually moved with him to Oregon where Sam attended grade school and Hermiston High School. After a year of traveling across the USA and working odd jobs as a milkman, laborer and service station attendant, Sam joined the Army in 1950. Sam was stationed in California, Hawaii and Eniwetok, the Marshall Islands, obtaining the rank of sergeant until his honorable discharge in 1953.
After being discharged Sam moved back to Hermiston, married Darlene in October 1954 and started a family. He was employed on the security force at the Umatilla Army Depot until 1957. Sam had a deep respect for the law and authority and was fascinated by all things to do with the law. He devoted his career to excelling in all aspects of law and security enforcement and was honored with many achievements, awards and certificates for always completing and performing outstanding/first-rate work. From 1957 to 1960 Sam worked as a Deputy Sheriff in Umatilla County. He returned to the Umatilla Army Depot in 1960 as a security specialist.
In May of 1968 Sam transferred from the Umatilla Army Depot to work for the U.S. Navy at Subic Bay Naval Base, Subic Bay, Philippines, along with his wife Darlene and daughters, Karen and Kay. The family would end up calling Subic Bay “home” and Sam and Darlene lived in the Philippines for over 15 years. Sam was employed at the Provost Marshal’s Office as Director of Physical Security from 1968 until 1974.
He then transferred to the Naval Supply Center at Norfolk Naval Base in Norfolk, Virginia, from 1974 until 1976 at which time he and the family returned to Subic Bay Naval Base, Philippines and a job as Director of Security at the Naval Supply Center at which he remained until he retired from federal service on January 2, 1987. Upon retirement, Sam and Darlene returned to Oregon where Sam then was employed from February 1987 until December 1995 by the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton, Oregon.
In May of 1996 Sam and Darlene relocated to Mexico, New York to be near both daughters and his grandchildren. Sam was an intelligent, stand-up guy, steadfast, sensible, responsible, reliable and thoughtful. Sam had a passion for reading and writing which he happily and fortunately passed on to Karen and Kay. Whether it be reading for pleasure or studying for another certificate, he always had a book or pen in hand. He would often start a book in the evening after work and still be sitting in the same chair, just finishing the last chapter when his daughters got up to get ready for school the next morning — and then go to work and do an exceptional job!
After moving to New York, Sam enjoyed learning to use the computer, corresponding by email with his daughters, grandchildren and friends, researching his ancestors, and caring for Kay’s farm animals.
Sam will be missed by his barnyard buddies Frisco the horse, Kitty Cat the cat, Debbie the chicken and Guinea the guinea hen. Sam was preceded in death by his mother Mildred Marie Hunt Burford (November, 1911–January 1931), Arthur James Burford (July 1895-March 1980), Baby Burford (April 1961) and his four legged canine best friends, Maggie and Wallie. Sam was always there for his family no matter what. His daughters are heartbroken and it is with incredible difficulty that the family says goodbye to someone whom they looked up to, counted on and loved so much.
Sam will be buried in Fox Cemetery, Fox Oregon. Services are at the convenience of the family and will be announced after details have been finalized. Arrangements are in the care of Harter Funeral Home, Mexico NY.
“There will be peace in the valley for me some day, there will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray, there’ll be no sadness, no sorrow, no trouble I’ll see, there will be peace in the valley for me.