Sam “Nanner” Wade

January 13, 1963 ‒ October 24, 2015

Butler, Ohio

BUTLER: A no fuss kind of guy, Sam Wade wasn’t flashy and he didn’t want any attention or accolades.  Just to live his life, the way he wanted, surrounded by his family, his beloved pup and the outdoors. In the midst of the quietness and peace only a walk in the woods could bring, Sam suddenly passed away Saturday, October 24, 2015 of an apparent heart attack.  He was just 52.

The son of Bob and Mary Lou (Logan) Wade, Sam was born January 13, 1963 in Mansfield and was graduated from Clear Fork High School in 1981.  Sam later graduated from North Central Technical College’s Police Academy Program in 1985.  For 10 years, from 1985 to 1995 Sam served as Police Sergeant for the Village of Lexington.  In 1992 he began teaching as an adjunct professor for North Central State College’s Criminal Justice program.  In 1995 he became a full time professor, and served as OPOTA Commander for North Central State College’s Police Academy while working part time as a patrolman for the village of Lexington. Sam has served as OPOTA Commander for the past 20 years and was currently training 14 cadets.

In 1999 Sam was graduated from The Ohio State University earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology.

Sam was nominated as outstanding faculty member in 2003, 2005, 2010, 2011, and 2012 and was awarded outstanding professor in 2004.

He was a member of New Hope Church in Loudonville.

Nanner loved the outdoors.  He hunted deer and turkey, trapped small game, and tended to his vegetable garden. He participated in numerous pre-1840 rendezvous where he competed in shooting, archery and tomahawk throwing contests. Sam also loved his Harley Davidson.

Stubborn or “strong willed”, Sam’s love was unconditional.

He is survived by his wife Laura Wade of Perrysville; daughters Olivia, Alexis, and Savannah Wade all of Bellville; step children Kelsie, Brian, and Emma Eshler all of Perrysville; and his Rottweiler pup, Natalie.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Sam’s family will receive friends Wednesday October 28, 2015 from 3-8 pm in the Bellville Snyder Funeral Home where funeral services will be Thursday at 11 am.  Pastor Mike Kauffman will officiate.

In his honor, memorial contributions to the Sam Wade Criminal Justice Scholarship (Please make checks payable to: North Central State College Foundation) may be made through the funeral home.

Online condolences to the family may be made by

  • Sam you will truly be missed. You have made a huge impact on my life and have encouraged me to follow my dreams. I’m thankful to have had you as a teacher and mentor. My heart goes out to your family and especially your daughter that plays organ at the church I attend. RIP.
    PS I hope there was a Harley waiting for you when you got to heaven.

  • Laura: Youhave our deepest and utmost sympathies. I never realy know what to say in tragedies such as this other than that you will be in our thoughts and prayers. Please let us know if there is anything you need; even if it’s just a shoulder to lean on.
    Our prayers are also with your kids and other family members for comfort.

  • Sam, you were a wonderful man all the way around! Always their to help and of your student! When I had gotten myself into some legal trouble you rook me into your office and helped me through it! You weren’t just my instructor but my friend. I will never forget you telling me all your crazy story and the things you did growing up, you gave me hope. Your with God now, no longer part of this ugly world. You left an in print on everyone of your student. May the Lord be with your family through this tuff time. Thanks again for being my friend. Never forgotten :'(

  • My Brother,
    You had such an important part of my younger years. You took me under your wing and always looked after me. Some of the best times I had growing were spent hanging out with you, and our mutual friends, in your parents basement. We had such a blast. You were so cool. I know you’re in Heaven and I know I’ll see you again…
    God Bless you, brother

  • Sam, you will be truly missed by everyone you have encountered. I am glad that I had the opportunity to meet you and spend my entire associates degree adventure as one of your students. I will never forget our discussion during class and you really pushed me to be a better student. The world has lost an awesome man!

  • Laura ( yellow hand), and family:
    We are so sorry for your loss. Nanner was not only a great guy but also a father, dad, teacher,and husband. You and your family have out deepest condolences. May god help you get through this terrible time in your life. We will miss seeing you at rendezvous. Rest in peace.

  • Sam was one of my special DeMolay boys. He always had a smile and was a great friend to all of his Demolay brothers and Rainbow sisters. It was always a fun time when he was around. He will be sadly missed by his family and all whose lives he touched.

  • So sad to hear of Sam’s passing he was a great guy he visited us several times and was on the same department as my husband Bill Tivener. He will be missed by us all who knew him.

  • Loss of words. Sam, I’ll always remember you. Smiles and laughter always come to mind when your names mentioned. We have lost an amazing man. Condolences to the family.

  • To the Family of Sam Wade:

    It is with a sad heart that we offer our utmost sympathies and condolences to you in your time of loss. Commander/Professor Wade played a roll in the training of most all of us at Ontario Division of Police. We will be forever grateful and Sam will never be forgotten. We will cherish the good times and the fun times.

    God Bless,
    All of us at OPD

  • Dear Laura and Family – Please accept our deepest sympathy. Sam was a heck of a guy and will be missed by all. You will all be in our thoughts and prayers. Ron and Linda Sherred, fellow rendezvousers

  • Laura,

    Todd and I are so sorry for the loss of Sam. We will keep you and your family in our prayers.

  • Sam was an awesome cop I can remember him from my youth as one of the most sensible officers in Lexington this post saddens me, officer Sam will be on the beat for the big guy upstairs! God bless.

  • To Sam’s family
    My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Sam was a great person and impacted many lives.

  • Laura:

    We offer our sincere sympathies to you and your family. A loss of words seems to fit here. Sam was a great guy and always fun to be around. The days we had maybe too much fun, was always the best times and the ones we always talked about. Especially when some of the training equipment didn’t seem to work properly. :)These times and memories will last forever.

    There will be a special place and smile in our hearts for Sam forever!

    God Bless you,

    Rod & Jan

  • Thoughts and prayers to Laura and all of Sam’s family, I worked with him at Lexington PD, and have so many great and fun memories of Sam, he was a wonderful man and always knew how to bring someone’s spirits up, it is a great pleasure to say that I knew him, RIP Sam, you will be greatly missed.

  • So sorry to hear of Sam’s passing. I hope you all will take comfort knowing there was a special place for him in the clouds! Positive thoughts and prayers for his family and friends. A good man gone too soon!

  • With a heavy heart, I send my condolences to Sam’s family and friends. Years ago, Sam was my commander during the police academy. He shaped my law enforcement career. Later, I had the pleasure of being his co worker. He will greatly be missed in the law enforcement community. He has had such a dramatic impact on so many officers. Sam had a true passion for his career and such a giving heart. Sam, you will be missed by all of us.

  • Sam was not only a friend before I started Law Enforcement but ended up my instructor at OPOTA, NC State College, then as my Sergeant at LPD. I considered Sam a mentor and inspiration. He will be missed not only by me but by all the LE Officers in Richland, and all surrounding counties. RIP my friend.

  • Heartbroken to hear of Sam’s passing. Laura, we are sending our deepest condolences to you and the family. Sam was a great friend and coworker. We will cherish so many memories made with Him. He was a great man and be greatly missed by us and so many! You’re in our thoughts and prayers.
    Brett & Heather

  • So many memories flood my mind with the mention of Sam’s name. 30 years of friendship brings so many smiles and laughs to mind. Sam was a friend and mentor to many. Deeply respected by all who were blessed to know him. Our deepest sympathy to his Family at this time.
    Bob and Kathy Mack

  • Laura: I am so sorry for your loss….Sam was such an amazing man. Sam you taught me everything I know about criminal justice. You were such an inspiration to me and always will be. I will never forget the talks we had and all the fun we had in class! RIH Wade! Ride your Harley with no laws!!

  • Laura and family,
    It is with great sorrow that we say goodbye to our fellow officer and dear friend. Sam was not only an outstanding police officer but also a great friend and mentor. He always knew how to lighten a mood. Our favorite saying from Sam was “friends help you move, good friends help you move bodies.” He has touched countless officer lives and his legacy will forever be remembered in law enforcement.
    Our Deepest Sympathy,
    Lexington PD

  • Sam you were an amazing man with such a big heart who taught us so much about criminal justice! Remember some of the great times in class and times u would chase us down the hall with the tazer.then doing the mock stops and being a criminal with u for the academy students!!! I learned a lot from u and so did my husband! U were his favorite teacher in college and he to this day is grateful for everything u taught him! May u rest in peace Sam hope ur riding that golden Harley in the sky!!!!

  • Sam was an incredible instructor at North Central State College. I had the pleasure of being his student and later his colleague. My heart goes out to his family in this difficult time. I know he is hanging out with Jesus and taking in the beauty of Heaven.

    Thank you for having the impact on my life you probably never thought you had. Until we meant again.
    Reaching Higher,


  • Sam, you truly were an inspiration to me. You made all of my college classes that I had you for a professor fun, I learned a lot from you, you always had a smile on your face and truly loved your job. You will truly be missed by so many. May God forever rest your soul.

  • My deepest sympathy goes to the family who has lost such a great man. Sam was an excellent educator who has left all of us so much! His knowledge will live in us forever!

  • I am so saddened by Sam’s passing. My husband and I both had him as a teacher at NCSC and both work in the criminal justice field. We’ve often spoken of him, and how he affected us. He was a blessing to all, and will be sorely missed. Our love and prayers to the family he so often spoke of in class.

  • ..HEAVEN gained a ANGEL. .a new LIFE begins on the STREETS of GOLD. .my heart is broken …my thought and prayers are with the family ..Sam influenced so many lives..he had a kind and caring heart ..his memory will always be in my heart sorry ..

  • Sam your my friend.Your a good man.Keylee-Kayla and I always had fun with you at the rendezvous.I enjoyed all the time I spent with you.You have a Beautiful family.My heart is with them. God Speed Sam!

  • May Angeles wings wrap you in comfort while God holds you in the palms of his hands. Hugs and prayers during this time.

  • Sam, you will be missed. I know you died doing what you loved.

    I will especially miss your ability to tell it like it is and pull no punches.
    Fallerius seemed unusually quiet today as we all tried to wrap our brains around the fact that we will never hear your voice and laughter in those halls again.

    Know that you made a difference in many lives. Rest in peace my friend.

    Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  • To the family of Sam Wade:

    All of us are better officers because of Sam’s legacy. He demanded the best from everyone he taught, with just the right amount of compassion and humor. We are all better for having taken away something from his knowledge, experience and instruction. There was not an academy graduate or officer he worked with that didn’t know and love Sam. His legacy lives on in those he mentored and passed his knowledge on to. May you find peace and comfort in the knowledge that Sam was loved and respected by so many.

    Officers and Dispatchers
    Shelby Police Department

  • Laura and family, I am so saddened by your loss. Sam was a true friend to me when I lived in Lexington. He was a man who could always be trusted and watched out for those he cared about. I hope your memories can help with the emptiness you feel. He will be missed.

  • Laura and family,

    I am so sorry to hear of Sam’s passing. While I may not have talked to Sam recently, I frequently remember things he taught me -and more importantly the way he did so.

    You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Laura and family,
    We are so very sorry to hear of Sam’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • To Sam’s family: I had the pleasure of teaching with Sam at NCSC. He was a wonderful man who brought smiles to both his co-workers and students. His sense of humor and kindness touched many lives. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Rest in Peace Sam!

  • Sam you had a lot of influence over me in my younger years. I will always remember the days when you would come into “Punky”s” for an ice cream cone, a medium one for you and a small vanilla one for your dog. You always looked so professional in your Lexington Police uniform, now your policing God’s streets. You stood up for me when bad times were around, you always lifted my spirits. God has called a truly amazing man home. Prayers to your widow and children. May God be with them through these trying days. I will always be your little pygmy. And I am sure Vickie will always be your amazon. I’ll miss you always. Go with God.

  • Sam,

    You will be missed by many. I had the pleasure of knowing you from Demolay. You always had a way of leading and keeping the humor in life. My prayers go out to your family in this time of loss and sorrow.

    Rest in Peace Sam.


  • Laura and family,
    It was such a shock to hear of Sam’s passing. This earth has lost one of the better people that’s on the planet. He will be missed by so many, us included. Sam always made an impression on everyone he met.Know that our hearts are with you and yours in this very difficult time.

  • Sam was one of the biggest role models in my life. After my Dad passed away, I looked up to Sam and viewed him as a father figure. Sam reminded me so much of my Dad. I am currently in the Police Academy at North Central State College where Sam was, and always will be, my Commander. Sam helped me get into the academy the day it started, which has never happened before. I saw him at work the Friday before the academy started and mentioned something about joining the academy next year. Being the man Sam was, he told me he would try and get me in this year, which at that point was 3 days later. And here I am, a little over 2 months into the academy. I owe all that to the kindness of Sam Wade and Anne Strouth. I sure will miss my Commander but I know he will always be looking down and giving strength to each and every one of us. May he rest in peace.

  • I’m a speechless Sam was my teacher first and then became my Co worker and lastly my friend. God only you have the answers, and you only take the best. He will guard those heavenly gates with that big smile on his face ! Praying for the family that God gives you peace.

  • To the family of Sam Wade,
    As a former student and graduate from NCSC I think I can speak for many if not all when I say he has a special place in our heart. He was there to laugh with us, push us through our bad days, and listen when nobody else would. I pray you find peace, and know that he brought out the best in many, and changed many lives forever. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • To the family of Sam Wade I give my deepest condolences. Sam was an awesome teacher who knew how to get you to smile when you were having a bad day, or would crack a small joke that would get the class roaring with laughter. I remember Sam taking time out of his very busy days at work to make sure that I got what I needed as a student and as a person going into the Criminal Justice field. I will always remember Sam walking down the halls talking to the students to make sure each and every one of them knew that he was there and that he cared. If it wasnt for Sam’s help with school, work, and especially life I wouldn’t have graduated and got my degree. I am glad that I got the honor to walk with him at graduation this past summer. Once again my condolences to his wife, children, and all of his family and friends.

    Evan Hill

  • I had the honor of serving as Cmdr. Wade’s dean for more than two years. He was an asset that will be sorely missed at North Central State College by all who knew him. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

  • Laura and family,
    I too was another former student of Sam’s. He made my days brighter and he believed in me. It has been 15 years since I graduated but I remember my last day of class with him. I had my tongue pierced and we always battled over which was better tattoos or piercings.. I liked at him and said “I did it!” And he smiled and said “you did kiddo, now go take that thing out of your tongue and live your life!” I saw him a while back when I went to visit Church and he remembered me, asked how I was doing and said “it’s okay you aren’t in law enforcement, but did you learn anything?” “Yes sir!” I replied, “I learned to not give up on myself and I learned that from you.” Thank you, Wade family for sharing this amazing soul with us and may you all find peace and comfort in the coming days knowing that he not only changed lives but did so for you and loved you all so much.

  • Laura and Family,

    Our hearts ache for you. You have our deepest sympathies and prayers in this devastating loss.

  • Sam and I had an amazing time on a trip to Spain in high school, definately a lifelong friend and always impressed with his career and how many officers he helped develop…a great mentor and friend will be missed…honor to you Sam

  • What a tragic loss to his family, friends, and communities! He was truly a great friend to many, and a great one of mine for 24 years! Fly high my friend!! You will be missed forever!

  • The Wade family,
    My prayers are with you all during this time of sorrow. Sam was as big as life, and was always able to make you laugh. He was a great teacher and had taught me many things that I used in my years in Law Enforcement. Thank you for sharing him with so many people and students. Memories of Sam will live on forever. I’m sure he will watch over us all. Thank you God for letting us meet your child Sam. R.I.P. Sam Wade, until we meet again that side of heaven.

  • Laura and Family,

    I am at a loss for words. I can honestly say Saturday night was one of the darkest of my career. Please know we all tried very hard to get there to help. I hope we were able to comfort you as much as possible during that horrendous evening.

    ,Burt Skeen

  • Sam, I wanted to say how much I am going to miss you if it hadn’t been for you I wouldn’t have made it through a lot of my classes, you were an awesome instructor and a good friend when I need someone to talk to you and Anne have always been there been there for me, when I came to the school two weeks ago and asked you to come to my wedding you accepted without hesitation, now it will be one guest shy.But I will be thinking of you, be to the Wade family I want to say you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • So very sorry to hear about Sam. Sam was always a character in High School and he always made me smile. Prayers for the family at this very hard time.

  • I have many memories of sam but my favorite is “homie don’t but wade does”. Heaven has gained one heck of a angel in sam. U will be missed by many. Stay cool and keep riding my friend.


  • Laura and family,
    At a loss for words. Think of u so often and think about your visit with us and when we could get together. Life is so busy. All our love, thoughts and prayers to you. If we can do anything please don’t hesitate to ask!
    Bob and Kris

  • Sam was truly a great person and will be missed by all that knew him. My condolences to the family.

  • Laura and Family- There are no words to say to ease your pain and heartache. Know of the love and prayers from your friends and family during this difficult time.

  • Prayers go out to the family of commander Wade you were one of my favorite teachers and I have been with you sense the first day of college you always had a way to make everything a funny topic no matter what it was I am going to miss sharing laughs with you and so will the rest of the academy you were an amazing teacher instructor and person we will make you proud commander Wade you will be dearly missed RIP Sam Wade

  • To Laura and the whole family,

    I was so shocked and saddened to hear about Sam. All of my prayers are with you. It may be a difficult time but remember God is with you and you have friends and relatives who care about you.

  • Sam was a wonderful mentor and professor. My time at North Central State would not have been the same without him. He truly cared about the well-being of others. He always had a smile or a joke or just general kind words to keep me motivated. He pushed me to expect more of myself because he saw the potential that I couldn’t. My sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends. His zest for life will be carried by all of those who had the privilege of knowing him.

  • With a heavy heart the officers of Bellville PD offer our simpathy to the family and friends of Commander/Prof. Wade. Know that his legacy lives on through all those he came in contact with. His mentors hip and training will keep officers in the area safe for years to come.

  • A great mentor and teacher Sam was. He made learning an absolute pleasure, and it was an honor to be a student of his. I am very fortunate to have had him as an instructor during the police academy as well as college courses. He made GANGS class so so fun! To his family, I am sorry for your loss, I hope you know how much he meant to a lot of people. See you on the other side Sam.

  • Sam will be missed so much. He was just an over all great guy. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
    RIP My Brother.

  • Prayers to Sam’s family. Sam played a huge role in my career. He was one the greatest professors I had the honor of having. He will be greatly missed.

  • Most sincere sympathy to Sam’s family. He clearly affected change and touched everyone who knew him. As a former student, I was no exception. He showed what it meant to make a meaningful impact among all students. Heart and prayers are with you.


  • One of the greatest people to be a part of me life..It was a joy being a student in his class and and having him as a instructor in the academy.He pushed me hard and never lost faith in me Mr.Wade was a awesome guy!!!! Like really a awesome Person!! He will be one of the coolest angels in heaven!!!

  • My heart and prayers are with Sam’s family and friends at this hard time. I am so blessed to have had Sam as my professor. Sam had more confidence in me than anyone I know. Sam will be very missed. God is with you! We will see you again on the other side Sam. Thank you for being the best professor someone could ask for!

  • I had the fortune of getting to know Professor Sam Wade when I taught for his Criminal Justice program and was instantly impressed by his willingness to go above and beyond, not only for me, but for his students, as well. The number of lives he has positively impacted is far too great to ever hope to count and our community has lost one of its very best far too young. My prayers are with his family.
    -Michael Kemerer and the Mansfield Law Director’s Office

  • Olivia, Alexis and Savannah,

    Sending my deepest sympathy in the loss of your father. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Laura and girls,

    Words can not express the feelings and fond memories that both of us have toward Sam. We was a great friend, and he touched our lives as he did many others. We are all better people for knowing him. Please accept our deepest condolences and know that Sam will be truly missed, but never forgotten.
    Hero’s Live Forever!!!

    Eric & Laurie Winbigler

  • SO sad to see God needed Sam at such an early age! He has touched alot of our hearts and will be missed by many! I’m sure he has a special purpose in heaven for Sam as he is so good with people and has such a big heart! I know we haven’t gotten together in quite a while, but I often think about the rides we went on and the places where we went. Also I hope if we have Harley Davidsons in heaven maybe we can all ride again someday! Rest in peace my friend!

  • Laura and family,
    You have my deepest condolences. Sam was a real gentle giant. He always had a warm heart, an easy smile, a beautiful mind, and a willing soul. He was one of the easiest persons to talk with that I have ever met. His advice and counsel were always clear and always aimed to help. I worked with him at the college for many years and I will miss him greatly.

  • Sam

    You lived your life the right way always a man of compassion fairness and strength. I always remember the lessons you taught me in the police academy especially the ones that I have followed in my proffesional life as law enforcement officer or responding with the fire Deptment or ambulance Remember them ? Always be aware of your surroundings and have a back up plan Keep you partners back and come home safe. Not a bad way to live your off duty life either. We have your back Sam. You will be missed. Rest in Peace

  • Laura and Family,
    There are no words. You know what this Great Man meant to me! I am who I am today because of him. Our program is what it is today because of Sam. I lost my partner but Heaven gained an Angel. He will never be replaced and never forgotten. I love you all and together we will pull through.
    Love always,

  • Laura,
    We were surprised and saddened to learn about Sam. My boys, especially Jake, have very happy memories of him. Words can’t express how sorry we were. Please know that I understand the grief that you are going through. If you ever need a shoulder, I am here. We will keep you and your family in our prayers.

    Deb, Will, and Jake

  • Please know Becky and I are thinking of everyone. Laura we know this is a shock to all. Even though we haven’t been around for awhile we think of you guys often. Remember the night Nanner got his nickname and smile. You as well.
    Love, Wart & Becky

  • Laura, I can’t imagine on where to begin! I am so terribly sorry for your loss. It is a great loss to all of us that knew Sam!! What a wonderful, kind and funny man!! I knew Sam from High School. We were in the same drivers ed car learning to drive. And we were in marching band. What great memories! Our birthdays were close, that’s why we learned to drive together. He is going to be missed by so many!! He touched everyone’s life with whom he came in contact with!! It is with GREAT sadness that we say goodbye to Sam!! He will be forever in our hearts!God Bless You and your family!! Condolences to you! Paula.

  • To Sam’s family,
    I was saddened and shocked to hear of Sam’s passing. I was the OPOTC field agent for nine years for Sam. I considered him one of the most ethical and honest men I have ever been associated with. I lost touch with him after I retired and believe that was my loss. He was a fine man. My prayers and thoughts are with you.

  • The world has lost a beautiful, intelligent,soul. Sam was an educator, a friend, and a bright light. He will be greatly missed. To his family…..May his love continue to surround you the rest of your days. Many blessings.

  • Family, I am deeply sorry for your loss. Sam was a great man and professor. I regret for all his would have been students, that they will not get to experience his will and love to teach. He will be missed by all of us.

  • To the family of Sam Wade:
    I had the pleasure and privilege of working with Sam at North Central State College. His sense of humor and ability to see the forest through the trees and the trees through the forest made the transition to being a professor more manageable. I am sure he will be missed by both students and co-workers alike. I cannot imagine how much he will be missed. He was a class act. My sincerest sympathy is extended to all of Sam’s family and friends.

  • Laura,

    Extending my deepest, sincerest sympathy.

    Some men leave their mark on the world by the way they live and the difference they make in the lives they touch.

    Everyone who knew Sam would know this is a “true statement”.

    In the midst of this moment may all the memories made together be close to your heart.

    Praying that strength and love will shine through and peace will fill your hearts to guide you in the days ahead.

    God Bless

  • Can’t find the right words to say but I met Sam threw my husband Scott they were best friends so I knew right away he was a awesome kind of guy along with his wife Laura. He was very kind and a hard worker. Sam you will be sadly missed only God knows why he needed you more but we will cherish the memories forever may you rest in heavenly peace my friend till we meet again. Forever in our hearts. Scott and lisa colvin.

  • Sam,

    I value your integrity more than you knew. You are among those who’s professional integrity was beyond reproach. As a result, I frequently sought your counsel and relied heavily on your advice. You’ve left us much too soon but you were (and are) rich with spirit and confident in life so I know you are in a better place. Thank you for being the man you were and I thank God for allowing me to know you.

    May God bring blessings and peace to your family. I pray they take solace in the gift you provided to so many.

    May peace be with us all!

  • After reading through these condolences and having heard so many amazing things about him through the college, I am even more proud to call Sam my cousin! Though I didn’t spend a lot of time with him in the later years, I am so grateful for the memories I carry with me from our younger years. Building towns in the sandbox for our baby rabbits, lining the driveway with “things” and selling them for “pacos’, taking and giving pony cart rides to the adults (and charging them for the ride), feeding the cows at the barn and calling them in (Sue-Cow!!), being horrified at the dehorning process !, sled rides down the hill (trying to miss the boulders), sleeping in the tree fort that Don Swanger built for us, running through cow-patties, the many clubs that we started as kids (the snake skin club?), Mary Lou calling us in from the field in her bra on the back porch! ha ha… having him in band with me when I was in the 6th grade, spending time at his pool, rag fights in the yard, as well as all the other late night games we played with the Swanger’s and Kevin Brown, and the bats! – racing cars in the basement, and spending New Years Eve at Bob and Mary Lou’s playing Bingo, and watching Johnny Cash!! Oh, the memories! I am so, so sorry for your loss Laura and family. I felt I was just beginning to reconnect with him after all these years. In fact, was just thinking of calling him about a month ago or so… I should have listened to my heart! My prayers are with you all! If you ever want to get together and talk, please call me. My number is in Sam’s phone!

  • Laura and family,
    Words cannot say how sorry we are for your loss. Sam was a great example for so many people in every aspect of his life. Always up for an adventure, his spirit and kindness will carry on. If you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask.
    Your friends always,
    Sam and Lynette

  • Laura and family,

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. As you know, Sam was the best academy commander! As one of his previous students, his support, care, and assistance going through the academy can not be left unknown. One story that always comes to mind was out on the range, he yelled at a student for pointing her gun at her leg, but when he yelled her name, she turned around and pointed the gun at the whole class-forgetting to aim it down to the ground. After he gave her a ‘talk’, we could only laugh.
    Sorry to hear about your loss and know we are thinking about you.

  • Laura and family,

    We at the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office wanted you to know that you all are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Sheriff Risner and staff of the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office

  • Want to give you our heartfelt condolences. Denise is our niece. Doug has become a nephew also. We will keep you in our prayers going forward.

  • Mr. Wade you were truly an incredible teacher. Between you and Ann I learned more about life than you will ever know. You will be missed by many!

    To the family I am deeply sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family during this difficult time.

  • Our most heart-felt condolences and prayers are offered. . . The loss of such a person of noble character affects us all. . . Sorry we are not able to travel, and express our sorrow in person.

  • My heartfelt condolences to Laura and her family. As everyone has said, Sam will be sorely missed. A fine man and damn fine skinner.


  • Dear Wade Family,
    I know words will not heal your loss but I pray they help you through this time. Your Husband and Father was an amazing man and I am honored to have worked with him on the streets and to have taught with him.
    Know this, he loved you deeply and there was not a time we were together that he did not talk of you and your accomplishments with a twinkle in his eye and a smile of pride on his face. It was always apparent that he loved his family deeply and that is what impressed me the most about Sam.
    I’ll see you soon my brother, God’s speed

  • So long old friend. So long. I hope we will meet again.

    Thank you for being a part of my life, Sam. I am a better man for it.

    Thank you for your father, whom I loved and admired. Thank you for your mother who always treated me with kindness. Thank you for befriending me in our childhood, everyone needs good friends. Thank you for dreaming with me in high school of the future we could attain, it seems we both found our path. Thank you for always beating me out in band practice for 2nd trombone, (I still think I was better, but) it taught me humility. Thank you for allowing me to help you show your cow we named “Archie” after our middle school science teacher, it taught me the value of hard work. Thank you for feeding me the delicious noodles and beef the next year at the county fair in the camper, it taught me about the circle of life when your mother asked me how I liked it because “that’s Archie!” Thank you for being my DeMolay brother, as it taught me about fraternity. Thank you for offering to drive after my mother executed a “Dukes of Hazard” over the railroad crossing in the middle of the night when we took my brother to college, it taught me not to trust my mothers driving skills, or your inflated value of your own. And thank you for always offering a friendly smile and “hello” as you were directing traffic into Mid-Ohio as a Lexington patrolman and I was transporting VIP’s into the race as a sponsor, it taught me that everyone has a position in life and one is no better than the other.

    Thank you, Sam. Thank you for being my friend. Always. While we may have grown apart years ago as I left home and you stayed, you were always a great friend to me, and a great influence, and a great inspiration, on my life. And the lives of many, many, others as well.

    What greater legacy can be bestowed upon a man than to be known as a positive influence for good on all those that you interact with? From my perspective, you attained all that is right and good in this life long ago. Go in peace, my friend. Go in peace.

    I will miss you, Sam, and will always cherish our time together. I am utterly devastated to learn of your family’s loss. And mine.

    So long old friend. So long…

  • So sorry for your loss. May he enter the spirit world joyously.
    Bonnie Tomassetti

  • Sam was an amazing academy commander. He was tough on us all, but always for the greater good. I’ll never forget the day I was eating M&Ms in the hallway and I accidentally dropped one. He made me do push ups for littering. As I got down to do my 20, the entire bag, in my pocket, spilled out. He looked at me and said, “well, looks like you will be down here for a while!” All while laughing. You were a great man, Sam and will be truly missed. Laura, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Laura and family,
    Sam was such an amazing guy and had such a big impact on all of us. He will be truely and sorely missed. I’m so saddened to hear about his passing and hope that God hold you guys in his arms and helps you through this tough time. Rest in peace Sam .

  • So sorry for your loss. He was a great teacher and never gave up on his students. He will be missed. Prayers for the family in this time of need.

  • I am at a loss of words when I heard the news. Sam, you were such an awesome person and a big part of my life in the younger years when we were in the Masonic Temple. You always made everything fun. You had the best heart of any man I know and would do anything for someone. Your family is very lucky to have had you in their life. The world has lost an beautiful, thoughtful, caring, laid back and funny man. Laura I know you don’t know me, but we were good friends in our teen years., Mary Lou was like a 2nd mother to me. Sam always cared about everyone, would keep us laughing and always took care of the music at our installation parties. I have very fond memories of Sam and the group of friends we hung with. I was just thinking of him last week, since my youngest son is so into criminal justice and being a police officer. My son would have enjoyed meeting Sam. Sam will be missed very much. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family during this time.

  • Laura,
    My heart breaks for you. There aren’t any word that can ease your pain right now. It’s been so long since we were all as close as sisters, you, Kris and I. I think of those times often with a smile. Love you girl. You are in my thoughts and prayers. If there’s anything I can do even if it’s just to listen let me know.

  • To the Wade Family,
    Please accept our sympathies and prayers for the passing of Sam. He will be sorely missed.
    The Ron Nelson Family

  • Laura,
    I waited hoping to find the right words to say how sorry we are for your loss but those words never came. Sam was a great person from what of knew of him. You and your family are in my thoughts every day. If you need anything I’m just a call away. Miss you and will miss hearing things that you and Sam are doing.