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Sam (Clyde) Fenner, 83, was born February 14, 1932 in Doeville, TN to parents, Samuel Clyde Fenner and Edna Mae Farthing Fenner. He passed away on June 6, 2015. He was predeceased by his parents; brothers, Paul, Gene, Bob; sisters, Ruth, Ann, Helen, Mary, Linda; and a son Ray. He is survived by his wife, Geri, of 62 years; sons, Jim (Mary) and Tom (Lisa); daughter, Jan (Bill) Whitfield; and brothers, Bill and Dr. David Fenner; seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
After attending Watauga Academy and Hampton High School in Tennessee, he served in the U.S. Navy as a Quartermaster aboard the Aircraft Carrier, USS Essex and the Minesweeper, USS Devastator during the Korean War. In Seattle on March 1, 1953 he met his future wife, Geraldine (Geri) Bernice Lemna. They were married on July 12, 1953 in Tacoma, WA at the home of Geraldine’s parents, Leo and Mary Lemna. After his Navy service, he attended Seattle Pacific College and went to work for Boeing, retiring after 39 years in 1994. In retirement, Sam served in the VFW and participated as a member of the honor guard in many military funerals. He also discovered a love for writing, becoming a contributing columnist for “The Tomahawk,” a weekly newspaper in Mountain City, TN. He contributed stories for four books written by a former classmate and wrote an interview column for the volunteer newsletter at Highline Medical Center. Sam was a licensed Southern Baptist minister for nearly 60 years, often serving as an interim pastor. He even officiated at the weddings of his daughter, Jan, and his granddaughter, Katie. A lover of sports, he played organized softball until age 75. Besides the love for his family, it was the 17 years of volunteering at Highline Medical Center in Burien, WA, beginning in 1998 that became the most meaningful service of his life. The parade of volunteers, nurses and administrators who came to see him in his last days in Hospice at the hospital was a measure of his impact on those around him and it meant a great deal to his family.
A service to celebrate Sam’s life will be held on Saturday, June 13 at 1:00 PM at the First Baptist Church of Des Moines, 22415 19th Avenue South, Des Moines, WA 98198. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to either Highline Medical Foundation, 16259 Sylvester Rd SW, #101, Burien, WA 98166, in Sam’s name or the First Baptist Church of Des Moines (address above).