Irene Safkow Sams was born March 15, 1926 in Detroit, MI to Margaret Dinning Safkow and John Frederick Safkow. She died April 17, 2019, at the age of 93, at her home in Sebring, OH. She and her husband, J. Stanley Sams, Sr., were married for over 71 years. Stanley passed away on April 7, 2019. She is survived by her children, James Sams, Jr. (Susan) of Myrtle Beach, SC, Janice Street (Ted), of Louisville, OH, Beverly Blasiman (Douglas) of Hudson, MI, grandchildren Brian Sams (Danielle) of North Andover, MA, Allison DeVaux (Scott) of Myrtle Beach, SC, Timothy Sams (Maria) of Clermont, FL, Michelle Olsgard (Christopher) of Columbus, OH, Jacqueline Dees (Jonathan) of Columbus, OH, Eric Blasiman (Brittany) of Haskins, OH, Craig Blasiman (Faith) of Farmington Hills, MI, Corey Street (Monica) of Louisville, OH, and Katelyn Irene Street of Columbus, OH, as well as 11 great-grandchildren. Irene was preceded in death by her husband and parents as well as her siblings Evelyn (Peggy) Safkow Hendershot, John F. Safkow, Jr., Andrew A. Safkow, half-sister, Elizabeth Dinning Brown, and daughter-in-law Linda Miller Sams.
Irene Sams was a loving mother who warmly welcomed family and friends into her home, especially her circle of friends lovingly referred to as the ‘birthday bunch’. She faithfully served Sebring Presbyterian Church as a choir member (since 1942), elder, trustee, treasurer, song leader and youth leader. She was also active in the Pathfinder Sunday School Class and the Lydia Circle. She served on various committees with the Eastminster Presbytery. Over the years, Irene was also involved with the Sebring Historical Society, Sebring Alumni Association (Class of ’44) and YW Wives. She and Stanley served on the Beaver Creek Presbyterian Church Camp Board of Trustees. Irene was the treasurer for many of these organizations.
In her earlier years, Irene worked in the trust department at the Alliance First National Bank and was secretary and treasurer at the Sebring United Methodist Church for 25 years. She was the bookkeeper for Sams Construction Company.
After retirement, Irene and Stanley worked on numerous mission trips with Friends Disaster Service, Habitat for Humanity, and others in Mexico, Honduras, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, and Thailand as well as many of the United States.
Mrs. Sams will live on through the many people who looked up to her as an exemplary role model. Many admired her for her love, her positive attitude and her wisdom. She will be remembered for her daily 2 mile walk on Pine Lake Road, cleaning up debris as she went. She treasured her Scottish heritage.
Visitation for Irene will be held at Sebring Presbyterian Church in Sebring, OH on Monday, April 22nd from 10:00 – 11:45 a.m. with the Funeral Service immediately following. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Sebring Presbyterian Church, Beaver Creek Presbyterian Church Camp, or the Ethiopia Education Endowment Fund, all in care of Sebring Presbyterian Church, 525 N. 16th Street, Sebring, OH 44672.
Stier-Israel Funeral Home 330-875-1414