Sam Achziger

June 28, 1925 – February 12, 2006

The official obituary for Sam appeared this weekend in the Brattleboro Reformer. It is also printed in the local paper in Longmont, Colorado.
Sam's Obit Photo.jpg
Most of my visits with him over the last three years are recorded here. A timeline of major events in his life is here.

8 thoughts on “Sam Achziger

June 28, 1925 – February 12, 2006”

  1. Sam was my uncle. His mother raised me as one of her own since my mother had died. My father Clarence Achziger was one of Sam’s older brothers. When it came time for Sam to go to college at Yankton, my dad helped finance his education. During that time my dad took their mother to visit Sam. Upon their return my dad told me that Sam had said he would assist me in my college education, which never transpired. When you ask me do I know this man, Yes I Know this man. Larry Achziger.

  2. Hi Larry.
    It’s interesting you write now, because I’ve been thinking of Sam’s life, and how he managed to transform his personal pain in ways that led him to bring joy to so many people’s lives. I can’t speak to your personal experience with him. I do know that Sam suffered quite a lot as a young man. I don’t know how many of his friends and family know this, or knew it and have forgotten? I don’t know at what age he truly reconciled his life to himself; all I know is that one of the connections between him and me was that I acknowledged a part of his life that most others didn’t.
    What I know from my own life (and I wonder if you know from yours?), is that it takes time to figure out why and how we’re messed up in the ways that we are, and to decide how we’re going to manage our selves in the world against the constraints of what the world will allow us to be and do.
    I suspect if Sam knew of your disappointment he would have tried his best to do something about it. I can apologize on his behalf, knowing it’s not the same as a direct apology; nor is it enough to make up for whatever losses you feel you’ve suffered that you think he might have been able to mitigate.
    Maybe this is way out of line, but earlier this evening I was thinking of my brother and some of the struggles he’s facing. What I thought is that none of what happened was his fault, but he’s the only one who can make it better. I thought it for him, and then realized it’s true for me, too. All kinds of things happened when I was a child over which I had no control whatsover. As I’ve aged, it has taken a long time for me to learn how to distinguish between the things I am legitimately responsible for and the things I feel guilty about. Even as a young adult, I often acted on autopilot and habitual conditioning. It is only now – in my forties! – that I think I’m starting to be fully accountable for actions taken consciously.
    Like I said, I can’t speak for Sam, but it seems possible to me that whatever was promised was not neglected out of malice or any intention to harm you or cause you pain. It’s just that in the course of learning how to manage our own baggage some things get lost along the way.
    I wish you all the best.

  3. The first Time I had seen Sam I was just a young boy this was at his brother Rhine’s funeral service and the the first time I met Sam was at his borther Herman’s funeral service in Yurington Nevada.
    After the service some of the family met at a casino and I found myself sitting playing nickel poker and Uncle same sitting next to me helping me along the way winning the big money and laughing over the 10 to 15 nickel winnings.I really enjoyed that time with my Uncle Sam he was happy,funny and witty and just a real neat person to be around I will always remember the day I met My Uncle Sam.
    I didn’t know my uncle Sam before that day so I asked my mother about Uncle Sam and she told me that Sam was a very nice man and educated man who has a big heart and liked to travel and loved people and she really liked him.
    I had another chance to visit with Sam and his Sister Edith at my mother’s home and another time I made a road trip to Aunt Edith’s house to visit with them and I had dinner with them.It was nice to get to know Sam and my Aunt Edith and to listen to the Stories about my own Grandfather when he was a young boy.
    I didn’t get to spend much time with Uncle Sam but the time I did get with him I feel very fortunate to have had that time.
    Cash Achziger

  4. Hi Cash, nice to “meet” you. 🙂
    I still think of Sam everyday, and especially when things are feeling a bit rough I ask myself, what would Sam do now? Probably make some wise-ass joke!
    Unless it was a moment when emotional recognition mattered. He was always good at acknowledging the rough stuff.
    And THEN he would make a wise-ass crack. 🙂

  5. The First Time that I remember meeting Uncle Sam I was With My Two Brothers Cash And Duane attending a Funeral for His Brother Herman, Now I may have met him as a young child but do not remember. It was A sad But Happy day for Me I got to see Family that I havent seen in a very long time or Got to meet Some that I didnt know Including Sam.
    Sam Was Very Nice and Very Interested in Getting to know us, He made me feel welcome and Gained my respect almost Immediatly. Since Then We Sent Christmas Cards to Each Other Every Year Up Untill He got Sick, But I still sent him one to let him Know I still thought about him.
    I met the Man Once in My life and he made an Everlasting Impression On me, You do not find that very Often In life. I was Very Sad to Hear of his passing and he will be dearly Missed.
    I Have read the Other posts and it seems he has touched alot of lives, and for those who think he didnt touch theirs I Just have one comment “When You Make yourself Emotionally, Physically and Intellectually Unavailable to people, you will be left dissappointed for you will miss out on all the benefits one can bestow In your life”
    That Ones for you Uncle Sam!!! You Will Be in My Heart and thoughts Always!!

  6. Cash and Emma, I’m sure we haven’t met, the only blood relatives of Sam’s that I ever met are his sister Edith and niece Jennifer. I know his godchildren, though. We had some awfully fun times together in Putney, and a few very special ones at the nursing home. 🙂 It’s so cool that even in brief experiences Sam was able to leave an impression. I don’t remember him having that kind of direct impact on me when I was young, but when I reencountered Sam when I had become an adult (however the hell THAT happens!), he had that Feeling of being family. It’s hard to explain, I think it’s just something one experiences at the emotional level and recognizes as a deep kind of connection.
    The other totally cool thing about Sam is how he brought such different kinds of people together; in some ways, he is still doing that! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *