Samuel Earl (Sam) Wilson

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Samuel Earl (Sam) Wilson of Acworth, GA, born October 27, 1946, passed away at his home February 13, 2019 following a hard-fought, three year battle with cancer. Sam was loved by many and spent his last night surrounded by family while his friends called or stopped in to speak to him one last time. 

Sam was a native of Knoxville, Tennessee. In his teens, he attended Campbell High School in Smyrna, Georgia, Cherokee High School in Woodstock, Georgia and graduated from Fulton High in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1964. He was an all-state football player, despite being undersized. He turned down a football scholarship to Vanderbilt because he had his heart set on the University of Tennessee. Before college however, he chose to join the the Air Force in 1966. Afterwards, he became a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee in 1974. He was a lifelong, devoted Volunteer fan. He was so dedicated in fact, he named his cat Peyton. 

Sam had a long and varied 50 year career in domestic and international logistics, working as a licensed US customs broker. He retired in 2010, after an injury left him partially paralyzed. He fell off the roof while cleaning his gutters at 63 years young. Six years later, he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. He continued to fight and defy the odds. He came out of retirement in 2017 to return to the work he loved as an International Customs Broker with Hansen Shipping Agency. He worked between chemo treatments and surgeries. Sam enjoyed his work and loved his coworkers. 

Of all his accomplishments, Sam was most proud of his family. A dedicated family man, he is survived by his wife of almost 48 years, Tandy Wilson. Together they raised three children: Kristen, Eric and Robert. Kristen married Donnie Rollins in 2000. In 2004, they gave Sam and Tandy their first grandson, Tyler. Their second grandson, Evan, was born to Kristen and Donnie in 2007. Having grandchildren was truly a joy for both Sam and Tandy. In 2011, his youngest son, Robert, married Beth. While Robert and Beth didn't have children, they had three fur babies that gave Sam endless hours of happiness. In 2016, Eric married Jo. The marriage gave Sam his step granddaughter, Madison. Two years later, they gave Sam and Tandy their last grandson, Rylan.

Sam is also survived by one sister, Anna Curtis, her husband, Harold, as well as many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. 

Sam is preceded in death by his loving parents, Joseph Earl and Della Hickman Wilson and three siblings: Christine, Robert and Helen Wilson.

Viewing will be on Sunday, February 17, 2019 at Georgia Funeral Care and Cremation Services in Acworth, Georgia from 1-3pm. A funeral service will follow at 3pm. 

The family will host a celebration of life for Knoxville family and friends at a private residence located at 815 North 4th Avenue, Knoxville, Tennessee on February 18, 2019 from 3:00-7:00 p.m. 

A graveside service will be held February 19, 2019 at 2pm, East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery, 2200 John Sevier Highway Knoxville, Tennessee. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the The Samuel E. Wilson “Volunteer of the Year” Scholarship Fund. Donations can be made via PayPal using the email address: scholarship@samuelewilson.com. Inquiries for other methods of donation can be directed to the same email.  

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