Samuel Timothy Croker

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On Wednesday, March 17, 2021, Samuel Timothy Croker, of Woodstock, GA, left his earthly body at the age of 49, after living with lung cancer for 4 years.

Samuel was preceded in death by his father Sam, and twin brothers James and Perry.  He is survived by his wife Joye, his 3 children, Sophie, Amelia, and Patrick, his mother Joanna Croker of Anderson, SC, his sisters Cherry Kent of Charleston, SC and Melissa Lyon of Kernersville, NC, and several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Samuel was a loyal and caring friend, dedicated and loving husband, supportive and insightful father, and generous silent giver.  He believed in giving to others, whether it was money to help someone in need, or household items that he no longer needed.  When Jesus was asked which was the most important commandment, His response was “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these. “ Mark 12:30-31.  Samuel frequently reminded his family that this was the most important thing to remember in anything that you do.

Samuel did not talk much ordinarily, but if you did ever start a conversation with him, you would be in a very in-depth conversation about the topic at hand.  He could carry on a conversation about anything.  He often joked that his brain was full of useless information, so he was a great teammate for trivia.  Asking a simple question would never yield a simple answer.  You would certainly become subject to an entire lecture about the topic, complete with graphs and occasionally an internet video to watch as well.  

Samuel was born in Anderson, SC on September 28, 1971.  After high school, Samuel joined the US Army and served with the 1/37 Armor, 1st Armor Division in Germany and in the first Gulf War as a tank crewman.  He also served in the South Carolina Army National Guard. Before he entered the Army, he met his one and only sweetheart, Joye.  After a 3-year physical separation while Samuel was serving overseas, they married on July 4, 1992, flying back from where he was stationed in California over a 4-day holiday weekend.   Samuel spent much of his young adult life pursuing outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking, and fly fishing.  Before his illness, he was still spending time outside camping and hiking with the kids.  He became an avid runner, actively training for marathons right up to the days before surgery to remove part of his lung.  Samuel said the perfect run was about 10-12 miles- just long enough to get into the groove but not so long you’ll hurt after.

Samuel attended Midlands Technical College, in Columbia, SC and transferred to the University of South Carolina where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Master of Science in Statistics.  A friend wrote the following to summarize Samuel’s intellectual pursuits:  Sam always had a penchant for learning, and he focused on all aspects of the analytical life cycle to drive decisions most efficiently.  His enthusiasm for a variety of topics was amazingly infectious to friends and colleagues. Sam's grounding was from his military background, DBA work, and deep mathematical/statistical work and most importantly, his family.   His education focused on applied mathematics, statistics, computer science, time series, and multiple input transfer function modeling for streamflow data.  In his free time, cloud computing, covid-19 monitoring and epidemiological pursuits were key analytical interests.

Samuels Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, March 28, 2021, 4pm at Momentum Church, 659 Arnold Mill Road, Woodstock, GA.  Dress is very casual, keeping with Samuel’s desire to be in a church where you can come dressed as you like (he personally preferred cargo shorts and a t-shirt).  Samuel’s remains will be interred in a small family ceremony at Georgia National Cemetery on March 31, 2021.

The family welcomes donations to Camp Kesem as an expression of sympathy instead of flowers https://donate.kesem.org/team/305726 (choose University of Georgia please).  Camp Kesem is dedicated to supporting children impacted by a parent’s cancer, at no cost to families.  Sophie (Ginger Snap), Amelia (Milky Way), and Patrick (Mars) have been blessed with the opportunity to attend a weeklong summer camp- free- organized and run by Camp Kesem at the University of Georgia for the last 3 years and will continue until they age out.

15 Comments To "Samuel Timothy Croker"

Arun Narayanan On Mar 31 2021 at 11am
I am going to miss you Sam. All the best to Joye & the kids. Reply to this comment
Wendy Tsai On Mar 27 2021 at 10am
My deepest condolences for Sam's passing. I hope services bring comfort to your family. He was the best teammate, and generous with his time and knowledge. Sending thoughts of prayers and peace in Sam's memory. Reply to this comment
Ali Zarrabi, MD On Mar 27 2021 at 10am
It was an honor and pleasure getting to know him over the years. This was a beautiful obituary. He is very much in my thoughts. Reply to this comment
Kurt and Sharon Lining On Mar 27 2021 at 10am
As a close friend of his mother’s, Joanna Croker, I know Samuel was a wonderful person with a beautiful, sweet family. I am sorry I’ve never had the opportunity to meet you all but you continue to be in my prayers. Reply to this comment
Mark LeFave On Mar 24 2021 at 2pm
I had the pleasure of meeting Sam, when I joined SAS a year and a half ago. His commitment to his work, willingness to help, and his warm presence made him a colleague to respect and enjoy. To Sam's family...he spoke of you often, and clearly loved all of you. You should know that less than a week before he passed, I spoke with Sam...he was sharing ways in which he could better support some shared projects that we had....what this tells me, and what this should tell the 4 of you, is that his cancer DID NOT win. He fought to the end and was always looking forward. That says so much about his character. I hope you can find some comfort in that. You're all in my thoughts in prayers and you have my sincere condolences. Reply to this comment
Pritesh Desai On Mar 24 2021 at 2pm
Will miss you, Sam. Rest now... Reply to this comment
Robert Collins On Mar 24 2021 at 2pm
So sorry for your loss. Sam's influence on those of us fortunate enough to have worked with him at SAS was significant and lasting - technically, professionally and personally. I hope the love and joy others have expressed for Sam will provide some comfort during this sorrowful time. Reply to this comment
Matt Becker On Mar 24 2021 at 11am
I am at a loss for words during this sorrowful time. I met Sam 5-6 years ago where we work. As Joye wrote, he would always say "I'm full of useless knowledge." He was a kindred spirit to me. When we got on the phone, the first thing he always asked was how I was doing. A truly caring and loving individual! Please know that I am thinking of you and the family and praying for peace and comfort. Reply to this comment
Josh Poduska On Mar 24 2021 at 8am
I first met Sam 7 years ago when he joined the company I was working for. We became friends fast and have stayed in contact over the years. He talked about Joye and the kids often. I feel like I know them well even though we've never met. Sam is a rare breed - incredibly smart but also down to earth and really fun to be around. I will miss him. I hope to see him again in the next life where I'm sure his curiosity and love of life are being fed like never before. Reply to this comment
Christy Steiger On Mar 24 2021 at 8am
Such a perfect encapsulation of Sam. Some of my favorite memories are of his wonderful taste in music that he shared so willingly, and conversing with him about so many important topics. I will always look up to him, and aspire to be like him. Reply to this comment
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