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.