• Forest Park Westheimer Funeral Home
    Houston, TX
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SAMUEL RICHARD SHALALA
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December 26, 2014
I had the honor of being one of Sam's instructors when he was a student at the University of Georgia. He was an outstanding human being. During our time together, I certainly learned as much from him as he did from me, mostly about how to interact with other people.

I happened to think about Sam this afternoon and decided to see if I could find him on the internet. Sadly, I came upon his obituary.

My sincere condolences to his family and other friends. Please take pride in knowing that Sam's legacy and reputation will shine bright for many, many years to come.

David Patterson
Oglethorpe University
Atlanta
October 22, 2014
Doc was one of the most extraordinary people ever. I met him when he was training professional athletes in Houston; I was obviously not a professional (as he often noted) but he whipped me into shape and in the process taught me a lot of about life, sports, friendship and always doing the right thing. He made a serious and deep impression on my life and I will always be grateful for the time he gave me...it was an amazing gift. He was one of our very best in every way (and also the best amateur athlete in the state of Texas for years)....sleep well, Doc. You will always be in our hearts and actions.
September 17, 2014
We know life is strange but at the same time can have meaning. For whatever reason I thought of Col Shalala the other day and looked him up. Sorrowfully I see that he passed away 2 years ago. I met him as a young 2nd Lt at Ft. Knox in 1972. As a junior officer he took me under his wing professionaly. We had similar likes and enjoyed discussing everything from politics to sports. He and I enjoyed boxing and I remember going with him and his wife to see the 2nd Ali-Frazier fight sitting in a closed circuit venue in Louisville Kentucky. What a thrill to enjoy that event with him. He was an outstanding commanding officer and was always fair and impartial in dealing with all his troops. He was also extremely intelligent and always had a clear vision when it came to support and guidance. May he rest in peace and know that I was honored by his presence in my life so long ago.
September 20, 2013
No words can or need to explain what you mean to me. We shared precious moments together the last few years and I am so thankful for those times. Not to mention the times in my younger years when you proved you were the greatest. You're instilled in my heart and you're around my neck. Love you forever, Jon Jon
November 29, 2012
Doc, you are the best. All of your fellow Houston GOLFERS will remember you forever. We will be forever in debt to you for blessing us with you extraordinary talent of life. Enjoy your Golf in Heaven as you wait for us to join you. We will do our best to meet up with in heaven some day to play golf, like the good ole days.

May God Bless you as you did for us.
November 12, 2012
I LOVED THIS MAN AND THOUGHT IT WAS SO FUNNY TO BREAK THROUGH HIS TOUGH EXTERIOR AND SEE THE SENSITIVE SOFT SIDE, HE WILL BE MISSED. BEST WISHES TO ILENE AND FAMILY
November 06, 2012
What an extraordinary human being! I didn't know him, but knew his daughter, Erin,---also an extraordinary person. How desperately we need leaders like this---a real Renaissance Man. Condolences to the family, and RIP to a wonderful human being.
November 05, 2012
"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief... and unspeakable love." –
Washington Irving
November 04, 2012
My deepest condolences to the family. We miss him so much. We loved how he would sing to us in Italian during dinner. He loved talking to Dylan about football. We love you and miss you all!
November 04, 2012
I am sorry for the loss of this great man. I did not know him, but I appreciate all that he has done for this country.
September 18, 2012
My love and thoughts to my family in Texas, Georgia, wherever you may be. Uncle Sam was always my favorite great uncle. From the time I could remember, I looked forward to his trips to Cleveland, his reciting of poems like Hiawatha, making up stories as we drove through the city, and his way of bantering with my grandfather will always be fond memories of growing up. I remember him running down our street during my grandfathers funeral and being mad at me for catching up to him in my flip flops because the neighbors would realize he wasn't as fast as he used to be. I also remember him calling me to him at the end of my grandfather's funeral and hugging me so close I couldn't breathe. I still have a picture of him on my desk at work and feel grateful I have the memories of him that I do. Thank you for sharing your father, grandfather, uncle with me. I love you all.
September 16, 2012
Dear Cousin Donnie, I appreciate all the supportive calls you have made to me since your Uncle Sam passed away. I know how much he loved you. My extended family in Cleveland and points beyond have been a great comfort to me. I love you dearly. I bet Grandma Hafeeza was waiting in front of St. Peter. I can hear her saying, "We have been waiting on you Sonny Boy."
September 16, 2012
Dear Erin, i just realized that i had accidently excluded you in my initial message. Please forgive me and know that you are in my prayers
September 16, 2012
Dear sweet Aunt Eileen, Leenie,Sam,Shann, and Bobbie, please accept my most sincere condolences.We lost a good one. I remember the 2 to 3 hour phone calls from Unc Sam 3 to 4 times a week. The stories of him and my father running together when they were kids..i must have heard them 4 million times. I wish I could hear them 4 million more times. Now Sammie and Donnie are running together again, this time in a much better place. St. Peter, you are going to have your hands full. One thing Unc Sam taught me was to grab every minute of this life and live it to it's fullest. I owe it to him to do just that. There will never be another day in my life that I will not think of him and the stories and laughs and what he meant to me. Unc, I know you wanted to go out in a blaze of glory and you truly did. Unc, please know that I truly loved you and I promise that I will carry you in my thoughts and prayers every day of my life.
May God rest your soul, Lord knows you earned it.
September 14, 2012
Mr. Shalala, it was an honor to have known you! You accomplished so many successes in your life and I am so thankful for your service! I am so happy you are living in eternity!
September 13, 2012
Daddy you personified honor and courage. Your example shall sustain me for the rest of my life. You will never be forgotten.


You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.
Aristotle
September 12, 2012
"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief... and unspeakable love." –
Washington Irving
September 11, 2012
Dad, Thanks for all the stories. You were the best story teller around. I'm so happy you have been restored. I give thanks to God for the long, healthy life you had.. I am so happy I was able to hold your hand so many times near the end. Thank you for teaching me about Jesus. My faith now runs as deep as the roots of an ancient oak. You are loved, and you will be missed. I made a video with one of your favorite songs. Love, Shannie Annie
http://animoto.com/play/l5KxxLvtZ0Bl5SCFZK1vdw
September 11, 2012
We love you and miss you.
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