Longtime teacher, administrator and well-known community member Sammy "Sam" K Christiansen of St. Anthony died Monday, Dec. 30, 2013, in Salt Lake City. He was 69.
He was born June 20, 1944, in Ogden, Utah, to Chester E and Cleo Beth Barton Christiansen. He attended Lovell (Wyoming) Elementary School, Lovell High School, Ricks College and Idaho State University.
On June 20, 1964, he married his sweetheart, Janice Ruth Smith, in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple, and together they had seven children: Craig, Kathryn, David, Steven, John, Brian and Emilee.
Fondly known as "Coach Sam" or "Coach" to many, Sam worked as a high school teacher, coach and administrator in the Fremont County school system for over 30 years.
He provided dedicated service for many years on the St. Anthony City Council and was active in the Rotary Club.
A lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sam served as a bishop, a Scoutmaster and on the Stake High Council.
In 1978, he received the National Carnegie Award for Heroism for his life-saving rescue of capsized canoeists on Shoshone Lake while on a Scouting activity. Sam loved fishing, boating and hiking, his favorites being the hikes to Devil's Staircase and Table Rock.
Sam is survived by his wife, Janice; five of his children, Craig (Sondra), Kathryn (Jed) Bichsel, David, Steven (Alisha) and Brian (Mandie); and 18 grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, John; and his daughter, Emilee.
One 8-year-old grandchild summed up Sam's life best when he said, "Well, there goes the best grandpa in the whole world." Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, at the St. Anthony 3rd/4th Ward LDS Chapel, 507 W. Second North. The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bert Flamm Mortuary, 581 E. First North in St. Anthony, and from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Saturday prior to services at the church. Interment will be in Teton-Newdale Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.flammfh.com.