Elias, Lt. Col. Samuel M., U.S.A.F. Retired, age 95, born April 3, 1918 in Arnold, PA passed away on July 2, in Hollywood, FL. Sam Elias was well known as a real estate agent in Hollywood for the past 40 years, most recently with Keyes Realty, Leadership Realty and Classic Realty. He was the longest standing member and the oldest active member of the South Broward Board of Realtors. He was recently granted a lifetime membership in this organization. Sam was an outstanding high school athlete, he played quarterback and was captain of his football team and was all-state in basketball. He received a scholarship to Washington and Jefferson College where he was an outstanding basketball player. He played briefly for the Detroit Eagles in the National Basketball League, which was the forerunner of the NBA. He also played on numerous service teams while in the Air Force. He was inducted into the Allegheny-Kiski Valley sports hall of fame in 2011. Upon graduation from college he entered the U.S. Army Air Corps and married Edith Waddell to whom he was married for 62 years until her passing in 2004. He was assigned to the 20th bomb wing, in the Marianna Islands. That wing dropped the atomic bombs on Japan, ending World War II, thus saving hundreds of thousands of American lives, if the U.S. had invaded Japan. Sam continued his military career and played on numerous basketball and softball teams representing the U.S. Air Force. He officiated many high school and college football and basketball games. During the last ten years of his distinguished military career, he was the manager of some of the finest officer's clubs in the Air Force and received numerous awards for managing them well. After 25 years in the U.S. Air Force he retired as a Lt. Colonel and immediately began running civilian country clubs. He was the manager of Hillcrest Country Club and Emerald Hills Country Club, both located in Hollywood. He obtained a real estate broker's license and began selling homes in Emerald Hills. While Sam Elias could have retired 40 years ago on his military retirement, social security and his investments, he chose to continue helping people purchase their dream homes. He was extremely well regarded by his peers, friends and family and will be remembered as one of the nicest people they have ever met. He is survived by his wife, Kay Sorrell Elias, son, Jeff Elias of McKinney, TX and daughter, Deborah Elias of Hollywood, as well as three grandchildren, Andrew Elias of Atlanta, Jeffrey Elias of Plano, TX and Erica Elias of Wylie, TX and one great grandson, Jeffrey S. Elias, Jr. of McKinney, TX. His son Gregory Elias of Fort Lauderdale pre-deceased him in 1996. Viewing to be held at the Fred Hunter Funeral Home, 6301 Taft St., Hollywood on Friday, July 12 from 5 PM to 8 PM and funeral services are 11 AM, Saturday, July 13.
Published in Sun-Sentinel on July 8, 2013