Richard Samuel (Sam) Hall, Jr.
Salem - April 13, 1940 - July 1, 2018
Sam Hall, Ph.D., came to Salem in 1972 with his spouse at the time, Gretchen, and daughter, Diana, as the James T. Matthews Chair of Mathematics at Willamette University. He was part of the Willamette community from 1972 until 2005, both as professor and Vice President of Academic Affairs. He also taught in the university's general education program and developed a course in peace and non-violent social action.
Following retirement from Willamette University, Sam co-mediated civil lawsuits with his spouse of 27 years, Susan Leeson. He appreciated the partnership and friendship of other volunteers for many decades at Neighbor-to-Neighbor Community Mediation and Fellowship of Reconciliation. Sam believed in civic engagement. He was an active leader on the Salem Public Library Board of Directors, Salem Public Library Foundation, and Oregon State Library Board of Directors. He also served on the boards of the Guadalupe Clinic and Neighbor-to-Neighbor.
Sam worked tirelessly as the managing member of Sustainable Fairview Associates in its effort to transform the former Fairview Training Center into a model of a sustainable, walkable community.
Sam appreciated the power of language and found poetry a particularly profound way to convey meaning. Among his favorite poet/activists were William Stafford, Joseph Brodsky, Wendell Berry and Aracelis Girmay. Nikki Giovanni occupied his interest, free time and bookshelves in the months before he passed.
Sam will be remembered for his integrity, humor, kindness, generosity, and mentorship of countless students.
Sam is survived by spouse, Sue Leeson; daughter, Diana Hall; grandson, Asher Hall; and brother, Bill Hall and family.
At Sam's request there will be no service. Instead, he asks that anyone who would attend a service think of him and do something kind for someone else. The family requests no flowers.
Published in The Statesman Journal on Jul. 8, 2018.