Sam Shuhda (age 87) passed away Oct. 6, 2013. He was born on Sept. 19, 1926, in Brooklyn, NY. Sam was the fourth of six children born to Habib and Regina Shuhda, immigrants from Syria and Lebanon.
His parents were hardworking and did everything they could to make sure their children were brought up to be proud of both their American and Arab heritage. In 1944, Sam was drafted into the U.S. Army and fought in Germany. He was seriously injured and spent many months in the hospital. After the war, he joined his father in the Brooklyn-based family business of wholesale importers of nuts, seeds and spices.
He then met the great love of his life, Marie Gonzalez, at a local corn market. Sam was a shy man and they dated for ages, until Marie told him to make up his mind as to their future! Happily, he chose Marie and they were married in 1952, making their home in Brooklyn. Two years later, their only child, Tom, was born and completed the family. When Tom was older, Marie went to work at the family business as the office manager.
Their hard work allowed the company to grow into a large enterprise. They sold the business in 1991, allowing them to enjoy the fruits of their labors for the rest of their lives. Their generosity and gentle ways were known to everyone they met. Sam and Marie went on numerous cruises, often with family members. They visited Puerto Rico and Aruba many times, as well as Hawaii. Sam loved the casinos and had many well-fought battles with the one-armed bandits!
In 1995, Sam and Marie moved from New Jersey to Colville to be closer to Tom and his family and they made many new friends here. Marie’s death in 2002 was a terrible blow. The kindness and support shown by friends and family will never be forgotten.
Sam spent his final years enjoying the comfort and friendships at Colville’s Parkview Senior Living. His family would like to thank all the Parkview staff for their many kindnesses and affection during these last several years. They truly helped make Sam’s life better and eased many of his family’s worries. Our thanks as well to Elizabeth Swift and staff at the NE Washington Medical Group for their excellent care. And, a big thank you goes out to Hospice of Spokane for their respect, and the death with dignity they brought Sam.
Sam was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 50 years, Marie; his brother, Joseph; and sisters, Josephine, Yvonne and Amelia.
He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Tom and Leslie; his grandson, Graham, all of Colville. Missing him are his much-loved sister Mary, numerous nieces and nephews; many friends; and his very dear friend, Anna Dodge, in Colville.
At Sam’s request, no funeral service will be held. At a later date, a Mass will be said, in his name, at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Colville. Sam will be cremated and his ashes interred, next to Marie’s, in the family plot at Highland Cemetery in Colville.
Danekas Funeral Chapel has been entrusted with the arrangements.