Samuel “Sam” Losh, 96 of Piedmont, Mo passed away Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at his residence, surrounded by family, and holding his wife’s hand. He was born on February 25, 1924 to the late Samuel and Ella (Moses) Losh in St Louis, Mo. Sam was a spirited youngster who did not care for school, where teachers forced the stubborn southpaw to write with the wrong hand and made him spend time indoors on perfectly good days where a boy ought to be outside. Sam spent several years tormenting his teachers, but they were successful enough in their teaching methods that Sam learned enough to graduate from the eighth grade exactly as he should without having to repeat a grade. He even enrolled in high school. Sam spent his summers in the Ellington area, where the spunky youth put his energy to good use by working on his uncle’s farm. When it came time for him to be paid for his work, his uncle would ask him if he wanted an acre of land or money. Sam chose the money so he could treat himself to sodas when he went to town. Years later, he would remark that he wished he would have chosen the land. Following the divorce of his parents, Sam dropped out of school to go to work and provide for his family. He worked as an assistant to an arc welder and as a stock clerk, giving his paycheck to his mother. He supplemented his income by becoming a boxer at the South Broadway Athletic Club. He participated in a few competition tournaments, but mostly sparred with other boxers at the club on South Broadway for a couple of dollars a match plus a free dinner. It was around this time that Sam met the love of his life, Laura Louise Fisher. Their inspiring love story began when Sam became fast friends with Laura’s brothers, who were also boxers at the South Broadway Athletic Club and lived in the same area. One fateful day, a group of teens from the neighborhood decided to venture down to the Mississippi River. The group included Laura, her brothers, and their friend Sam. They decided to skip some rocks, and as luck would have it, Sam’s rock ricocheted back and caught Laura square in the mouth. The guilt-ridden Sam called upon Laura several times in the following days to apologize and check on her well-being. Laura decided he was cute, and they promptly became a couple. Although they have laughed over the years about Sam’s unusual strategy for winning a girl’s heart, neither of them recommends it to any other young man. Sam enlisted in the United States Army on December 2, 1942, to proudly serve his country in the Second World War. He was trained as an anti-aircraft machine gunner, becoming a proficient cannoneer of a 50-caliber weapon. Also, with his skill as a marksman, he was able to help a few officers to pass their weapons qualifications course, by hiding on a hill and shooting their targets for them. The men scoring the targets were none the wiser. Prior to being sent overseas, Sam was granted a three-day pass from the army. He called Laura and told her to find a nice dress because they were getting married when he got home. Luckily, she found a dress and the two became husband and wife on July 26, 1943. After his wedding, Sam returned to his army unit, finished up his training, and shipped out in November of 1943, heading overseas with the 462nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion (mobile). He entered the war as a machine gunner and as a lineman, where he responsible for laying, maintaining, and taking up cable for communications systems. It was in this position, that Sam learned a valuable life lesson. Late one night, he was sent to run cable from his unit to another unit that was set up some distance away. Due to the late hour and the fact that he was growing tired, Sam took a short-cut across a field, instead of traveling the designated route. After setting up communication between the two units, he was told to stay the night and return to his unit in the morning. The next day, heading back to his unit, he discovered the short-cut he had taken in the dark the night before led him across a mine field. Instantly feeling sick to his stomach, Sam vowed to never to take another short-cut. Sam spent almost a year with his battalion moving through Scotland, England, and Wales before heading to Omaha beach and participating in the D-Day Invasion of Normandy in France on June 6, 1944. A few months later the battalion engaged in the Battle of the Bulge. Sam was wounded by a grenade in late December of 1944 while on guard duty in Belgium. Although he was seriously injured and carried shrapnel in his body from that day on, Sam like to believe that because he challenged the approaching German soldiers, he saved the lives of the men he was guarding. Following a lengthy rehabilitation, he was honorably discharged from the Army on September 30, 1945. Sam and his battalion were in the Northern France Campaign, Normandy Campaign, and the Rhineland Campaign. For his service, Sam was awarded the Purple Heart, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Europe-Africa-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory, and the Battle of the Bulge Medal, the World War II D-day Ribbon, and the Unit Award: Belgian Army Fourragere for the Battle of the Bulge. Over seventy years later, in 2017, he was honored for his service by the Greater St. Louis Honor Flight, which has the mission of recognizing veterans with a day of honor, remembrance, and celebration, with a flight trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the war memorials built to honor their service and sacrifice. After being discharged, Sam returned home to his loving wife. He surprised her by not telling her he was coming and instead, waited on their front porch for the streetcar that brought her home from work. She exited the streetcar, ran toward his outstretched arms, and the two finally began their married life together. Sam and Laura made their home in St. Louis, MO. They had two daughters, Linda Losh and Paula (Losh) Williams. Sam worked in a meat-packing house and then began a career in construction as a metal lather. Though he worked long hours, and his work sometimes took him away from home, he was a loving, devoted father and husband. The family enjoyed their life in St. Louis and spent many fun weekends and summer vacations with Sam’s extended family in Ellington, MO and at Clearwater Lake. Sam and Laura eventually bought a small property for a weekend home in Piedmont, MO. When their daughters were teenagers, Sam worked in the kitchen-designing department of Sears. After becoming empty-nesters and growing tired of the city life, Sam and Laura decided to relocate to Piedmont permanently. Sam worked briefly in construction and then worked full-time for Turnbough Building Supply. They built onto their weekend home making room for their children and grandchildren to visit on weekends and summer vacations. Sam worked for Turnbough’s until his retirement. Retirement did not slow him down, however. He maintained his strong work ethic and sense of compassion as he continued to serve his community. He was always there to lend a hand to family, friends, and neighbors. He could be found mowing a yard, bush-hogging a field, grading a road, building a deck, repairing some plumbing, tinkering on a motor, or performing any other needed task. Sam was a member of the Piedmont American Legion and The Masonic Lodge. He was also the caretaker of the Masonic Cemetery for many years. Sam’s compassion was not reserved for humans alone. He was an animal-lover and pet-owner that also found time to take care of any stray animal that came his way. Many a good dog enjoyed a meal and a belly rub when crossing Sam’s path. Sam was a devout Christian and a long-time member of the First Baptist Church of Piedmont where he served as a Deacon and participated in the Clown Ministry. Sam read his Bible faithfully, every day, even as his eyes began to fail him. As time went on, he used a magnifying glass along with his reading glasses, and then switched to a stronger magnifying machine. He also enjoyed having Bible chapters read to him when his eyes were too tired. He would listen intently and comment on the subject matter of the passages being read. When asked what his favorite part of the Bible was, he would always reply “all of it”. Sam was a devoted husband, loving father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his brother: Melvin Hampton, sisters; Marie Decker, and Faye Prine; and great-grandchild, Emily Fay. Sam is survived by Laura, his loving wife of seventy-six years; his children: Linda Losh of Piedmont, Paula Williams and husband Kenneth of Piedmont; his grandchildren: Lori Prewitt and companion Tim Graham, Tracy Fay and husband Kent, Kara Kearby and husband Lance, Brad Williams and wife Jennifer, Jason Crosswhite and wife Julie; his great-grandchildren: Brooke Umfleet and husband Chad, Kendall Fay and wife Katie, Issiah Williams, Kameron Fay, Ty Martin, Karson Fay, Lane Crosswhite, Tiffany Williams, and Jade Crosswhite; his step-grandsons: James Kearby and Lance Kearby ; and his great-great grandchildren; Scottlyn Fay and Colt Umfleet. Visitation was held Monday, May 11, 2020, from 5:00 until 8:00pm at Ruegg Funeral Home, Piedmont Chapel with a Masonic service at 7:00 pm. Funeral service followed at 1:00 pm, Tuesday, May 7, 2020, also in the Piedmont Chapel. Pastor James Stewart ministered to the family. Karson Fay, Kameron Fay, Kendall Fay, Issiah Williams, Lane Crosswhite, and Ty Martin served as pallbearers. Jason Crosswhite, and Brad Williams served as honorary pallbearers. Missouri Patriot Guard escorted procession to Masonic Cemetery where Sam was laid to rest, with full military honors provided by the United States Army and American Legion, post 281 of Piedmont. Online condolences can be made at www.rueggfuneralhomes.com
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