Let the memory of Samuel be with us forever
  • 63 years old
  • Born on January 24, 1953 .
  • Passed away on November 15, 2016 .

We are currently arranging a memorial service--there may be more than one--and details will be posted on this site as soon as they are determined.

At this point the only thing we can say for certain is that there will NOT be a service this weekend.

As we are able, we will post pictures and other memories of Sam. Please feel free to do the same.


Posted by Jamie Strain on 22nd May 2017
Hey dad!!! I love you and miss you more than ANYONE can imagine. Im so glad we had our daddy daughtie relationship and still do!! I know you are with me everyday! Literally. So theres no goodbyes.... Only see you laters. And I love yous, goodnites, goodmornings and we still have that. I love you dad. Best father ever.
Posted by Drew Smith on 24th January 2017
I love you, my brother...Happy Birthday! My business as you very well know from 'your view' is taking off and all of our dreams have been realized. I only wish that all of our plans of moving you back down here (as you begged me to do!! LOL) with your Intracoastal condo, your boat..could have come true..we were SO CLOSE! The trips to Thailand, Cayman, Maldives, the yacht, the fishing. All I can say is I know you will be with me as I move forward in my endeavor and that your spirit will permeate everything I do. As the world is introduced to the company and the power it will wield as a household name it will, underneath have a lot of your ideas and heart included, that's for sure. Your encouragement and support is a huge part of what made this happen and it will never be forgotten. Might even superimpose you into one of the commercials! You always wanted to be in one and maybe that dream can be realized. Unfortunately, your request that Feisty came to me never realized itself, but I have been assured that Feisty is being cared for and so I have to believe it is. It's strange how so many of your ...predictions came true. We should have done what we planned in so far as having your living will be taken care of just as you had me as your only emergency contact, but how were we to know that you would be taken from me so early...We always knew the possibility, but I guess it's just something that you don't want to think about. Its a lesson to us all to document and make clear what we desire in all our lives in the event that the universe decides 'it's our time'. Your 'time' on this Earth was an 'event', a 'movie' to say the least. My producer is planning on documenting the events of my life that only you and I know about and I can assure you that you will have "your role of a lifetime'. It will be produced by one of the biggest in the business and more than likely at one point be a part of the Cannes festival...so there is at least that! You never needed '15 minutes of fame" because your whole life was one big documentary!LOL So, when this happens I will keep you informed in my prayers as I always do..as I think back on all our adventures and TRUE brotherhood that we both cherished so much. I love you....and miss you dearly.
Posted by Ken Kassinger on 13th December 2016
Thank you for the charm, wit and wisdom you shared with us, Sam. So many warm memories of fellowship and laughter make up the history we shared. The struggle is over now, old buddy. The time for rest is at hand.
Posted by Drew Smith on 2nd December 2016
I noticed a comment about Sam working at a pet store and it reminded me of a story he told me about being kicked out of the Woolworths for "hunting" parakeeets with a pop gun. I guess he got too good and started killing a few of the poor little guys and so they banned him. That conversation came up as we discussed how much we loved movies about "man vs nature". "The Edge" with Alec Baldwin was his absolute favorite and would watch 50 times! Drove me nuts. Plus old Tarzan movies and there was the one from the sixties where the guy was let loose and hunted by the African tribe! Loved that one too. But, Bonanza hands down was his fav tv show, that and iron side, Quincy, magnum p.i. Columbo, then there was Steven Segal I'd have to endure as nasuem!! lol
Posted by Drew Smith on 2nd December 2016
Just wanted people to make sure and check the "gallery" section and the couple of songs that I uploaded. If you happen to come on here form time to time play them for him. He's listening, and music is a great way to communicate. I assure you that each one means something great and most of you will undertnad their simplicity and meaning to him, and all of us as a whole:
Posted by Andrea Roberts on 28th November 2016
Sam and i worked together at ACT for awhile. I loved the stories he would tell me about his life. I worked with Jamie as well and the two of them together was a riot. Sam was an awesome guy that loved his family, and I was very sad to hear of his passing. My thoughts and prayers are with Jamie and Sam's family.
Posted by Drew Smith on 28th November 2016
I'd love to hear from Frank Beal. Sam and I shared many diving stories. I was a PADI instructor many moons ago and he would tell me stories about heading to Bimini and living on the boat there from time to time due to weather conditions. Please "friend" me on Facebook if you'd like. I don't use it much..but I'd love to speak with you about some of the stories because I still plan on somehow fulfilling our dream of writing the book. I'm sure you would have tons of good stuff for the book. I know for sure that you were one of Sams favorite friends by far. You were brought up quite a bit along with a few others. We were so messed up one morning and he and I had just finished a fun night in downtown Lake Worth where he had to carry me (and dropped me on my head numerous times!) I had spent an obscene amount of money at an expensive wine tasting spot and was buying bottles for everyone in the place..even though I had spent easily over $1000 in wine we were both kicked out because he tried to escape out with me over his shoulder (I'm only 5'4") and run down the avenue until they caught up. Somehow Sam convinced them to just let us go because we had already paid for the majority of the bottles. I think the last one was a bottle ofCaymus special selection and a bottle of Orin Swift The Prisoner... Sam kept telling people that I was some kind of tech billionaire in town and of course no one believed him, but they didn't care because they were all drinking for free! Once I had "sobered" up a bit (I was really the responsible one too...seriously. It was just Christmas and my girlfriend had just gone out of town and I was a little depressed and had some cash burning a hole) We decided to swim out into the middle of the intracoastal to commandeer a houeboat that had been 'abandoned " for years, but was still in good shape. We kept telling ourselves all kinds of maritime salvage right reasons we could just go out there and plant a flag and it was ours! We made it our there somewhow and of course the inside was roahced out from being open to the elelemnst for so long. Our feet were all carved up like diced fajita meat from all the rocks and other nasty "Lake Worth Lagoon" nastiness and we just sat out there trying to get it running until one of us noticed that the motors were missing! Go figure!! LOL If you read my original post on here you will get an idea of some of the craziness we did. 99% I can't post due to x rated material... LOL Yes, we were drinkers and I was the somewhat responsible one. I could never drink like he did, nor did I want to. I couldn't even conceive of waking up with a drink and kept my imbibing to 'Fridays' knowing that I had an addictive personality and needed to set limits. I tried for years to get him to do the same knowing that it was a futile effort to get him to quite forever, just wasn't going to happen. But there is a line from the movie 'ARTHUR" that we loved and could recite every single line: “Not everyone who drinks is a poet. Some of us drink because we're not poets.” That was Sam.... and he needs to be celebrated for bing 'Sam' Sam was NOT a DRUNK FOOL. FAR FROM IT AND IM TIRED OF PEOPLE SAYING SUCH. HE COULD RUN CIRCLES AROUND MOST OF US INTELLECTUALLY, HE JUST HAD A LOT OF PAIN. SAM LOVED LIFE AND HE LOVED HIS DAUGHTER AND HE LOVED HIS TRUE FRIENDS....... LIFE IS A KICK IN THE ASS AND NOT ALL LOVEY DOVEY. ITS WHAT MAKES IT WORTH LIVING AND HE DID IT HIS WAY.
Posted by Chip Kidd on 18th November 2016
Sam and I were running buddies, along with half a dozen other knuckleheads, back "in the day". We (all) were young and carefree and had a fun time being of age in Memphis. Sam was always ready to have fun, but more importantly he was ready, any time, you needed his help. Reading the memories above, I see that never changed. Rest in peace ol' friend.
Posted by Mary Pettey on 18th November 2016
I grew up with Sam in the village till about the age 6. He was always so much fun. Then we ran into each other again at East High. He became my BFWf. That was best friend, worst friend. We got into more mischief. It was so much fun. I remember Sam working at the exotic pet shop on Union and he would bring home snakes, a baby tiger, whatever they would let him bring home. He would come to school all scratched up from the tiger. He was full of life in the moment. Great at bumper pool. We would always close Huey's down playing pool. I lost contact through the years and it saddens me to know he is not out there living life full. My prayers are with you Susan and all the family.
Posted by Donna Wellford on 18th November 2016
Sam and I go way back to elementary school at The Campus School on the Memphis State campus. He lived in The Village on Grandview and was good friends with Jim Wooley. I lived on Norriswood not too far from Jim or Sam so our paths crossed a lot through the years. Sam was in my fifth grade class with all the cool guys, Jack, Jim,Lee,And Henry. Our play period was in the Water Works across the street from our new Campus School. That's where Sam and Lee ate a worm in front of me and I have never forgotten that. But they were really cool guys!! And we would always steel there shirt loops on the back of there expensive shirts! When Facebook came along Sam and I became friends again after many years. Sam and I would have long conversations about the past up until the end of October. At that time he told me another funny story that he remembered and I will share it with you now. When we were in the third grade Lee Williams ( who also lived on Grandview) decided to run away from home. So they took off on their bikes and the game plan was to ride them to Florida and hop a steamer to Africa.(Sam said he joined because he wanted to be the first Tarzan Veterinarian in Africa.) Well they made it all the way to Collierville!!! It got dark and Lee wimped out but they found a lone farmers house. Tha farmer, when Sam told him his name, turned out to be a patient of his father. "Major Fiasco!!!" Sam said.." Lee became psychiatrist....Hmmm.... Talked me into riding my bike to Africa?? He owes me at least one free session. Lol ". Sam was one of the nicest guys I Knew.. I really will miss him.
Posted by Tonya Handwerker on 18th November 2016
I met Sam in 1970 when he was dating my friend Sisie Smith. I used to go everywhere with them. How special I felt being around such "cool" older people. Sam always was kind to me even though I was a tag along. He never made me feel like I was anything but special. I remember being in the back seat of their car going to football skirmishes and feeling blessed to know both Sisie and Sam. I lost touch with them both after I graduated and recently found Sisie which I am so very thankful for. My memories of the best days of my life include Sam. I was proud to know you.
Posted by Lindsey Smith on 18th November 2016
I met Sam in the Krystal across from East in June of 1970. He was in the car with Ed Bozeman and Frank Beal. He was my high school sweetheart but mostly it was the beginning of a life long friendship. Sometimes months would go by but eventually I would get a call and I was always glad to hear from him. Texting was so his thing and we got to converse more often. Here in south Florida Sam and my husband became friends. In May of 2015 we went kayaking in High Springs, Fl. It was one of the best paddle trips ever and as so often Sam was the life of the party! During my recent hip replacements Sam was my texting rehab coach. He helped me so much get back on my feet I went to see him on Nov. 2 while in Memphis for our reunion and I am so glad I did. I fixed him his favorite meal, spinach quiche! He was not feeling well but loved the attention and company. I am so happy I had the opportunity to be with him one last time. I will miss our old friend.
Posted by Drew Smith on 17th November 2016
There is way too much to say here..(but scroll through) ... He and I were brothers and lived basically the same life. He was 15 years older yet when we met about 20 years ago he and I were amazed at the similarities and it just blossomed from there. We were inseparable. We were there for each other in good and in bad . Even had a few fist fights and other brotherly love (we were living together and I parked the car on his new grass seedlings and he flipped out. He loved his grass...) lol. Some of you for sure would have heard stories about our 'adventures' and if you did, you were privileged for sure. Our goal in the last couple of months was to write a book together about our lives and craziness. Sam and I would try and out do each other about stories from when we were kids and they were close, but I'll say his "sawing the hole in the tree fort" and falling through was very good! what a knuckle head. Or, him claiming that he met 'Elvis" at a stop light and didn't even know it was him until his girlfriend told him. He said Elvis asked him if they wanted to come hang out and he told him "NO you freaking hippie and took off (He only saw the sideburns) He said he would deliver flowers to 'Graceland" a few times to the back door from a summer job he had a couple times too. Our adventures with 'Doc' his Nephrologist who also tragically passed away are legendary as well. I was always the "clear-headed one" trying to keep the band of merry brothers under control. Sam once got on my roof and delivered the entire Gettysburg address, slurring the whole way, but he made it through! I have a picture somewhere of that. I think I saved his damn life at least twice from the horrible doctors at JFK hospital down here. When he had his hip replaced they had 'lost his chart which had all his med condition on it concerning his kidney plus the emergency contact info for myself and two others--mentioned below----- and I went to see him after the 'routine' surgery. They told me "You're here to see Sam Strain? I said yes. They said you better run to ICU and say goodbye because he is dying...... I said what the ------ and ran up there. They had no idea about his meds etc and his kidney was failing. I ran down and tracked down his Nephrologist and the other couple responsible for his "emergency" contact and we rushed back to have him given whatever meds he needed to save him. He was literally almost gone then. So just a routine 'I better check on him" was a sign I'm sure. It's the bond that we had--- I remember (hypothetically---I'm not getting into trouble for this) rigging an aquarium pump that we attached to him with a bag of really bad smelling stuff that he wore going into court for something or another and it was rigged to look like a dialysis or some other unknown apparatus making all kinds of hissing noises and when he sat down the bag was made to break open and 'the smell' filled the courtroom and the judge let him off quickly just to get him out of the courtroom! Proud of this.... no, but kind of if you understand the guts it took to pull off and hilarity of it. Let's just say there is way, way too much about the 'Strain" family that I know that will forever remain in my heart and anonymous.... It is an incredible family, very historic of course and I know he had great respect for the Patriarch who I think was his grandfather who wrote a few famous books, at least minimally famous to Sam. He would show it off every chance he could. (Good thing I'm really bad at first names or a lot of you would be in trouble.LOL.. ;-) We even went to camp" Rockmont" in Black Mountain...what are the chances of that? Different eras of course, but again the synergy was always quite amazing. My adoption and his similar situation, he being a "black sheep" too...again, way too much to talk about, and I am devastated. I was just about to move him back down to Florida and get him in a condo, get him healthy. We were just starting to lay down the details and "rules" for him! lol, Our plan was to 'fish" until we dropped every day. If anyone is wondering, I will be taking Feisty and giving her a wonderful home here with a nice big back yard and 2 buddies for her to play with. Just need to figure out the logistics. A shout out to "Mo" and "Babe" are in order for them putting up with Sam for so long and being there for him as well. Great friends, even though Sam brought them so much grief!!! lol Jamie also has a 'dad' in me and I will be here for her in good and bad. She has a heart of gold and had to "endure" her dad! that was torture enough, but he loved her with all of his heart I can say that with 110% assurance. I hope no one takes offense to anything I've said here, but its all true and is SAM. For good or ill, it was him..and that's a human being that will never be reproduced including our deep love for each other. We talked multiple times per week and he knew I was closing on a business deal that he was so proud of and I needed his support which he gave 100%. One of the reasons I was able to achieve this 'goal' was due to Sam and wanting one of the Blacksheep to "make it" for each other. That he was sooooo smart and could have achieved so much more, but we all have our idiosyncratic parts to us and it was too late for him at that time, but I was going to do it for both of us to show everyone that 'We weren't as bad as people may have thought" and that at least one of us could be responsible! lol I LOVE YOU BROTHER AND WILL CONTINUE ON AND MAKE MY ENDEAVOR INTO THE SUCCESS WE TALKED ABOUT. ITS ALREADY DONE AND WILL REPRESENT YOU AND WHAT YOU BROUGHT US ALL IN THIS WORLD
Posted by Jessica (Eason) Robinson on 16th November 2016
One of my favorite memories with Sam involved horseback riding on our farm high school / college years. We had so much fun. Sam was fearless catching our crazy horses. Can't leave out Jack, Don, Sara McLallen O'Ryan, Jan Null. Oh, we were young, silly, the best of friends. Sam and I never lost touch...but haven't seen him in years. Will miss you old friend... My sympathy to his family.
Posted by Jack Kenner on 16th November 2016
I was shooting this (super moon over little red river and Sugarloaf Mountain) the morning he died. Sam was a super guy and died on the Super Moon. Incredible.
Posted by The Strain Family on 16th November 2016
Dear Family and Friends, Thank you for your love and support. We are very sad but we are glad to have known and loved Sam. Please share a thought or a memory with us. Thank you for loving Sam! Love, The Family of Sam Strain

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