OBITUARY

Reverend Eliseo "Sam" Samaniego

August 27, 1941September 27, 2020

Reverend Eliseo "Sam" Samaniego, age 79 of Knoxville, Tennessee, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, September 27, 2020 after a brief illness. Sam was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico on August 27, 1941 to Lorenzo and Lucy Samaniego.

Sam grew up in San Diego, California where he attended school. After graduation, he joined the Army where he served in Vietnam. After the service, he visited an Army buddy who lived in East Tennessee and fell in love with the area and made it his home. Sam was retired from The University of Tennessee where he worked as an ITT computer technician.

Sam was a member of Son Light Baptist Church in the Halls community of Knoxville where he served as a teacher, preacher and in the music ministry by playing multiple musical instruments and singing. He also served in the WayMakers and Macedonians evangelistic gospel singing groups.

Sam is preceded in death by his parents and several siblings as well as his stepson, Prentis Hatmaker.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley Sanders Samaniego; his stepson, Terry Sanders (Tammy); his stepdaughter, Debbie Lester; a devoted son-in-law, Dennis Lester. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.

A visitation will be held on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Son Light Baptist Church located at 6494 Son Light Way in Knoxville, Tennessee 37918. A funeral service will be held at 7:00 pm at the church following the visitation with Reverends Eddie Myers and Jody Darden officiating.

The graveside service will be held on Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 1:00 pm at Sherwood Memorial Gardens located at 3176 Alcoa Highway in Alcoa, Tennessee 37701 with military honors. The graveside service on Thursday will be livestreamed on the Facebook page of Sherwood Chapel & Memorial Gardens.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Son Light Baptist Church at 6494 Son Light Way in Knoxville, Tennessee 37918.

Services

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020

  • Funeral Service

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020

  • Graveside Service

    Thursday, October 1, 2020

Memories

Reverend Eliseo "Sam" Samaniego

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Sabrina Rivera

October 5, 2020

I remember when Nana Mena (Mary Helen Rivera) (Eliseos Sister) would be so excited that Eliseo was coming for a visit back to San Diego with Shirley. They all would drink coffee and talk for hours to catch up and they would laugh and laugh. Eliseo and Our Nana Mena had laughs that you can still hear today if you have memories of them;). I always thought Uncle Eliseo and Nana Mena looked the most like one another! Sing with the Angels 👼. You’ll be missed❤️

Alex Samaniego

October 3, 2020

Our deepest condolences to Auntie Shirley and Family. I have fond memories of Uncle Eliseo and enjoyed the times I was blessed to visit with him. I remember Reverend Sam preaching in our living room, playing the guitar, singing, sharing stories of growing up in San Diego and his path to Tennessee. I loved hearing his Tennessean colloquialisms. He inspired me to take my wife and kids to tour Las Cruces and Mesilla and see where my grandparents (and he) once lived. Uncle, you were strong in faith and the Lord has called you home. I’m blessed to have had you cross my path in life. God Bless. Alex, Irene and kids.

VIVIAN ROEDIGER

October 1, 2020

Jeanette McBee

September 30, 2020

Sam was truly a special person! I am so glad that I was privileged to call him my friend. Shirley, I pray that God will hold you close
in the upcoming days. Love you, Jeanette McBee

Beverly Gass- Batts

September 30, 2020

I've known Sam since I was a toddler. Great memories of him in the Way Makers with my dad Ray Gass. Sam was instrumental in helping me learn how to play the piano for the church,, full of patience for sure.. He cooked enchilada feasts at Richard Summers house. A kind hearted loving man. Shirley you're in my prayers.

Debbie Moses

September 29, 2020

Harvey and I were so saddened to hear of Sam passing. I first met him when he officiated at the wedding of my friend, Janet and Larry Smith. I know you remember that day well Shirley. My fondest memory of Sam was when he stood, alone, with Dorothy as she sang in church. He was always there for his church and his church family. He will be missed by so many.
Harvey and Debbie Moses

Gilbert R. Apodaca Sr.

September 29, 2020

My condolences and prayers are with the family of Eliseo "Sam" Samaniego, my "Primo", relative, with whom I shared family genealogy on the Apodaca Family from Las Cruces, NM. Sam, you can now meet in the Grace of GOD, with those whom we loved and shared in our genealogy.

KAREN CORUM

September 29, 2020

WHEN SAM CAME TO UNITED MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH WE LOVED HIM SO MUCH. ONE YEAR HE ASKED ME TO BE OVER THE KITCHEN IN VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL - AND THAT WAS THE FIRST YEAR I DONE THAT JOB AND FED THE KIDS REAL MEALS INSTEAD OF P-NUT BUTTER & JELLY SANDWICHES , WHICH HE SAID I DONE GOOD - I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HIM AND YOU TOO SHIRLEY, MY LOVE AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.
LOVE YOU KAREN

Jerry Apodaca

September 29, 2020

Primo Eliseo, I'll will always cherish your last visit with us. You, Shirley, and you mama, my beloved tia Luz came to our home for coffee and pan dulce. We talked about old times, and then I got my guitar out and asked if you still played. You took the guitar and tuned it. Jeannette then asked if you knew amazing grace, you started singing and playing and we all joined in. We sang along on several more gospel songs, what a wonderful night. Rest in peace primo

VIVIAN ROEDIGER

September 29, 2020

TIO (UNCLE)

For the many times I was able to visit with you I will always remember your laugh & such kindness.
You are one of a kind. Tio you will be missed by so many.
May you R.I.P.
Together again with Grandma & Grandpa & Tia
Love you 🥰

Your Niece
VIVIAN ROEDIGER

FROM THE FAMILY

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