Samuel "Sam" James Freshwater

March 28, 1950April 10, 2018
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Samuel James Freshwater went to be with the Lord, April 10, 2018 at the age of 68, surrounded by his loving family and dogs, in Fresno, California. He was the husband of Lizabeth Carter.

They shared 47 years of marriage together. He graduated from Beaver Falls High School in 1968. He still holds the triple jump record with a leap of 42’ feet, 10.5” inches. He graduated from Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio where he was a star track athlete. During his time at Mount Union he met his beautiful bride, and they were married in 1970. In 1975 he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, and followed God’s calling to attend Denver Seminary where he graduated with his Masters of Divinity in 1983. His first pastorate was in Harvey, North Dakota and he continued his pastoral ministry for 34 years in California.

Sam is survived by his bride Lizzie, his four children and twelve grandchildren, Joshua and his wife, Amelia (Lauren Dakota, William); Beth and her husband, Jason Hatch (Julianna, Lillian, Charlie, Jack, Ian); Matthew and his wife, Rebecca (Hayden, Bennett); Emily and her husband, Gary Franco (Ryder, Camden). His mother, Zelda Simmons Shuman and sister Maureen Adams.

A Memorial Service is scheduled at The Well Fig Garden, 4545 N Palm Ave, Fresno, California 93705 on April 14, 2018 at 11:00 am. A reception will follow the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Fresno Bully Rescue 11740 E. Belmont Ave, Sanger, California 93657, PayPal to and or Lanna Foundation PMB 79, 1099 E. Champlain Ave, Suite A, Fresno, California 93720 and website


  • Celebration of Life Saturday, April 14, 2018

Samuel "Sam" James Freshwater

have a memory or condolence to add?

Rev. John Fahrney

April 14, 2018

My prayers are for Liz & the family. I rejoice because Sam is with Jesus. It was an honor to work in ministry together with Pastor Sam. I miss our prayer time together and the long lunches we would take. He had such a passion for things and most of all his faith. I thank him for things he taught me and use them still today as a Pastor. All my love!

Joe and Irene Cronin

April 13, 2018

Our thoughts and prayers are with Sam and the Freshwater family. We didn’t know Sam well but did know his mother Zelda as a good friend and neighbor for many years. She often spoke of Sam with love and pride. Remembering Sam and all his wonderful accomplishments will be a comfort to you . He will be missed. Our condolences . Joe and Irene Cronin

Lisa Sanchez

April 13, 2018

Sam and I became friends and bonded over our shared love of one special amazing dog. My sweet Scud. Scud was at Fresno Bully Rescue and was the first dog Sam ever walked when he became a volunteer. Sam and Scud shared many special walks in the 6 months he waited for a home of his own. Sam was there the day I went to meet Scud and adopt him, and again Sam was there the day I said goodbye and lost my sweet Scud to cancer. Now, Cancer has stolen an amazing friend, father, grandfather, husband, son, brother, dog lover, and person. My heart breaks for his entire family. My heart breaks for Easton who is probably waiting for another walk with his favorite friend. Thank You for all the special walks.

Kim Short

April 12, 2018

I have so many it’s hard to pick one. I was blessed to make a few trips to AT&T with you. But my favorite memory or memories are knowing that when I heard my text beep while watching a Giants game, that it was you.
And it was if we were together watching our beloved Giants.
I am going to miss you so very much, but I am comforted knowing you are with our savior!