Whitten Timberlake Chapel

7404 Timberlake Road, Lynchburg, VA


Sanford "Sam" Royce Wilson

January 1, 1936May 8, 2020

After a long, brave fight with Alzheimers, Sanford Royce "Sam" Wilson left us on May 8, 2020. He was 84. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Donna O. Wilson; his children, Melanie Restrepo and husband Manuel, Kimberly Wilson and husband Dan, Timothy Wilson, and Peter Wilson and wife Julie; eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He is remembered, treasured, dearly loved and sorely missed by many, many more.

Sam grew up in upstate New York, from a family of 14, helping to take financial responsibility for the family at 14. He worked multiple grueling jobs while still in school, beginning before dawn and bringing his pay home to his mother every day. Later in his life, Donna told their children, “That man has never done a thing in his life that was for himself: every single thing he’s ever done has been for his family, his friends, and for people that needed him.” It was a truth that Sam lived up to for his entire life. It was an example that he never intended to set - it’s simply who he was.

As soon as he could get away with it - at 17 - Sanford joined the United States Air Force. As always, he sent all of his money home to support his family. He married Donna Howland in 1958 and was soon sent overseas. Sanford served for 20 years, retiring honorably and settling his family back in upstate New York. He worked for the United States Postal Service another 18 years while raising his family.

In town, Sam was well-loved and respected as a man who was there for his neighbors and friends, working tirelessly to provide for his family. After retirement, Sam and Donna moved to Lynchburg, Virginia, and their entire family promptly followed. He and Donna shared a mutual joy singing for the Thomas Road Baptist Church Choir, and Sam became a bit of a celebrity at the Lynchburg Flea Market.

It is no exaggeration to say that it’s impossible to count the lives that Sam Wilson helped to improve: for more than 80 years, he was simply ALWAYS giving. Men like him were rare even his own lifetime. Sanford Wilson was one of the last of his generation’s great men. This world is a little bit better because he was here.

Those wishing to make memorial contributions are asked to consider the Alzheimer's Association, www.alz.org.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Sanford "Sam" Royce Wilson

have a memory or condolence to add?

Joe Peptis

May 13, 2020

What an awesome wise man. Sam always gave good common sense advice. He was a very kind and outgoing man. People who listened and took his advice, took the right path. He never gave anyone bad information. To know him was to love him. I know that I am a better person because I took his advice when I was young. I met Sam around 1972 when he moved his family to E Main St. In Earlville. Our loss is Heavens gain. RIP Sam. God Bless you and your family. Thank you for being my friend.

Hope Castle

May 12, 2020

I send my deepest sympathy to the family. Uncle Sam you will truly be missed. It has been many years since we were growing up in Earlville, NY. The days when you would give us three girls drinks and we were able to come with mom and daddy to visit you and Aunt Donna.. The first time I learned to use that little square twisty thing that came from Tupperware and the parties momma and Aunt Donna used to have..you were always chatting with daddy but the air was always filled with laughter. A good man..a great memory from my childhood, I wish you the joys of Heaven and beyond..I'm sure your infectious laughter and love for Rummy will be truly missed...rest well Uncle Sam..love Hope Youngs Castle

Kay Hall

May 10, 2020

Donna, and Family,

We love you and are so grateful for the testimony that Sam had and your family has!
Sam always helped people have a bright spot in their day. As you have said and already know he was the life of the party many times! Because he knew sharing laughter made people better.
We are praying for you and know that Sam is with his Savior and has no more pain or confusion. We love you all God bless. Kay and Richard Hall

George Carroll

May 10, 2020

It was a very difficult time in my life when I met Sam. I was a single dad who had lost everything and had no where to turn. I was introduce to Sam through a mutual friend even though he had just met me he opened his heart and provided a home for me and my son paying all the bills. He was a perfect example of the love of God to me and my son. He will be missed but not forever for we shall see him again in heaven


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