Samuel R. Acheson

May 30, 1913July 3, 2014
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Samuel R. Acheson West Des Moines

Samuel R. Acheson, 101, passed away on July 3, 2014 in Des Moines, Iowa while surrounded by his family. Sam was born May 30, 1913 in Commerce, Iowa to L.V. and Alphia Acheson. Sam married Mary Frances Clark on November 20, 1937. They enjoyed 76 years together.

Sam was a devoted and caring husband and a dedicated and fun father and grandfather with a quick smile and hearty laugh. Sam led his family by many examples and few words. He was a man of God having been the oldest member of the West Des Moines Christian Church.

Sam will be sorely missed by his wife Mary Frances, three sons, Kent (Karin), Keith (Kay) and Sam Jr., 9 grandchildren, Stacey, Amy, Shannon, Travis, Shay, Brady, Sam III, Summer and Kelsey and 15 great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and a multitude of friends.

As a child, Sam suspended his formal education after the 8th grade to support his family during the depression by farming pickles and hauling coal for $1/day. Later, Sam finished his high school degree through a mail correspondence course.

Sam was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing and especially caring for his home and property, transforming an unimproved piece of ground into a beautiful setting for his wife and family. He was never without an ongoing list of projects.

Sam was an avid aviator and took his first flying lesson in May 1938. He loved to give airplane rides in Bonanza 5532 Delta, a plane he owned for more than 20 years. During WWII, Sam volunteered to be a pilot in the Army Air Corps but was told he was already serving his Country in a critical capacity as foreman at Solars Aircraft Company. Dad’s interest in flying inspired other family members who made aviation their career and hobby.

Sam started Acheson Body Service in 1947 and his legacy continues under the same name today.

Sam was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters, Lorraine Flinn, Edith Gross and Vera Nyswonger, twin brothers, Mervin Acheson and Melvin Acheson. Sam is survived by one sister, Jean Miller of Longview, WA.

Funeral services will be held at West Des Moines Christian Church on Tuesday July 8th. Visitation at 10:00 a.m., funeral service at 11 a.m with lunch immediately following. Interment at Resthaven Cemetery thereafter. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the West Des Moines Christian Church.


  • Funeral Service Tuesday, July 8, 2014
  • Visitation Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Samuel R. Acheson

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dwain baker

July 16, 2014

To the Acheson Family, I just learned of Sam's passing. I was cutting his hair back in 1980 when I found out Sam's mom and my grandmother "Clara Elizabeth Cox-(Butler) were first cousins. I am so happy you got to live a good long life. I will miss your smile and stories, Dwain Baker.......

July 15, 2014

Depend on Him at all times...before Him pour out the pain within.
God, is a refuge for us. (Ps. 62:8)

C Johnson

Terri Seibert Holmgren

July 12, 2014

What a wonderful gift Sam was to the world. His memorial service spoke so clearly as to what an amazing man he was and how much he was loved. I remember all those hay rides and bonfires as the youth in West Des Moines Christian. He truly did love all children, and his whole family reflects that love still. He has left a spectacular legacy for us all.

Roger Allen

July 12, 2014

Keith and Kent, I have been thinking of you a lot this week since reading your father's obituary in the DM Register. Your parents were so very hospitable to me when I was your guest in their home during our Simpson College days -- some of the nicest people I've ever met. My sincere condolences to you at this time.

Vicki Beard

July 9, 2014

Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.

Joe Davidson

July 9, 2014

I used to deliver propane to Sam and enjoyed all of our conversations.He was a very nice man.He will be missed.

Becky (Baumberger) Thomas

July 9, 2014

Uncle Sam's quick smile will be forever etched in my memory. Uncle Sam and Aunt Mary hold a special place in my heart. May all who knew Sam be comforted during this time of loss knowing he is home. My heart goes out to Aunt Mary. I would have liked to spend more time with them both in the last ten years. The last time I saw them was August of '05 when they came to visit Grandpa Roland and Grandma Betty for birthday celebrations right before Grandma passed. Love to you all!

Chas & Katie Colby

July 8, 2014

We are so sorry for you loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during these difficult times. Sam will be missed.

Bryan Carpenter

July 8, 2014

Thinking of you during this time. So sorry to hear of your loss. What an awesome life lived.
Bryan & Ritaann Carpenter

John ( BUTCH ) Smith

July 8, 2014

My grandfather introduce me to Sam in the early 70 when we delivered auto parts I always love going there he was a joy to be around he will be missed by all