Melvin Lee Sams, age 86 of Knoxville passed away at MercyOne Medical Center in Des Moines on Tuesday, November 16, 2021.
Visitation will be held at the Winfield Funeral Home in Knoxville on Friday, November 19, 2021, from 4:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. Melvin’s family will be present to greet friends and relatives from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.
Graveside memorial services with military honors will be held on Saturday, November 20, 2021, at Graceland Cemetery in Knoxville at 10:30 A.M.
Melvin was born October 18, 1935, in Indianola, Iowa. He was the son of Orlin Dale and Gerri (Chumbley) Sams. He attended several different schools and graduated from Knoxville High School, Class of 1953.
After high school Melvin served in the United States Navy. He served in San Diego, California, and Guam from March of 1954 to December of 1957.
On June 8, 1954, Melvin was united in marriage to Clarice Wilma Klootwyk. They were married for 66 wonderful years and were blessed with three children: Yvonne, Linda, and Ronald.
Melvin owned and operated a plumbing and heating business in Bussey for many years before working in the maintenance department with the Knoxville Schools, retiring in 1997. He was a former member of the Masonic Lodge in Bussey. Melvin enjoyed tinkering in his garage, and for many years during retirement Clarice and Melvin enjoyed long weekends together and winters in Apache Junction, Arizona.
Melvin is survived by his two daughters, Yvonne (Stewart) Menninga of Keller, Texas and Linda (Jeffrey) Rhoads of Las Vegas, Nevada; four grandchildren, Chad (Stacy) Ford of Oskaloosa, Katie (Bryan) Goodyk of Keller, Tx, Erica (Michael) Gershman of Mooresville, NC, Nick (Brena Huber) Rhoads of Cedar Falls; and 13 great-grandchildren, Mason Ford, Morgan Ford, Kolten Goodyk, Paxton Goodyk, Trey Goodyk, Brandt Humphrey, Hudson Gershman, Ethen Roiland, Izabella Roiland, Keaton Rhoads, Landyn Rhoads, Emily Carriker, and Ryan Carriker. Melvin is also survived by his sister Virginia Gass and sister-in-law Joan Van Klootwyk.
Melvin is preceded in death by his wife of 66 years Clarice (Klootwyk) Sams; parents Orlin and Gerri Sams; parents-in-law Clarence and Grace Klootwyk; his son in infancy Ronald Wayne Sams; his granddaughter Elizabeth Rhoads; and brother-in-law Bethel Van Klootwyk.
Memorials may be given in Melvin’s memory to the Columbia United Methodist Church. Online condolences may be sent to
. The Winfield Funeral Home of Knoxville is assisting Melvin’s family with services.