|Birth: ||Jan. 7, 1942|
|Death: ||Nov. 9, 1993|
OBITUARY - DES MOINES REGISTER, NOVEMBER 11, 1993
East High teacher, artist dies at age 51
One student said there was a "quiet feeling" in the halls at East High School Wednesday as students remembered art instructor Steven J. Sams.
Mr. Sams, 51, who taught for about 25 years at the Des Moines school and was known across the state for his award-winning paintings of landscapes, died Tuesday at his home of carbon-monoxide poisoning. The death was ruled a suicide.
Memorial services will be at 11:30 a.m. Friday at St. Mark Lutheran Church, with private burial in Resthaven Cemetery.
Mr. Sams, who lived at 521 34th Place, West Des Moines, was a life-long Polk county resident and taught drawing, painting, printmaking and commercial design to hundreds of students.
Jenny Enfield, a commercial art major at Grand View College, was taught by Mr. Sams during her junior and senior years in high school.
"He was always on the go. He was basically a happy guy," she said. "He used to come up with goofy little jokes and think he was funny, and we'd all just laugh at him."
Jerry Goodrich, a fellow art instructor at East High School, said Mr. Sams was respected by his students and peers.
"He expected a lot of the students and in return, they gave him quite a bit," Goodrich said. "He was a friend and an instructor to his students."
Goodrich said the death came as a shock to everyone at East High School. "He just came into my room yesterday afternoon and we were discussing the budget for next year. He said we should turn it in next week, like he was expecting to be around."
Mr. Sams was a member of the Iowa and National Art Educators associations, the Lutheran church and Iowa Artists Equity.
Surviving are his wife, Janet; two sons, Eric of West Des Moines and Michael of Olathe, Kan.; a daughter, Jennifer Sams of Flushing, N.Y.; a brother, Phillip of Windsor Heights; and a grandchild.
The family will visit with friends following the service. Memorial contributions may be made to his church or the YMCA of the Rockies-Estes Park Center. Arrangements are being handled by Hamilton's Funeral Home.
West Des Moines
Created by: Nancy (Clayton) Phillips
Record added: Feb 27, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34266546