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Bert Ingvald Samsal

  • Birth 31 Jan 1897 Benson, Swift County, Minnesota, USA
  • Death 17 Sep 1975 Sheboygan, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, USA
  • Burial Sheboygan Falls, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, USA
  • Memorial ID 10343228

My grandfather's full name was Ingvald Bert Sigvald Samsal, but I am listing him as Bert Ingvald Samsal in case anyone is looking for him, because that is the name he went by. Just by his name, you know he's Norwegian.

He was the son of Bernt Samsal and Sena Neegaard Samsal, both of Norway. He had three sisters, Lena, Hilda and Tillie, and one brother, Ole Samsal.

A World War I veteran, he was the Chief of Police of Benson, Minnesota at the time my mother, Viola, was born in 1921. He was married to my grandmother, Emma Anna Knoblauch Samsal (4/14/01 - 9/17/56). They had eight children: Virgil, Joyce, Viola (my mother), Wesley, June, Jean, John, and they lost an infant son, Bert, Jr.

The family moved to Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, where my grandfather was employed at the Kohler Company in Kohler, Wisconsin. He worked in the Enamel Shop for 35 years as an instructor enameling bath tubs, and also served as a guard during the "big strike."

After the death of my grandmother at the young age of 55 in 1956, he lived alone for 19 years and was always very self sufficient. During that time he had a special companion, a little black terrier named Pixie.

In the 1970s I had my best times with my grandpa, as we both had a love for music. Grandpa played the guitar, sang, and played the harmonica with a holder around his neck. He enjoyed his reel to reel tape recorder and enjoyed taping conversations and his own singing and playing. He enjoyed the TV show Hee Haw because of the silly jokes and country western music. Johnny Cash was his all time favorite. He was a big man, with a heart to match.

I wrote this song shortly after his death. Here are the words:

I knew a man, and I loved him so,
Along the way, he helped me grow,
Helped my Dad, and he helped my Mom
...with a song.
I remember the times I'd sit at his knee,
And he'd play his guitar, he'd play it just for me,
I said, someday, I'm gonna play it too,
But I never thought I'd be playing without you.
Good times and music, these are just a few,
Of the memories I have left of you.
And I hate to admit that you're really gone,
But I'll do my part, I'll try to carry on...
...with a song.

I love you Grandpa, and I miss you so very much!


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