Samuel Lloyd Stout, 1912-2007
Samuel Lloyd Stout passed away suddenly from complications of surgery on Monday, Nov. 26 at the age of 95 years.
Sam was born in Harlowton, Montana on July 6, 1912. He was the fourth child of Issac Monroe and Maude Stout. He moved to Oregon with his family where he attended school until moving to Canada in 1928. After arriving in High Prairie at the age of 16 he helped on the family’s homestead in Heart River, worked for others on their farms, and skidded logs.
In 1931, Sam married his first wife, Mildred Shelton, who had also moved from Oregon with her family. Their daughter, Emma, was born in 1932, followed by son Glenn in 1934, and daughter Vina in 1936. Mildred passed away suddenly when Vina was a baby and Sam was left to raise a young family on his own.
While he worked, Mildred’s younger sister, Ruth, would come and tend to the children. Sam realized that she’d make a terrific mother to his family. He married his second wife, Ruth Shelton, in February 1940.
Exactly nine months to the day, their son Warren was born. Danny Johnson was adopted into the family in 1950 and their daughter, Wilma, was born in 1957. Daughter Bonnie followed in 1961.
Sam was always thinking of providing better for his family. Besides farming he worked in a planer mill and helped his father build houses in and around High Prairie. He operated a bulldozer for R.C. Moore until he bought his fuel truck in 1954. In 1961, the family moved to Edmonton where Sam worked for his brother Orban’s Evangelical printing business. He ran the printing press for 13 years making religious tracts (pamphlets and small booklets) that were shipped to missions throughout the world.
High Prairie was calling them back so Sam and Ruth bought land south of town. Sam bought and fixed up an old cat and went to work clearing the land. With just Wilma and Bonnie left at home, they moved back to High Prairie in 1974.
At age 62, Sam ran cat with his son, Glenn, in the winter. He also operated a grader for the Transportation Department in the summer. Their land was very rocky so all summer, with help from Ruth and the girls, Sam would pick rocks, load them on wagons, then unload and pile them neatly by hand. When the field was clear, he would go out and plow up a new crop of rocks and set to work picking again. In later years, he bought a rock picker but it picked up too much dirt. Sam continued to pick by hand, but found the job easier because at least he could dump the rocks out of the picker. He used to say that his rocks were all ‘glove polished’ because there was never any dirt on them.
On the day he turned 87, Sam announced he was going to retire from rock picking as all the fields were now seeded to hay.
Sam liked to keep his hands busy and took up knitting. He knit a blanket for every one of his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren until the arthritis in his hands was too bad. The last one he knit was made lovingly for Ruth. According to the records he kept, it was 78 blankets in all. He used to joke that if your blanket had a skipped stitch or two, he was watching a good TV show at the time!
As if he wasn’t busy enough, Sam also liked to plant a big garden.
There were several years when he had 400-500 hills of potatoes as well as plenty of the other garden fare. He enjoyed sharing his harvest with his family and also took much of his bounty to the food bank.
Eventually, Sam couldn’t renew his driver’s license because of his poor eyesight. Even though they only lived 10 miles from town, it was hard without his license so in 2005, he and Ruth moved from the farm into Pleasantview Lodge. He was never one to just sit around. Until a few weeks before his surgery, you could see him out for his daily walks. There were so many miles on that walker that the treads were worn right off the wheels.
Sam was known for his great sense of humour. He was also a great storyteller - when he told you a story of the old days, you could almost imagine what it was like. He had a gift of bringing humour into every story - even if it started out being a story of hard times during the depression, he would remember some funny incident that would have everyone shaking with laughter.
Anyone who knew Sam, knew that he was a religious man. He not only read his Bible and could quote chapter and verse ... Sam ‘lived’ his beliefs. Until his passing, he continued to donate a portion of each paycheque or pension cheque to the organization that still prints and distributes the religious tracts.
Sam was a hard worker with a very strong work ethic. He was a kind, generous and understanding man whose advice and wisdom were well regarded. He readily showed the deep love and care that he felt for Ruth. Even after 67 years of marriage, it was a common site to see them sitting together holding hands.
Although difficult to sum up such a man in words, Sam lived simply, loved his family, and followed the Lord.
Sam is survived by: his loving wife, Ruth; daughter Emma Williscroft (Trevor); daughter Vina Smith; son Warren (Gwen); son Danny Johnson (Lyn); daughter Wilma McDermott (Dennis); daughter Bonnie Neufeld (Matt); daughter-in-law Francis Stout; brothers Issac and Isaiah; sister Marie; 31 grandchildren, 56 great grandchildren, 24 great-great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Sam was predeceased by: his parents, Issac Monroe and Maude Stout; his stepmothers Annie Stout and Georgie Cranston; his first wife, Mildred; his son, Glenn; his brothers, Ohlen and Orban; sister, Sarah; as well as sons-in-law Swede Williscroft and Jim Smith.
The funeral was held at the High Prairie United Church on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2007 with Rev. Sharon McRann officiating. Interment followed at the Anglican Church cemetery.
Donations may be made to the Pleasantview Lodge Memorial Fund (Box 909, High Prairie, Alta., T0G 1E0) as expressions of sympathy.
Although his passing will leave a hole in many lives and he will be missed very much, Sam is exactly where he lived his entire life to be - walking with God in his garden.
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