Sam’s Story

“The center is a very important place, I’m so thankful for it. Since losing my wife, and my son and daughter live far away, the Senior Center of Nixa has been like a second home. I’ve made so many new friends and the food is so healthy and balanced.”

Sam made everyone feel at home. He gave me his undivided attention every time I needed to discuss life with him. Anytime someone asked Sam for help, he dropped everything. He never discussed his problems or talked about himself. He was always about putting others before him no matter his circumstances.

Sam grew up in Chicago, was a proud Marine, and he loved his Cubs & he got to see them win this year! When Sam’s wife died about 4 years ago, he lost all his will to live. He used to wear sweatpants everyday and he never shaved. His close friends from the Senior Center began to pour into his life and he began to change. He told me we gave him a reason to live again. Soon, he began shaving and dressing nicely. He wore nice blue jeans and a nice button up shirt with his loafers. He never complained about his living situation. He lived in a falling down trailer. He didn’t have any heat but didn’t want anyone to fix it because he was better off than a lot of people he said. He used a little space heater to keep warm. His little blue van was donated to him and he loved it. He was able to drive to see his friends, go to church, and the Senior Center. That was all he needed and wanted. He was happy.

Senior Foundation of the Ozarks Sam's Story

He loved his senior center.  Sam would be at the center from 6:30am to 3:30 pm. He was the one who was always there, always welcoming people…a fixture at the center. He loved dancing and attended three dances a week! He always told me that he would have died 4 years ago if it wasn’t for the center and his friends. He had a doughnut and coffee every morning. He served in the Vietnam War. He loved doing puzzles. He had the best laugh. He would tell me everything I needed to know about what was going on in the center. Him and I would laugh about situations that arose or about how crazy the day was. He was always there for me when I needed him.

Sam was 71 and he was one of my best friends… I will miss him.

Marisa Andrews – Administrator at Nixa Senior Center