Samuel John Gatherer Jr., 92, of Asotin, passed away in his sleep Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, at Prestige Care Rehabilitation Center in Clarkston. Sam was born Aug. 7, 1926, in Wallace, Idaho, to parents Samuel John and Mary (Miller) Gatherer. He graduated in 1944 from Asotin High School, where he was co-valedictorian of his graduating class.
He served in the U.S. Army from December 1944 to November 1946. He held the rank of corporal at the time of his discharge. During his military service, he traveled across the United States twice, and on to Japan and the Philippines. His trips overseas contributed to his lifelong dislike of tuna fish, because of the amount they fed them on the ships while at sea.
Sam married Lillian (Kight) Stalnaker on Oct. 16, 1949. He gained two wonderful daughters, LaDoris and Alice Fay, when he married Lillian. Together they had three more children, Bob, Wally and Betty. Lillian passed away in November 1978.
Sam married Rose Cowger on March 28, 1981. They enjoyed 37 years together. She survives him at the family home on Asotin Creek.
Sam retired in 1992 after more than 40 years as an agricultural parts man. During his career, he worked at The Grange Supply, JD Jacobs, Nez Perce Tractor and the Big R. He made many lifelong friends during his career.
Growing up in Asotin County, Sam was an avid hunter and fisherman. In the Gatherer family, the world stopped for hunting season. He spent many years hunting and camping with family and friends on the Smoothing Iron. He passed down his love of hunting and the outdoors to his sons and grandsons. The hunting stories are still the entertainment at family gatherings.
In his later years, Sam enjoyed camping with the Blue Mountain Good Sam’s Club and being a member of the Hells Canyon Boat Club.
Sam is survived by his wife, Rose; his children, LaDoris Brandt, husband Arnold, deceased of Clarkston; Alice Faye and her husband, Melvin Hawkins of Riddle, Ore.; Robert and his wife, Patti Gatherer, of Tekoa, Wash.; Walter and his wife, Leslie Gatherer, of Clarkston; Elizabeth and her husband, Thomas Barnes, of Lewiston; 13 grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Lillian; and his brother, Thomas Gatherer.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Merchant Funeral Home, 1000 Seventh St., Clarkston, followed by burial with military honors at Vineland Cemetery in Clarkston. A dinner will follow at the Hells Canyon Boat Club on Highway 129 between Clarkston and Asotin.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Larry and Jacque Robeson and Lisa Snodderly for all of their help over the years with dad. You have been such wonderful and caring friends to dad and Rose.
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