At 107 years old, Samie Anderson has lived an unusually long life, filled with dedication and service to his country and his community. Samie overcame the odds and has enjoyed a rich and full life.
One of the key turning points in Samie's life was his service in the U.S. Army during World War II. He served as a mess sergeant in the Pacific on the Philippine island of Luzon from 1941 through 1945. Cooking for soldiers for four years inspired him to become a master chef once he returned to civilian life, working in restaurants throughout Baltimore and Annapolis, Maryland. His daughter, Dale, says that her dad was the best cook she has ever known. Samie's scratch yeast rolls and cinnamon buns are among Dale's favorites.
Samie showed his dedication to others with care for a Filipino orphan named Gloria during his time in the army. "It wasn't uncommon for soldiers to take care of and provide for the many children who were orphaned during the war," says Dale. "My dad 'adopted' Gloria while he was on the island and it was his goal to bring her home to the states." Sadly, because of paperwork and administrative complications, Samie was unable to achieve that goal.
"That was one of the saddest days of his life even though he was coming home, something he feared he wouldn't be able to do after the war," says Dale. Fortunately, Samie was coming home to Ruby, the love of his life. Ruby and Samie were wed shortly after his return and they had three children together.
In recognition of his military service, Samie was included in one of the Triad Flights of Honor in Greensboro. He was among about 100 WWII veterans who were flown to Washington DC for a day. "He enjoyed a first class day of events, giving him and the other veterans the honor that was due to them," says Dale. "They visited different monuments with the highlight being the WWII Memorial."
Samie also received recognition of his service courtesy of Duke Homecare and Hospice's military recognition program. In July, on the occasion of Samie's 107th birthday celebration, DHCH presented Samie with a certificate honoring his service in the U.S. Army in addition to a red, white, and blue shawl. Dale states that her dad found comfort in wearing his shawl she describes him as looking almost like an American flag.
"My dad is representative of so many men who are the true essence of our country's backbone," says Dale. "He has shown us the love, dignity, and commitment a man can have when he is willing to take the risk of sacrificing his own life for someone else, And he continued showing his love and commitment through his cooking, always giving his best."
Samie passed away last year surrounded by the love of his family. He was a true American Hero and will always be remembered and loved by his friends and family for years to come.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, SAMIE!