Charles Alan Sams was born on December 30, 1928, in Grants Pass, Ore., to Lyle and Margaret (Gray) Sams. Chuck passed away on Tuesday, February 15, 2011, at the Rogue Valley Manor. He graduated from Medford High School in 1947, and then continued his education at Southern Oregon University for two years. On December 1, 1950, Chuck
enlisted in the United States Air Force, and, in March 1951, he entered the Air Force pilot training program as a cadet. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in March 1952, and continued to serve as a fighter pilot until April 1955. Chuck then attended the University of Oregon, and
graduated with a business degree in 1957.
Chuck married his wife, formerly Constance (Stokes)
Skinner, of Medford, Ore., in July 1956. He spent a short
period flying for United Air Lines, before continuing his education at Willamette School of Law, graduating with a bachelor's of Law degree in 1964. Chuck's professional life continued with 37 years of service in the Air Force and Oregon Air National Guard, retiring in 1989 as a major general. He additionally had a career in law, retiring after 24 years as a Circuit Court judge for Clackamas County.
Chuck amassed over 6,000 hours as a command pilot for the Air Force and Oregon Air National Guard, flying over 12 types of fighters from the F-80 and F-86 through the F-4 and F-15, in addition to various trainer and cargo aircraft.
Chuck is survived by his wife of 54 years, Connie; sister,
Carol Ohman, of Folsom, Calif.; five boys and their wives, Mike (Vicki) Skinner, Bob (Mignon) Skinner, of Medford, Ore., Greg (Janet) Sams, Doug Sams, and Curt (Lisa) Sams, of Portland, Ore.; six grandchildren, Kari Skinner Olson, Casey Skinner, Lindsey Skinner Edrikat, Ciara Skinner Wolfe,
Brandon Sams, and Elizabeth Sams; and seven great-grandchildren.
A private graveside service was held on Saturday, February 19, 2011. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Asante Hospice Program, or Rogue Valley
Manor Foundation Pastoral Services.