Posted on Sunday, 24th April 2016 | Evergreen
Captain Sam O’Daniel was born in Memphis, TN on September 17, 1942, and passed away on April 5, 2016 of complications from colon cancer treatment. A long time resident of Evergreen, Colorado, he is survived by his wife Judy; daughter Kendra, her husband Tom, and grandchildren Shelby, her husband Blake, Blake and Sam, residents of California; and his son Sam, wife Jill, and granddaughters Ashley and Avery, residents of Colorado. He is also survived by his mother Lou and sisters Johnnie Mae and Lorraine, and his sister-in-law Gwen.
Known as ‘Sammy’ to his classmates at Messick High School, he was a proud member of the 12 Year Club and was a starter on the 1959 city championship football team. He attended Memphis State University and was a brother in the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity.
Sam and Judy were married in 1964 and Sam was hired by United Airlines shortly thereafter. They made their home first on the east coast and then the west, but eventually settled for good in Colorado.
During his 38 years with United Airlines he was based in several domiciles – Washington, D.C, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Denver, Honolulu, and San Francisco. He took pride in his work with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and served in many positions, including Executive Vice President from 1978-1980.
Besides his family, Sam’s passions included classic cars, flying airplanes, and playing golf. Sam could name most cars on sight, often visually differentiating models by details as small as the shape of a taillight. During his teen years, Sam’s uncle Leon helped guide him to a career as a pilot. From his teenage years flying a Piper J-3 Cub to his retirement flying the Boeing 747-400, there wasn’t an airplane that he didn’t love. Sam’s gentle obsession for golf grew deeper after his retirement from United, where he lived out his days as a member of Hiwan Golf Club.
He was a member of the Freemasons in Occoquan, Virginia and the Blue Spruce Kiwanis in Evergreen.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in memory of Sam to the LeRoy W. Homer Foundation to fund scholarships for students working to receive their private pilot’s license: http://www.leroywhomerjr.org/make-a-contribution/ ; Mt. Evans Hospice 3081 Bergen Peak Dr., Evergreen CO 80439; or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105.
In keeping with Sam’s wishes, there will be no funeral services.