December 13, 1942 - March 29, 2022
This is the story of a dash. The dash of Pastor Samuel James Blakely. Dash you may ask? What dash? It’s the dash that we all end up with at the end of our lives. It is the dash in the middle that goes between the two dates at the beginning and ending of our lives on earth. It is in the dash where our lives are lived. It is where we love, grieve, celebrate, experience all we can, and work out our faith. For Pastor Sam the dash came between December 13, 1942 and March 29, 2022. He was born fourth into a group of twelve children to James Vance Blakely and Refa Francis Blakely. He was a rambunctious, scrappy boy known to set a fire, wring a goose’s neck, shoot his namesake Grandpa with a BB gun and run moonshine all before thirteen. He enlisted in the United States Airforce at 18 and served as Airman Second Class, performing the duties of Military Police K9 Division at Oscoda Airforce Base in Michigan. One of Pastor Sam’s favorite dash filling buddies was his German Shepherd service dog Koenig. He loved to teach Koenig tricks. The command, “Koenig, Would you rather be a Second Lieutenant or a dead dog?” was not appreciated by Pastor Sam’s Second Lieutenant. Pastor Sam filled his dash with family. On October 31, 1964, he met the love of his life Corliss Anita Siegert at a dance hall. Love may not be what you expect on Halloween, but there is no denying it occurred on this night. Fifty-seven years later, Corliss has amongst her treasured possessions a construction paper pumpkin decoration that hung on the wall that love-scary night. Sam and Corliss would have three children, Anita Marie, Loretta Lynn, and Jeffrey Vance. The years of raising their children would be filled with teaching them an undying love of God and faith in Jesus Christ. Their children were always surrounded by family; aunts, uncles, and cousins, camping trips, music, games, and love. Their family continued to grow. Anita met Darrell Wilson, Loretta met Tim Holland and Jeff met Carla Plauger, who are their spouses to this day. These unions blessed Pastor Sam and Corliss with grandchildren whom Papaw and Grandma adore: David Wilson (Heather Wilson), B.J. Wilson (Amy Wilson), Ashley Cox (Scott Cox), Caitlyn Wilson, Cheyenne Coning (Andrew Coning), Lance Wilson, Darrell Tim Holland (Jeni Holland), Joseph Holland (Laurin Holland), Sarah Holland, Emily Buck (Ryan Buck), Tiffany Blakely, Stephanie Blakely, and Wyatt Blakely. Pastor Sam filled his dash with many things. He filled it with hobbies that he honed to skills: woodworking, playing guitar and mandolin, singing, songwriting, poetry, metal work, building trikes, cooking, hunting, and fishing. He filled it with people that he loved to the point of self- sacrifice by opening his home for someone needing a place to live, giving his last dollar to someone in need, and praying with strangers. He filled it with life-long education earning a Master’s degree and two Doctorate degrees. If you were to ask Pastor Sam to define his dash he would say one word, “Jesus”. Jesus was the reason he got up in the morning and what allowed him to rest at night. Pastor Sam’s dash was a life of serving Jesus in professional ministry. He pastored Community Bible Church, Alpena, MI; Christian Faith Church, Montrose MI; Central Avenue CCCU, Columbus, OH; Freedom Chapel, Port Charlotte, FL; Englewood Church Of The Nazarene, Englewood FL; Front Royal Church Of The Nazarene, Front Royal, VA; and Oscoda Church of The Nazarene, Oscoda, MI. Pastor Sam’s dash was filled with heartache as he grieved the passing of his loved ones. His parent’s James Vance Blakely and Refa Blakely, his siblings, James Vance Blakely Jr., Helen Elizabeth Jenkins, Paul Edward Blakely, Connie Jean Blakely and many well loved nieces, nephews and in-laws. Pastor Sam was known for many great sayings. “I’m finer than a frog hair split three ways.” , “If that doesn't set a fire in your heart, then your wood’s wet.”, “Amen or Oh Me.” If you were to ask Pastor Sam how to get the most out of your dash he would say, “Trust Jesus.” He would challenge you to make your dash count.
This is the story of a dash. The dash of Pastor Samuel James Blakely. Dash you may ask? What dash? It’s the dash that we all end up with at the end of our lives. It is the dash in the middle that goes between the two dates at the... View Obituary & Service Information
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