Samuel Curtis Monroe, age 84, died Monday, June 18, 2018 at Veterans Medical Center in Fayetteville.
A visitation will be held Sunday, June 24, 2018 from 1:00 pm until 8:00 pm at Fry & Prickett Funeral Home in Carthage.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, June 25, 2018 at 11:00 am at Mt. Olive AME Zion Church in Carthage. Burial will follow at Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery in Spring Lake.
A native of Moore County, he was born March 22, 1934 to the late Estelle Cheek Monroe and John Martin Monroe. He entered into eternal rest Monday, June 18 2018 at Fayetteville VA Medical Center in Fayetteville, NC with family by his side.
Sam graduated from Pinckney High School in 1952 where he graduated in the top 10% of his class and participated in varsity football, basketball and baseball. He furthered his education at St Augustine College where he also played football and basketball. After leaving college, he enlisted in the Air Force in 1958, receiving basic training at Sampson Air Force Base (AFB) in upstate New York. His initial assignments were short term stays at Pease AFB in New Hampshire and Shiling AFB in Kansas. While stationed at Pease Sam went through an aircraft maintenance course and was also selected to be the starting point guard on an Air Force regional all-star basketball team called the Vikings. The Vikings played against other regional Air Force all-star teams and had a tournament tour through Europe
Later assignments landed Sam at Westover AFB in Chicopee Massachusetts and at Wright Patterson AFB in Fairborn OH. These assignments were longer than the initial ones lasting eight and nine years respectively. While stationed in the United States during his career Sam had many Tours of Duty that included six month and year long assignments to Guam, Okinawa, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Throughout his distinguished career Sam was a dedicated military professional who was recognized and decorated for exceptional performance as a Fire Control Technician, a B-52 gunner, and a Logistics Specialist. Among his many honors he was awarded a Bronze Star for meritorious achievement in a combat zone as well as the Dudley C Sharpe Award. The Dudley C Sharp Award was an Air Force wide honor given annually to the person in the Enlisted or Officer ranks that demonstrated excellence in logistics.
Sam retired from active military service in 1981 as a Chief Master Sergeant, the highest enlisted rank in the U.S. Air Force. The achievement of the rank of “Chief” is considered to be the pinnacle of an Air Force enlisted person’s career given how difficult it is to achieve. By federal law, roughly one percent of the Air Force enlisted force may hold the rank of Chief Master Sergeant.
In 1982 Sam resumed his career but this time as a civilian assigned to the Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC) headquarters at Wright Patterson AFB. In addition to a variety of logistics roles he was also assigned to a headquarters special, elite team tasked by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) to study and recommend an approach for operational efficiencies between the USAF and NATO countries maintaining the C-130 aircraft. The resulting recommendations resulted in savings of over $22 million per year and in the team being lauded by the Secretary of Defense for their efforts.
It should also be noted that while in the U.S. and while on Tours of Duty overseas, Sam pursued excellence not only on the job but he also pursued excellence on the golf course. He was a self taught golfer; golf was his passion and his joy. Luckily for him this very difficult game loved him back. At his best Sam was a scratch golfer who routinely won regional tournaments wherever he was stationed.
Sam was a loving husband, father, uncle, grandfather and a friend to many. He loved all people but found babies and toddlers irresistibly cute. He was quick to smile and was known for his affable manner and ability to always see the best in people. The world lost a “good one” but heaven gained a “special angel”…..
He was preceded in death by his seventeen (17) siblings. He leaves behind to cherish his memory his loving, caring and devoted wife, Dorothy Atkins Monroe; daughter, Cheryl Phillips (Ted); son, Stephen Monroe (Betsy); 3 grandchildren; 3 stepchildren; 2 step grandchildren; 2 step great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, and very dear friends.
The Monroe Family would like to thank each and every one of you for your expression of kindness, your thoughtful cards, your love, compassion and your heartfelt spirit towards our family during our time of grief. Lastly we would also like to thank Encompass Health Care Employees, Asheboro, NC and First Health Hospice & Palliative Care, Pinehurst, NC.
Fry & Prickett Funeral Home in Carthage is serving the Monroe family.
Mr. Monroe’s family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers at Sandhills Sentinel.