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Joan Sams
B: 1942-06-16
D: 2020-03-08
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Sams, Joan


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520 S. Main St., PO Box 363
Platte, SD 57369
Phone: 605-337-3857
Fax: 605-337-2374
Joan Sams

Joan Kay Sams (Vander Meulen)

Tuesday, June 16th, 1942 - Sunday, March 8th, 2020
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Joan Kay Sams, 77, of Plankinton, SD passed away Sunday, March 8, 2020 at Avera Brady Health and Rehab in Mitchell, SD. Funeral Services are 5:00 P.M. Thursday, March 12, 2020 at the United Methodist Church in Plankinton. Visitation will be held at the church from 4:00 – 5:00 P.M. prior to services on Thursday. Burial with Military Honors will be 2:00 P.M. (MST) Friday, March 13, 2020 at the Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, SD.

Joan Kay (Vander Meulen) Sams was born on June 16, 1942 to Sanford and Christine (Beute) Vander Meulen in Grand Rapids, MI. She graduated from Grand Rapids Christian High School and went on to continue her education attending two years of college. After working a short time, she served her country in the United States Navy from April 1968 to January 1971, during this time she met and married Eldred C. Sams on November 17, 1970 in Corpus Christi, TX. From this union, two daughters were born, Jewel Rae and Crystal. After Eldred’s retirement from the Navy, they worked on three different ranches in South Dakota before moving to Plankinton, SD in 1986.

She was employed as a Paraprofessional for the Plankinton School for 27 years, as well as being a member of the United Methodist Church and VFW Aurora Cty. Post #6554. Joan also played the piano/organ in school and church for over 30 years. She enjoyed visiting with friends, quilting, knitting and listening to books on tape. When unable to continue playing, she relocated to Lincoln, NE for two years and then came back to Plankinton where she remained until her passing.

Grateful for having shared in Joan’s life, her two daughters: Jewel Rae Tanquary (Raymond) of Conover, NC and Crystal Williams (Dee) of Lincoln, NE; three grandchildren: Colter and Haeli Grice and Joel Sams; a sister, Sandra; a brother, Herman (Ina); along with nieces and nephews.

Joan was preceded in death by her husband, Eldred Sams (Feb. 27, 1994); her parents; two sisters: Winifred (Robert) and Ruth Ann (Gene); and a brother, Jake.

Thanks to Ida, Mavis, Butch and others who provided food. A special thank you to Melissa Davis for her kindness and thank you to all who visited.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Joan’s honor may be directed to: United Methodist Church, 210 N. East Rd., Plankinton, SD 57368 or American Cancer Society, PO Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123.
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Memorial Program

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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, March 12th, 2020 | 4:00pm - 5:00pm
    Thursday, March 12th, 2020 4:00pm - 5:00pm
    United Methodist Church
    210 East Road
    PLANKINTON, SD 57368
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Thursday, March 12th, 2020 | 5:00pm
    Thursday, March 12th, 2020 5:00pm
    United Methodist Church
    210 East Road
    PLANKINTON, SD 57368
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Pastor Rodney Knock
  • Interment

    Black Hills National Cemetery
    STURGIS, SD 57785
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Friday, March 13, 2020, 2:00 P.M. (MST) - Military Honors by VFW Rushmore Post #1273 of Rapid City, SD.
  • Reception

    United Methodist Church
    210 East Road
    PLANKINTON, SD 57368
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


  • National Defense Service Medal
  • United Methodist Church
  • US Navy
  • VFW


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Jan & Joe Schlimgen

Posted at 03:05pm
So sorry for the loss of your mother, Joan. She was a very kind , caring individual with many talents. She will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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Watch the Photographic Memories Slideshow with photos selected by the family. Joan Kay Sams (Vander Meulen) - Photographic Memories