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Firefighter Sam Van Houten

It is with great sadness that the Stamford Fire Department and the Van Houten family, announce the passing of Samuel Francis Van Houten. “Sammy” was born in Stamford on May 3, 1957 and passed away suddenly on March 28, 2019 at age 61.

Losing his own father at a young age shaped him into the wonderful man he was, taking responsibility to care for his own family with such love. That love and care extended to his sisters, their families, as well as his brother firefighters.

Sam honorably served the City of Stamford for 34 years as both an EMT and a firefighter at Stations 2,4,6, and 7. Trained by his father, Sam was also a highly skilled licensed electrician. When Sam did a job for anyone, he was fair, honest, and took pride in his work.

Nothing gave Sam more joy than spending time with his wife Jody, and his sons Matt and Nick. He looked forward to spending time at the Cape and savored reeling in the “big one” while fishing with his boys. He loved attending music festivals with his wife, especially if Matt was performing. Sam took pride in watching Nick blossom into a skilled tradesman, as passed on through the generations. He and Jody created many memories with their children through involvement in the church, wrestling tournaments, music performances and college. Sam was a wonderful cook and expressed his love to anyone that would join him for his legendary chili or Cajun gumbo.

Sam enjoyed theatre, dinners out with friends and family, and most of all, dancing with his bride. He enjoyed serving all guests a sampling of the best bourbons and beer. At the end of the day, his favorite expression was “woo hoo!”. He spread joy wherever he was and touched every life in a special way.

He is survived by the love of his life and wife of 30 years, Jody Van Houten, his beloved sons – Nicholas and Matthew Van Houten, his sisters – Diana Redfield (Bruce), Annette Cocco (Albert), Susan Mercer, Virginia Reilly, and Linda Lyons, sisters-in-law Cheryl Finger (Joel) and Karen McCloskey (Brian), mother-in-law Katherine Roelke, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Samuel and Emma (Sellars) Van Houten.

Services will be held the morning of Saturday, April 6th, 10:30 a.m., St. John’s Lutheran Church at 884 Newfield Ave. in Stamford, CT. There will be a celebration of Sam’s life immediately following.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Stamford Firefighters Local 786 Burn Foundation, 629 Main Street in Stamford, CT 06901.

Announcing the Passing of Retired Stamford Firefighter Sam Van Houten

Posted: April 1, 2019
About the Author: Captain Philip Hayes
Captain Hayes is a 31-year veteran of the Stamford Fire Department. He is currently assigned to the East Side Fire Station #4 on Shippan Avenue. In addition to his regular Fire Officer duties, he is a Public Relations Officer, the developer of the website and serves on the Departments' IT Team. He is also an avid fan of Fire Department history.
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