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Vivian Irene Sams

April 7, 2010
Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Vivian Irene Sams, 88, of Petroleum, W.Va., passed away in her daughter's home in Chloe, W.Va., on April 3, 2010.

She was born Bodil Vivianna Irene Hansen Spilbaug, April 14, 1921, in Oslo, Norway.

As a teenager, Vivian was an alternate for the Norwegian Olympic Swim Team and the Norwegian Olympic Cross Country Ski Team. Early in WWII, she served in the Norwegian Resistance to purge her country of Nazis and spent two years in the German concentration camp Dachau. After being liberated she worked as an accountant for the Red Cross based in Germany where she met Harry Curtis Sams, and married him in November 1949. During their 58-year marriage, they raised nine children, seven sons and two daughters.

Vivian is survived by her sons, Chris Sams and wife Denise of Avon Lake, Ohio, Tony Sams of Cairo, W.Va., David Sams of Cairo, Bobby Sams and wife Liza of Saudi Arabia, Steven Sams and wife Brenda of Hundred, W.Va., Andrew Sams of Parowan, Utah; daughter, Tina Lishman and husband Michael of Chloe, W.Va. and Keith Sams and wife Clara of Bossier City, La.

Vivian was preceded in death by her grandson David Lee Sams Jr.; an infant granddaughter; her husband of 58 years, Ltc. Harry Curtis Sams; and her first born Shirley Ann Sams.

At the request of the deceased, there will be no funeral or memorial. Condolences may be emailed to her daughter Tina Lishman at



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