Elmer Andrew Samson JD '51

Elmer Andrew Samson JD ’51


Elmer Andrew “Sam” Samson JD ’51 passed away October 30, 2020, in Vancouver, Washington. He was 98.

Born February 17, 1922, in Hudson, Wisconsin, Sam was a ham radio operator who taught at a Civilian Conservation Corps camp before he joined the FBI as a fingerprint trainee. After Pearl Harbor, he learned Japanese radio code and was part of an FBI team in Oregon that intercepted Japanese messages. In the U.S. Navy, Sam attended several schools that prepared him to supply radio teletype communications for an expected invasion of Japan.

Sam married Kathryn Virginia Hoover, an FBI stenographer, in 1947. They had three children. Sam served as an FBI special agent from 1951 until 1972, mostly in Denver. He returned to Oregon in 1975 to teach criminal justice at Chemeketa Community College, and moved to Vancouver in 1987.

Sam was predeceased by his wife in 2006 and son Ronald Lee in 2019. He is survived by son Steven Alan, daughter Kathryn Anne, daughters-in-law Sally and Gail, five grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.