In Memory of Sam Pickard ’55

It is with great sadness that we learned yesterday of the death of Honorary Life Trustee Sam Pickard ’55, who passed away on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, in Springfield, Oregon.

Elected to the Board of Trustees in 1983, Sam followed in the footsteps of his parents, who were also lifelong supporters of the College. Sam served as the board’s chair from 1997 to 2003 and was named an Honorary Life Trustee in 2007. In 1994, he received the College’s Medal of Merit, the highest honor awarded to an alumnus.

In addition to the Pickard Commons, the Pickard Scholarship that also bears his family’s name is one of the largest endowed funds at Ripon and continues to benefit students.

Sam grew up in Wisconsin, attending elementary and middle school in Neenah and high school at Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam. He went on to receive an Economics degree from Ripon College in 1955. Sam served as 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army at Fort Harrison, Indiana from 1955-1957. He moved to California in 1957 and earned his MBA from Stanford University in 1959. Sam remained in the San Francisco Bay Area to pursue a 30 year banking career and raise his family.

Sam was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, known by many for his generosity, sense of humor, kindness, and sincerity. Giving back to his community was important to Sam. He donated countless hours and money to organizations such as the Visiting Nurses Association, Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church, YMCA, Wayland Academy, Stanford University, Kiwanis, Rotary, and United Way, to name a few. Sam was especially committed to his alma mater, Ripon College.

Good natured and humble, Sam was content with life’s simple pleasures whether watching the sunrise, working in the yard, listening to his wife play the piano, going for walks, enjoying a ballgame, or taking road trips. He kept a low profile even as an athlete, but knew his way around a golf course and the dance floor.

Sam is survived by his children Ann Pickard, Sam Pickard Jr., and Kathi (Steve) Bean, grandchildren Cameron and Dana Bean; brothers/sisters-in-law, David and Judy Kent, Mitzi Pickard, John Shaw,19 nieces and nephews and many wonderful friends.

He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 45 years, Carmen, his parents, brothers Jim (Ripon Class of ’49) and Tom, and twin sisters Judy and Julie.

His family would like to thank the staff at Elder Health & Living in Springfield for their loving care of Sam during the past 2 1/2 years. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

A private burial will be held in Neenah, Wisconsin at a later date.