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SAMUEL "SAM" WHITMAN REES, age 84, of Sidney passed away on Mon. Feb 19, 2018 at 8 am at Lane Park Community Center in Sidney. He was born December 9, 1933 to E.E. & Mary Rees of Lockington. He graduated from Sidney High School in 1951, enlisted in the US Air Force the next year and started in basic training at Sampson Air Force base in New York. On Sept 13, 1952 he married Kathryn Abbott at the Lowry Field base chapel. She survives along with children Diane (Rick) Milanese, Teresa Covington, and David (Kelly) Rees. One infant daughter Linda Sue is deceased. There are 11 grandchildren: Chris (Lacey) Lauterbur, Dan (Hayley) Lauterbur, Steven Milanese, David (Traci) Milanese, RJ Milanese, Melinda (Bill) Smith, Ryan Covington, Jaclyn Covington, and Kyle, Evan and Luke Rees. Great grandchildren are Kaitlyn, Tyler & Madison Lauterbur, Riley & Sophia Lauterbur, Allie Milanese and Cody Milanese. Owen Samuel Lauterbur, a great grandson, is deceased.
The Rees's were fortunate to celebrate 65 years of marriage last September along with their wedding attendants, Harvey & Helen Woodell, who were also married two weeks earlier than Sam & Kathryn- making it a double celebration.
While serving in the Air Force in 1954, Sam was transferred to the USAF headquarters in Wiesbaden Germany for 2 years. His wife and daughter joined him and they returned to the states in 1957 and farmed with his father for 2 years. Over the next few years, Sam worked on the Sidney Police Department, at the US Post Office, and at the Celina Insurance Co. out of Cincinnati, before returning to Sidney in 1971, when they purchased the Sidney News Stand and Bookstore, operating it until retiring in December of 2010. During the earlier years, Sam was also the Shelby County Civil Defense Director, Sidney's first appointed Probation Officer, and a Clinton Township trustee for 18 years.
In 1987, Sam purchased and operated, along with his family, the Auto Vue Drive-In. It continues to operate today.
Sam was a member of Sidney First United Methodist Church and a member of the Compromise Grange. He was also a lifetime member of the American Legion 217, and the local VFW and Amvets. Sam loved his firearms, and was a proud member of the NRA. He loved woodworking and fishing, and his greatest joy was going target shooting at the range or fishing with the grandkids.
A Celebration of Sam's Life will be held Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 10 AM at Cromes-Edwards Funeral Home, 302 S. Main Ave, Sidney, with Rev. Jane Madden officiating. Burial with full military honors will follow at Beechwood Cemetery in Lockington. The family will receive friends on Friday from 5 to 8 PM and on Saturday from 9 AM until the hour of service. Sidney American Legion Post 217 will conduct a service Friday evening at 7:45 PM.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Wilson Hospice and Shelby County Animal Rescue Foundation (SCARF). Condolences may be expressed to the Rees family at the funeral home's website, www.cromesfh.com