Monday, March 04, 2024

Samuel L. Hibbard, 92

| May 13, 2020 1:00 AM

Samuel Lester Hibbard was born in Fresno, Calif., on Nov. 19, 1927. He died at the age of 92, on May 9, 2020, as a result of complications from colon and liver cancer.

He was the second child of Daisy and Ernest Hibbard, who moved their family to Lewiston, Idaho, shortly after he was born. Sam’s dad was a foreman at a local sawmill, and his mother was a homemaker. When his dad lost his job, the family moved to Coeur d’Alene, where Sam grew up and went to school.

Sam was a true child of the Great Depression. He lived most of his childhood in a log cabin without any electricity or plumbing. The family was lucky in that they had a garden and animals on their small farm, so there was always food. There was not, however, extra money. Sam and his brothers went to school in the same clothing and shoes they wore to take care of the animals on the farm.

Sam graduated in 1945 from Coeur d’Alene High School and was drafted into the Army upon turning 18. He was sent to Korea and became part of the post engineers, which meant he operated the heavy equipment, like bulldozers and cranes. Sam was able to parlay his considerable baseball skills into a position on the post’s baseball team.

After serving his time in the Army, Sam returned home and took a job in the Post Falls sawmill. Shortly thereafter, he met Pauline Kelson. The courtship lasted a year and they were married Sept. 25, 1948. They had two children, a daughter, Nancy, and a son, Ronald.

In June of 1957, Sam became an employee of Weyerhaeuser Co. and began his career. In order to advance, Sam would move his family to six different states, and there were extra moves within some of those states.

He had achieved management status at the end of his time with Weyerhaeuser Co. but did not fully retire. After Weyerhaeuser, Sam went to work for John S. Wilson, a lumber company, for several more years.

On Dec. 15, 1997, Sam’s wife, Pauline, was killed in a car accident. In May of 1997, Sam became reacquainted with a former high school classmate, Genevieve Shaver, who was a widow of 25 years. They renewed their friendship and married on Jan. 9, 1999. On Nov. 10, 2014 Genevieve passed away.

In 2016, Sam sold his home in Post Falls and moved into the senior living facility of Garden Plaza. He remained there until his death.

Sam loved to entertain and was known for his many memorized jokes and stories. He and his brothers loved to regale family and friends with singing and playing the spoons. Sam was an excellent dancer and spent more than 25 years square dancing. He enjoyed playing cards and was especially good at cribbage, gin, poker and bridge. Sam loved golf above all, and played the game well into his 80s, often shooting his age or below with three holes-in-one to his credit.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include his son, Ronald Hibbard and wife, Beth, of Annapolis, Md.; step-sons Bob Shaver of Las Vegas, Randy Shaver and wife, Jan, of Vancouver, Wash. and Jeff Shaver and wife, Peggy, of Waverly, Pa.; step-daughter, Barbara Harrison of Spokane, Wash.; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and nieces.

Because of the coronavirus, a Mass and memorial service cannot be held in Idaho at this time. Instead, Sam will be returned to Maryland. The family will hold a private service and interment there. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation in Sam’s name to Hospice of North Idaho, 2290 W. Prairie Ave., Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815.

Yates Funeral Homes has been entrusted with final arrangements. Please visit Sam’s memorial and sign his online guest book at