Worshipful Brother Sam R Whitfield
"Our Brother has reached the end of his earthly toils"








By Justin Ove (Patch Staff)  October 31, 2014 at 1:04pm

And the Smyrna Citizen of the Year Is...

The Cobb Chamber of Commerce handed out the prestigious award on Thursday.

By Narayan Sengupta

Korean War tanker, SunTrust Bank co-founder, Cobb County School Board member, Mason, Rotarian, father, grandfather, friend and gentleman. This formidable combination describes but one person in Cobb County: Smyrna’s marvelous Sam R. Whitfield. But even more astonishing is his staggering and unheard of 110 years combined of community service. So perhaps no one was surprised that on Thursday, October 30, 2014, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce awarded him their esteemed Smyrna Citizen of the Year award.

Mr. Whitfield simply goes by Sam. He was born in Pickens County, attended Pickens County High School, graduated in 1948 and then graduated from the University of Georgia in 1952. Shortly thereafter, he joined the US Army and was sent to join the Korean War, where he commanded an M-26 Pershing, then probably the finest all-around tank in the world. By the time he left the Army, he had made the rank of Captain.

Sam’s 110 years of service includes 50 years in Smyrna Rotary Club and 60 in the Smyrna Masons. I’ve been honored to know him from the Rotary Club. His tenure there has been long and illustrious. In December 1963, while still in his early 30s, he became one of the Smyrna Rotary Club’s charter members. But by then, he was already working for Prudential Insurance, and he had been a Mason for over a decade.

In 1964, he was one of twelve men who founded Security National Bank in Cobb County, which later became Trust Company Bank of Cobb County and finally SunTrust Banks.

The Smyrna Jaycees recognized him with their Distinguished Service Award for 1965. It’s also very humbling that he was Smyrna Rotary’s Club President in 1966, the year I was born. Somewhere along the way, he was on Cobb County’s School Board for 12 years. Furthering his connection to local education was his wife Grace, now deceased. She taught at Smyrna’s Brown Elementary School for many years and the media center there was named after her.

Fellow Rotarian Roy Strickland told me that Sam was with Cobb County’s Division of Family and Children Services and on its Board. And the Pickens County School System website notes that he is listed in both Who’s Who and the Outstanding Georgia Masons, that he was in the Mason’s Order of the Eastern Star for State of Georgia in 1971 to 1972 and the Grand Lodge of Georgia’s treasurer for 14 years. He is still its Grand Treasurer Emeritus.

Sam retired as a Director from SunTrust Banks in 2000. In about 2008, he established a $5,000 per year scholarship in his native Pickens County to alternate between a male and a female every other year. He was Smyrna’s Rotarian of the Year in 2009. And he has received numerous other awards from the Masons and Rotary in recognition of his deeds and dedication.

He has 50 years of perfect attendance in the Smyrna Rotary Club. This is not for annual or quarterly or monthly meetings, but for weekly meetings! That is over 2,500 meetings. And that reminds me of a funny story. On one occasion, he was in the hospital. Not wanting to miss a meeting, he had an ambulance bring him, wait for an hour and then return him to the hospital!

Sam has made a series of very significant donations to Rotary International, permitting Smyrna Rotary to be engaged with many of Smyrna’s elementary, middle and high schools and even nearby colleges. Those funds have helped tornado victims in north Georgia, polio vaccines to be distributed around the world and participation in perhaps 100 other projects locally, nationally and internationally. His generosity has helped kids study, build playgrounds, provide clean water and saved lives in, among other places, Costa Rica, western Africa, and in Pakistan and India.

There are over 33,000 Rotary Clubs in the world, and on more than one occasion, propelled by the generosity of Sam and other Rotarians, Smyrna Rotary has been in the top 10 worldwide in per capita donations to the Rotary Fund. In fact, for most of 2009, it was the number 1 club in the entire world. Always engaged, in 2010, Sam offered the Benediction at Smyrna’s Veterans Day event.

It is just in the past several months that Sam finally retired from Rotary. But until recently, he was still incredibly active, involved with the schools and in club extra-curricular activities. He played the role of the Club Photographer for many years, showed up at Board Meetings, was always at the Cobb Christmas volunteer event, etc. “And as of 2014,” notes Roy Strickland, “our local Rotary District [representing Atlanta and most of western Georgia] sponsors the Sam R. Whitfield Award for Ethics.”

 Sam has a son, a daughter and a several grandchildren.



Raised  1952
 
WM Nelms Lodge #323, 1966
 
Treasurer Nelms Lodge, 1973-1993
 
Grand Treasurer of
The Grand Lodge of Georgia,
1987-88,2002
 
33rd Degree Mason, 2001
 
Sixty-Five Year Mason, 2017



Sam R. Whitfield
Age 88

Nelms Lodge #323 F&M
Born 11/25/1929
Passed Saturday January 27, 2018

Funeral Service Tuesday January 30 
2:00 pm

In the Chapel of Carmichael Funeral Home
2950 King Street 
Smyrna, GA 30080

Interment will follow 
at Cheatham Hill Memorial Park
1861 Dallas Hwy, Marietta, GA 30064
















Rotary's Sam Whitfield Honored as Citizen of the Year

Sam R. Whitfield was named the Smyrna Citizen of the Year in October (2014) by the Smyrna Division of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.

Tom Wood, Smyrna Division Chair, said the award was presented to “a person who has an impact on the city of Smyrna.” Whitfield could not be present for the award ceremony, but the Lillie Glass trophy was accepted by Rotary President Scott Auer.

Whitfield’s career includes being a founder of Sun Trust Bank, an Army tank commander in the Korean War and service on the Cobb County School Board. His civic involvement includes 50 years in Smyrna Rotary Club (a charter member) and 60 in the Smyrna Masonic Lodge.

A native of Pickens County, he and his late wife, Grace, have a son, a daughter and several grandchildren.

In 1964, he was one of 12 men who founded Security National Bank in Cobb County, which later became Trust Company Bank of Cobb County and finally Sun Trust Bank.

The Smyrna Rotary Club held a “Sam Whitfield Day” earlier in the month for the charter member who is now retiring from the club.

“But, until recently, he was still incredibly active, involved with the schools and club extracurricular activities, He played the role of Club Photographer for many years, showed up at Board Meetings, was always at the Cobb Christmas volunteer event” Said Narayan Sengupta.

“And, as of 2014,“ notes Roy Strickland, “our local Rotary District sponsors the Sam R. Whitfield award for Ethics.”

Sam has made a series of very significant donations to Rotary International, permitting Smyrna Rotary to be engaged with many of Smyrna’s elementary, middle and high schools and even nearby colleges. Those funds have helped tornado victims in North Georgia, polio vaccines to be distributed around the world,

Comments