Samuel A. “Sam” McFate, Jr. joined his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Monday, May 6, 2019, where he will rest in peace and walk on Heaven’s streets of gold.
Visitation will be Friday, May 10 beginning at 10 a.m. followed by a service at 11 a.m. at the Halligan McCabe DeVries Funeral Home, Davenport. Burial will be in Davenport Memorial Park. Memorials may be made to Genesis Hospice.
Samuel Albert McFate, Jr. was born on June 17, 1929 in Davenport to Margaret (Spear) and Samuel Albert McFate, Sr. He served in the Air Force from 1946 until 1949 serving in Guam and Japan.
Sam married Lorene Ruby Rowe in June 1948. Lorene worked 22 years for Oscar Mayer Co. To this union brought forth a daughter, Linda Lorene in 1950 and a son, Timothy Cloyce in 1963. His wife, Lorene died of cancer in March 1980. They were married 32 years.
Sam married Norma Jean Marie Reed in April 1981. Norma also died of cancer in February 2004. They were married 23 years.
Sam enjoyed his family and friends. He kept his home and his cars in tip-top shape, including his 1964 ½ red Mustang convertible that he owned for 37 years.
Sam spent thirty years as a civil servant at Rock Island Arsenal/Army Weapons Command in military packaging, packaging design, development, and specifications for all responsible weaponry. He was the focal point for the Army in Weapons Management in packaging and had assignment in Vietnam and Germany.
Sam was a lover of country, bluegrass, and gospel music. He was a charter member of the Country Christians gospel group for over 20 years. He sang all the musical parts and played the steel guitar, acoustic guitar, and dobro. The group made five professional studio recordings, including two songs that Sam wrote. Before the Country Christians, Sam joined a hillbilly band while stationed in Japan, playing steel guitar. The band was a part of a U.S.O. Touring Group and the band Sam was with was called Crazy Funny Hillbillies and had ¼ of the two hour variety show. They played all nine air bases in Japan and two Christmas shows at Kimpo Air Base, Korea in 1948.
Sam also played country music with Robert Lewis, Sr. and Bob’s son, Bobbie, Jr. for many years. Sam wrote five gospel songs with copyrights on two of them.
Survivors include his children: Linda Czekalski, Rock Island, Timothy (Sheree) McFate, Davenport; stepson, Steven (Kathy) Welchert, Denver, Colorado and daughter-in-law, Ana Welchert, Davenport grandchildren: Wendy Czekalski, Rock Island, Tracy Czekalski, Rock Island, Samuel (Stephanie) Czekalski, Pinehurst, North Carolina, and Christy Czekalski, Davenport, Jamie Lorene McFate, Winchester, Virginia, Ashley McFate, Pasadena, Maryland, Tyler McFate, attending West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster, California for the ministry Jennifer Trout, Baltimore, Maryland, Jacob (Carley) Hedrick, Ft. Pierce, Florida, Elizabeth (Scott) Scheerer, Baltimore, Maryland, Joshua Hedrick, Baltimore, Maryland; great-grandchildren: Tessa Lorene, Kinley, Cullen, Daniel, Amelia, Grace, Sarah, Matthew, Lucy, Sophia, Valerie, Melody, Ruby, Jenny, Elena, and Katherine; and a brother, Kenneth McFate, Olathe, Kansas.
In addition to his wives, he was preceded in death by a son-in-law, Ward Czekalski, a step-son, James Welchert, his parents, an infant brother, LeRoy, a brother, Raymond, and a sister-in-law, Imogene McFate.