A Loving Tribute to Samuel Lewis Booke, Jr.
April 14, 1931 – June 15, 2012
On Friday morning, June 15, Samuel Lewis Booke, Jr., son of Samuel L. Booke, Sr and Anne Cooke Booke, was transported in an instant to the Pearly Gates, only to wait in line for no less than 15 minutes before meeting St. Peter himself. Once face to face with St. Peter, Sam presented several words of advice from how to shorten the line to offering orange juice to those waiting to gain entrance. He also suggested the gates themselves were in a bit of disrepair and could use a shot of WD-40 on the hinges. Sam further pointed out that some new gilding was needed in a few places whereupon he reminded St. Pete that he need not spent too much on the thick gold and that the thin sheets should do just fine.
A younger gentleman behind Sam in line (Justin Training) inquired as to what made him an authority on so many things. Sam explained that he was born in Winston-Salem, NC and was a graduate of RJ Reynolds High School and the University of North Carolina but most importantly gained infinite wisdom and his PhD in Business from the School of Hard Knocks. Impressed, Justin decided to stick around and learn more.
Once inside the gates, Sam was shown to his accommodations: a simple elegant stateroom aboard the heavenly cruise ship "Yes Darlin." As it turned out, Justin was given the cabin next door. Sam and Justin shortly thereafter met for cocktails on the deck where upon the captain of the "Yes Darlin" came up and introduced himself to Sam. He then presented him with a stack of papers with countless columns of numbers and asked him please to review them and share his thoughts later over dinner. Sam agreed. Again impressed, Justin asked why the Captain had singled him out for such a task. "Son," Sam replied politely, "I am a CPA and have served as the Chairman of the Board for Booke and Company, McNeary Inc. and Modern Turf, Inc. Furthermore, I worked for Integon, AM Pullin - Public Accountants and have served on the boards of Altadonics, Hospice, the United Way, The Downtown Winston-Salem Association, The Chamber of Commerce and Civic Ventures. But enough about me, tell me about you." Sam then spent the next hour asking numerous in depth questions, showing genuine and sincere interest while getting to know Justin.
After the lengthy inquisition, Justin still wanted to know more about Sam. "You must have had a positive impact on a lot of people’s lives, Sam, tell me about them." "Well, as glad as I am to be here in Heaven enjoying the ocean as I have all my life I will miss my family and friends. I left behind a son, Sam L. Booke III, and his wife, Cindy, of Charlotte and their children, Anne and Sam; my daughter, Mary Booke Kerfoot, and her husband Hank of Camden, S.C., and their children, Sarah, Henry and Libby; and my daughter Elizabeth Booke Vaughn and her husband Patrick, of Charlotte and their children, Lane, Patrick and Olivia. I will also miss my best friend and brother Henry (Penny) Booke and his wife Libby and their daughter Martha Booke and her son, Sy, of Rio de Janeiro."
"But better days are coming," Sam explained. "I can now put my skills back to use as a sailor aboard this ship as I was an Eagle Scout, greatly involved with the Sea Scouts, and served as a Lieutenant in the US Navy." "What did you do for fun Sam?" Justin inquired. "I liked to read – a lot. I enjoyed the ocean and the lake, traveling, advising folks on just about everything, helping folks get business started, education and nutrition. By the way Justin, you look a bit pale – have you been taking your vitamins? I am also an avid connoisseur of potato chips. You know life is not complete without good potato chips. I hear you can get all you want here."
"That’s all quite fascinating, it sounds as if you spent a great deal of time helping others, working, advising and eating potato chips. What about your wife, you haven’t mentioned her?" "Well, I hope to be reacquainted with her here soon." Just then, Sam’s wife Eleanor showed up, well-tanned and looking splendid. "Sammy" she said, "I’m so glad you’re finally here. I’ve got some boxes I need you to move."
Sam glanced at his new friend and gave him the "I’ve got to go" look and then straight back to Eleanor and replied "Yes, Darlin’."
Friends and family were welcomed to join Sam’s family on Monday evening June 18, 2012, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, at the home of Libby and Penny Booke (930 Wellington Road, Winston-Salem, NC) for a gathering of friends and a celebration of life. There will be a private burial service for the family held at Forsyth Memorial Park. A memorial service was held in the sanctuary at Centenary Methodist Church at 11:00 am on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.
Memorials may be made to The Sam and Anne Booke Family Trust at The Winston-Salem Foundation, 860 W. Fifth St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Online condolences may be made to www.salemfh.com.
The Booke family wishes to send a heartfelt thank-you to the many nurses and doctors involved with the care for Sam in the Cardiac ICU and CVCC at Forsyth Memorial Hospital.