O.D. “Sam” Brubaker

O.D. “Sam” Brubaker, 97, Lawrence, passed away Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at Bridge Haven in Lawrence.

Sam was born on October 2, 1922 in Pomona, KS, the son of Virgil and Rosa (McFadden) Brubaker.

After graduating high school in 1941, Sam joined the Army during WWII on November 27, 1942. He served overseas in the European theatre of Operations with Company D, 45th Tank Battalion, 13 Armored Division. Sam was Tank commander and was responsible for control, coordination and tactical employment of the tank and crew members. He served in Germany until he was discharged as Sergeant on February 13, 1946.

Upon returning to the States, he married Ruth (Murphy) Brubaker and then joined the Lawrence Fire Department in 1947. During nearly 3 decades, some of the more memorable fires Sam was actively involved in included the Sterling Furniture Company store fire in 1954…the Patee Theater Fire in 1955…the TNT Popcorn plant in 1967…the huge WREN/Miller Furniture Store fire in 1966…and Kansas University Union fire in 1970. Sam retired as Captain in 1973.

Upon retirement from the fire department, Sam was known for staying busy and, as a carpenter, he assisted numerous home builders in Lawrence.

Sam always enjoyed traveling. He and his wife took many bus travel tours throughout the US over the years which made for many happy memories. He has also enjoyed pheasant hunting, playing bingo, attending the Brubaker family reunions and volunteering in numerous church projects.

Sam was a member of the Lawrence VFW Post 852 and the American Legion Post 14 for many years.

Survivors include numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Lyle Brubaker, Clarke Brubaker, half-brother, Roy Evans; and seven sisters, Gladys, Doris, Ila, Alta, Vesta, Eulla, and Wilma.

Due the current Coronavirus Pandemic, there will be a private family only Graveside Service.

The family suggests memorials in his name to the Lawrence Humane Society, American Legion Post 14, or The Alzheimer’s Association and may be sent in care of the Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

7 Condolences

  1. Judy Gragg on April 23, 2020 at 9:35 am

    I don’t know where to really begin about Sam. He was such a good friend, fun-loving, wanted to help anyone and everyone in any situation. He was such a help with all of us at the VFW and American Legion and loved singing karaoke. Sam lived a good life enjoyed every minute of it. He will be missed. My condolences to all the family. Judy Gragg and Dick George.

  2. Jeanette Reiling on April 23, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    Sweet Sam, he used to come visit me at the Fire Department. I enjoyed his stories, especially about he and his wife. My sincerest condolences to his family.

  3. Ron Stalkfleet on April 25, 2020 at 11:58 am

    Sam will be missed by all of his family and friends.. Sam had a great sense of humor. Fly high Sam

  4. Chief Chad Russell, Andover Fire-Rescue on May 1, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    Sam, we never met, but thank you for your service, brother! We’ll take it from here.

  5. Marilyn Merritt on May 1, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about Sam. He was such a sweet guy! I bought a couple of his toy fire engines at his estate sale and my grandson loves them. Sam will be missed by all of us! Prayers

  6. Kelly Evans on May 23, 2020 at 9:56 am

    Sam and I became friends when I was director of trinity in-home care in Lawrence. To be honest, he was my favorite client. We had a bond. I moved to Colorado 7 years ago and cried when we’d said goodbye. This morning I was admiring a piece of stained glass Sam had given me in my kitchen window, wondering about him, and I see he recently passed and joined his dear wife. I’m sad I won’t see him again but thankful to have known such a truly great person with a wonderful smile and heart. Love to his family.

  7. Chrissy Conrad Allen on May 23, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    My heart is heavy to learn that Sam has passed. He worked for my grandparents at Conrad Electric and plumbing since before I was born. He was also our neighbor for many years. I grew up with Sam being like a grandpa to me! He was always smiling and happy to see you. I have missed him since I moved away. My condolences to his family!

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