Rehelio A. Samuel

Funeral services for Rehelio A. Samuel, 81, Lawrence will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. Military graveside will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery. He died May 11, 2014 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Rehelio was born April 16, 1933 in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands the son of Joseph Valdemar and Ellen (Thomas) Samuel.

He had a BS in Sociology/Business. He put his graduate work (MS Management/Organizational Behavior) on hold in order to pursue additional job related and other professional certification. His goal was to attend Law School, or obtain Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration.

He attended the John Marshall Law School Fair Housing Legal Support Training Center (Skills Training including investigation and Litigation).

He attended U.S. DHUD and John Marshall Law School co-sponsored Mandatory Training Programs.

He had professional certification by the National Association of Human Rights Workers.

National Masters in Civil/Human Rights Agencies Executive Management/Administration. (All course requirements have been completed).

State of Missouri Certified Mediation/Conflict Dispute Resolution Training Program and Practicum (1994) in Core and Civil Competencies.

State of Kansas Certified Core Mediation Program and Practicum (2002).

State of Kansas Certified Civil Mediation Training Program and Practicum (2002).

He served his country in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. Samuel served his country (U.S. Military) for over 20 years. In addition to his Military primary specialties, he served on Base/Post community relations committees/commissions; Base/Post Race Relations, and Equal Opportunity Councils; Moral and Welfare of the Troops and Civilian personnel councils, and moral, welfare, and assistance for Military families. He worked effectively in the investigation, deliberations, and judgment of complaints adverting circumstances which may have developed into major problem areas. Major objective: improving race relations, equal opportunity in all aspects of Military life, and improving on Base/Post, and Local Community (Town/City) relations.

Regional Executive Council on Civil Rights Conciliations/Settlement Training Programs.

International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies Training seminars. (All aspects of complaint/case processing, litigation, and agency administration).

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)/FEPA Training Programs.

US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)/FHAP Mandatory Training (case law, investigation, litigation/mock trials, etc.).

U.S. Department of Justice sponsored and co-sponsored Training Seminars (race relations and community relations).

Regional Executive Council On Civil Rights (RECCR) Training Seminars.

Kansas Human Rights/Relations Agencies (KHRA) Training Seminars.

League of Kansas Municipalities.

Kansas Human Rights Commission (KHRC).

LHRC & LHR/HRD Equal Opportunity Law Update Seminars; Eployment and Housing Seminars.

National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) Training Programs.

During the mid to late 1940s Samuel served as a Youth Support Volunteer (NYC): Addressing Youth/Police/Community Relations; encouraging and helping youths to stay drug free; stay in school programs addressing juvenile delinquency, and truancy; developing good work ethics, and good citizenship.

Over the years, in addition to his work with the City, Samuel has served on the Board of Directors of numerous federal, state, county, and local boards/organizations, including Douglas County Legal Aid Society, Kansas Council on Crime and Delinquency, I Can Be (youth educational, image, good citizenship, etc.), USD 497 school/community advisory committee, Youth at Risk, Douglas County Red Cross, Douglas County United Way, Ballard Community Center, Pride Inc., Eastern Central Kansas Community Action Agencies, Multi-county board, CASA, Citizens School Issues Forum, Summer Teen Employment Program, The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Federal Commission.

Rehelio was a member of the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies, National Association of Human Rights Workers, Regional Executive Council on Civil Rights, and the Kansas Human Relations Association (an affiliate of the League of Kansas Municipalities).

He received the President of the United States of America Outstanding Community Achievement of Vietnam Era Veterans in recognition of services to the Nation in time of war and outstanding community achievement in time of peace.

He lived in Lawrence since 1972 after moving here from Topeka.

He married Sylvia Victoria Bastian on November 8, 1958 in New York, NY. She survives of the home.

Other survivors include Renita Samuel, Long Beach, CA; three sons, Albert Samuel, New York State, Nino Samuel, Atlanta, GA, Frederico Samuel, Lawrence; 10 grandchildren; and 13 great grandchildren. He was preceded in by one daughter, Sylvia Hoss-Samuel on May 30, 2012; and son, Joseph Samuel.

The family will greet friends from 5 – 7 p.m. Friday, May 16th at the mortuary.

Any love gifts may be made out to Sylvia Samuel and sent in care of the mortuary.

15 Condolences

  1. Cynthia Colbert on May 13, 2014 at 7:11 am

    His work in the community will never be forgotten. Condolences to his family and friends….

  2. Donna Cavitte on May 13, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Mr. Samuel was truly a trail-blazer and a role model for many human rights professionals. His contributions will be temembered. My sympathy and may he rest in peace.

  3. R.W. and Betty Scribner on May 13, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    To our dear neighbors for the past 43 years – Ray was truly the best neighbor ever – we already have missed him and Sylvia for a year but Ray will truly be missed in our hearts. Prayers and love to you Sylvia, Renita, Nino and Tressy, Rico, and Albert.

  4. Mike Wildgen on May 14, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Ray was a loyal and dedicated member of the Lawrence city management team. He was always willing to help. I appreciated him a great deal.

  5. Cynthia Glenn on May 14, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    He will be truly missed, but never forgotten! I had the opportunity to work with Rehelio as his Administrative Assistant for 6 years. He was a phenomenal person, boss and friend. May the Lord Bless his family and comfort them during this time of sorrow.

  6. Rob Edmiston on May 14, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    My heart felt condolences to the Samuel family. I have such fond memories of Joseph in my school years and of Rehelio and other family frequenting my place of employment in the 1980’s. I have always been impressed with the strength of the Samuel family.

  7. Cyrese Lee Powell on May 15, 2014 at 7:07 am

    Reading Ray’s accolades was overwhelming & truly explained the man who was a mentor to me & along with Miss Sylvia, was a great friend to my mother. He & I chatted in March of this year & it was so good, because of course we reminisced. To all of you, the family he loved, I am glad to have met all of you at his Retirement Ceremony a few years back. He was proud of his family. I share in your grief and will ALWAYS keep in practice the many things I learned from him…God be with you.

  8. Kim Murphree on May 15, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Shocked and saddened by this news. So hard to believe that a spirit that shined so bright has left us. His work, dedication, intelligence, and passion for lifting others will long be remembered. What an amazing person! There is not enough room to write all the wonderful things Mr. Samuel has done. I only know that many will be eternally grateful for his work, and I will be eternally grateful to have had the chance to know him. God bless you, Sylvia, and your family. I pray the Lord will comfort and embrace you all. So sorry for your loss. Certainly is our loss, too.

  9. Clenece Hills on May 15, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    I have worked with Mr. Samuel on several mediations, and I have respected his work on behalf of the City of Lawrence. He had a deep sense of justice and a charitable heart. He made a difference. I send my condolences to his family.

  10. Kaye Crawford on May 16, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    I considered Rehelio a true professional and hard worker for human and civil rights. He was always considerate, well mannered and a friend and colleague.

  11. Rod and Janet Bremby on May 17, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Our condolences to the family of this gentle, but able warrior for civil and human rights. Ray was a giant in his field and a legendary resource for colleagues from coast to coast. He was extremely generous with his time and talent, giving far more than he sought or expected in return. Our world is a better place for his many contributions in helping to assure equal opportunity for all persons. May you rest in peace, friend. Rod and Janet Bremby

  12. Linda Finger on May 19, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Sylvia and family,

    I was just asking a friend about Ray’s whereabouts last month. We had lost touch since we both left the city and I was reminiscing with another past city employee about our days work for Lawrence. I have such found memories of Ray. A smile stills comes when I remember hearing Ray clear his throat (when he was about to make a serious point), and then introducing himself to the Commission using his full name – Rehelio Samuel. Anyone who knew him, knew they had better listen to what came next as it would be important.
    Ray worked late a lot during my early years with the City (1978-80) and so did staff at the Planning Office. It was not unusual to find him walking out with planning staff after a Commission meeting. As we walked to our cars, we would talk about the day we had; philosophize about what made people act the way they did; and go home feeling that at least something good had been accomplished that day. Even though we have been out of touch for seven years, I will carry the memory of Ray’s gentle soul and kind ways in my heart. Thank you for sharing him with the city.

  13. Gail P. Williams on May 21, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    Rehelio was a joy to know. He always had a smile and a kind words. He loved his work and he loved people. May you find comfort in your fond memories.

  14. Marsha on May 25, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    My heart aches for you, I just found out today that Mr. Samuels had passed. May you find comfort in God’s love and your memories. I have had many conversations with Mr. Samuels and he sure had passion for the work he has done and for love of family. He and Mrs. Samuels brought me comfort when my mother, Georgella Lyles, passed. Ray will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

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