ADA — Samuel D. “Sam” Tong, 90, died peacefully on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, at 12:30 p.m., at Richland Manor Nursing Home, Bluffton. He was born on May 23, 1923, near Carey, Ohio, to Joseph B. and Dorotha (Pratt) Tong and they preceded him in death. During his life he was married to Virginia Reese, Rosalind Rhoden, Betty Risner and Betty Loop. On January 9, 1989, he married Carole Jett Shaw and they just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Carole survives in Ada.

Sam was a 1941 graduate of Wharton High School where he was starting guard on the league champion basketball team. After high school he worked for Autolite in Fostoria. He then served in the Merchant Marines from 1943 to 1945 transporting military shipments in the North Atlantic, Mediterranean and South Pacific. After the war he owned and operated a grocery store in Findlay and then drove truck for Ohio Oil also in Findlay. Sam was a very successful sales agent for Western & Southern Life Insurance Company for 32 years. He drove school bus for the Ada Exempted Village Schools, his favorite job, for 14 years. After retirement Sam and Carole opened Smells Good, Inc. He was a member of and appreciated Grace Gospel Church, of Ada, and all that the church stood for. He looked forward to Pastor Trent’s visits. Sam loved spending time with his family, fishing, the Buckeyes and Bulldogs, old westerns, a good trip and a good card game.

Also surviving are a son, Dave (Gloria) Tong, of Moscow, Idaho; two daughters, Candy Ferrante (Bob Saint John), of Watauga, Texas, and Deanna (Don) Essinger, of Bluffton; two stepsons, Ed (Heidi) Shaw, of Ada, and Jim (Linda) Loop, of New River, Ariz.; four stepdaughters, Jeanne (James) McKee, of Ada, Darla (Ron) Dicus, of Portage, Bonnie (John) Haney, of Ada, and Vickie Loop (Mike) Brantley, of West Point, NY; 19 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren; and a brother, Richard “Dick” Tong, of Port Clinton.

He was preceded in death by two sisters, Effie Rader Sloan and Donna Mathewson; a brother, Kenneth Tong; and son-in-law, John Ferrante.

Memorial services will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, at Grace Gospel Church, of Ada, with Pastor Trent Boedicker officiating. A luncheon will follow the service. Sam’s ashes were interred at Woodlawn Cemetery, Ada.

Memorial contributions can be made to Grace Gospel Church of Ada.

Condolences may be expressed at www.hansonneely.com.