ROCKPORT – Samuel W. Lanham Jr., 61, died peacefully from mesothelioma June 19, 2013, in Rockport. He was born Dec. 13, 1951, in Alexandria, Va., and reared in Culpeper, Va.
Sam is survived by his wife, Stephanie Laite Lanham; and three sons, Samuel W. Lanham III of Orlando, Fla., Andrew Taylor Lanham of Los Angeles, and John William Lanham of Denver. They were by his side along with his mother, Georgia Mae Lanham of Culpeper, Va.; brother, William Glenn Lanham of Salt Lake City; and the Laite family. He is also survived by niece, Katherine Marie Lanham; nephew, Isaac Tully Lanham; uncle, Paul Emerson Read of Bastrop, La.; and several cousins. His father, Samuel Wilbur Lanham predeceased him.
Sam was an Eagle Scout and a graduate of Culpeper schools, College of William & Mary in Virginia, and Wake Forest Law School, Winston Salem, N.C. He was a gifted singer and musician who brought people from diverse backgrounds together through music. In his 40-year association with Up with People, Sam was a cast member, staff member, musical director, vocal coach, co-founder of the International Alumni Association, local program sponsor, and member of International Board of Directors. He met a fellow cast member, Stephanie Laite, from Camden, while in Up with People. She became his wife in 1979 and they had three sons, who have carried on the family tradition of community service and entertaining audiences worldwide. Sam served for 15 years on the board of the Bangor Halfway House; was an early supporter and greeter of the troops from Operation Desert Storm in the early 1990s; and was an active board member and president of Bangor Symphony Orchestra. Sam, with his wife and children, was a part of the Royal School of Church Music Choir at St. John’s Episcopal Church for more than 30 years, and the family were leaders in many local community and church musical and theater productions. Sam was equally world-class in his professional achievements, perspective, and commitment. He was a senior partner in the law firm of Lanham Blackwell in Bangor, recognized for his jovial, compassionate, and professional demeanor in promoting civility. One of his most treasured gifts is a hand-painted poster from a host father in Japan, which read: “as you must have air to breathe, so must you have music.”
A memorial service will be held 10 a.m. July 22 at All Souls Church, Bangor. Gifts may be made to Up with People International Alumni Association, Lanham Fund, UWPIAA, P.O. Box 72, Gardiner, NY 12525, www.uwpiaa.org, to Campaign/Sam Lanham Memorial Fund; or Champion the Cure for “Sam’s Team,” www.ctcchallenge.org.