Samuel David Malkovich

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Samuel David

Sam Malkovich was ever the warm, generous and kind-hearted man that many came to know and love. Never one to seek the limelight, he was rather shy in his own way, but he surely knew how to have fun. Sam was the type of man who loved the wide open spaces, and together with the family he deeply cared for, he experienced the joys of living a simple yet fulfilling life with those he loved by his side. Never to be forgotten, memories of Sam will continue to enlighten the hearts of many in the days to come.

Sam’s story began at a more gentler time in our nation. The Great Depression was becoming a faint memory, and families were more stable than ever before. Although conservative in nature, the decade of the 1950s sculpted the culture of America. From music to movies, art and media, to beloved comic strips and cartoons, households were introduced to a whole new way of life. With manufacturing and home construction on the rise, the economy boomed as the suburban dream was being realized. Yet in the Wisconsin city of Milwaukee, nothing was more exciting in the lives of George J “Dun” and Ann H. “Red” (Hall) Malkovich than what the New Year had to offer when they welcomed the birth of their little boy, Samuel David Malkovich on January 10, 1950.

The oldest of four, Sam later welcomed and was raised alongside his younger siblings, Debra , Craig “Rusty”, and Wendy in their family home on Mineral Street. When he was around seven years old, his parents moved their family to the country where the kids could roam free and live out their youth with adventure. They made their home on picturesque Waubeesee Lake in the township of Norway. Sam thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors as a kid and created fond memories of times spent playing with family and friends. He experienced his share of mischief, too, and many times his shenanigans caught up with him, which often found him grounded!

Sam attended Lakeview Elementary School and Muskego High School, graduating in 1968. After high school, he went on to enlist in the U.S. Air Force in 1969 at the height of these tumultuous times. During the war, Sam worked as an aircraft weapons system mechanic stationed in Thailand. Having attained the rank of Sergeant, Sam was honorably discharged in September of 1973. Like many who have experienced the ravages of war, Sam never talked much about this time in his life.

Following his return home from the service, Sam worked for a time at the Allen Bradley Company as a nondurable parts maker. He later moved into the world of computers, and his longtime career, which became Sam’s ultimate niche in life. Sam eventually landed a position working for FIS Global as a computer analyst-troubleshooter. He was dedicated to his work, and very seldom took time off, often working from home.

Sam never married and remained living at his family homestead on the lake with his parents and brother, Rusty. He was extremely close to his brother, and suffered greatly when Rusty was suddenly taken in an automobile accident in 1976, at the age of 21. Sam was also very close to his mother, and took her death in 1991 quite hard, as well.

To Sam, there was no place quite like home, and he absolutely loved living on the lake. Always a kid at heart, it was like a giant playground for him. He wind surfed, and loved teaching his nephew and niece, and later their children, how to catch frogs. Through the years Sam owned several boats, and enjoyed taking family and friends out on the lake. The summer holidays were sure to be filled with fun times on the water. Sam usually did most of the grilling, and always had something exciting for the kids to do up his sleeve. Memories of him saying, “I saw this, and thought it would be fun!” will always bring sweet remembrance of Sam.

Sam tried his hand at gardening, and when he did take vacations, they were usually centered around wind surfing, three wheeling with family, or some other outdoor activity. Whenever he watched football, Sam always thought he was a jinx because the family team always seemed to lose. His beloved canine companion, whom he loved dearly, was never far from Sam’s side. In fact, Sam loved all the area dogs near their home. With his shy nature, he was reluctant when it came to receiving any recognition for anything he did. He particularly didn’t like having his photo taken, and would even turn away from the camera.

One of a kind, lives will never be the same without Sam Malkovich in their midst. He was a gentle, considerate and helpful man whose good-natured ways were enjoyed by all. His family brought him the greatest joy, and he also truly loved and appreciated his friends and neighbors. He cultivated a place of honor that no one can replace, and will be deeply missed forevermore. After battling cancer for two years with many ups and downs, Sam decided it was time to move on to a better place.

At the age of 65, Samuel D. Malkovich sadly passed away on Friday, 6, 2015. He was the beloved son of George J. “Dun” and the late Helen “Red” Malkovich (nee Hall); loving brother of Debra (Terry) Pichler, Wendy (Matthew) Rosecky and the late Rusty Malkovich; cherished uncle of Cory (Shannon) Pichler and Carrie (Daniel) Cleveland; great-uncle of Jackson and Finnly. Sam is further survived by other relatives and friends. Visitation with his family will take place on Friday, February 13, 2015 at the Suminski LifeStory Funeral Home-Niemann / Suminski, 2486 S. Kinnickinnic Ave (414) 744-5156 from 11:00 AM until time of his funeral service at 12:00 PM. Interment Good Hope Cemetery. To share a favorite memory of Sam and to sign his online guest book, please visit

Past Comments

Dean & Tami Wolfram

..Everyone would meet at Sam’s house right before the LakeView dances in Wind Lake..long ago. Sailing on Sam’s X boat was always so-o much fun. We will miss you, always a kind, generous soul; taken far to soon. God bless you! Dean

Ge Pira

I have never knew Sam personally and have worked with him a few times. He was always willing to provide a helping hand and his kindness continuous to echo even though me and my team are miles away. Thank you, Sam!

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Lean Garrido

Sam was always there to help us in any tasks that is too difficult for us to understand. He always provided support and was always there to help when you need him to.

We never had the chance to meet but I consider him a friend. He’s blessed with a very kind heart and I am very thankful for all the help he’s done for us.

I pray that you are now with our good Lord and I pray for strength for your family and loved ones.

Bill Greif

I met Sam about 20 years ago and knew him on a professional and personal level. I was amazed as how he could fix work problems even before I had a chance to explain everything to him. He was also very insightful and observant. He had an intelligent opinion on how everything in the world worked. He was a good listener and knew how to enjoy life.

Everybody that really knew Sam is a better person because of him.

May the presence of God bestow peace upon you in the better life that you now inhabit.

Leslie Haunfelder

I have known Sam for allot of years and worked with him on numerious items over that time frame. Thank you to the family for sharing such a wonderful story on Sam. We talked on occaison of both our loves of spending time on the lake.

I will truly miss Sam and so thankful such a talented person came into my life as it was enriched greatly. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

God Bless.


Sharon Faust

I really enjoyed working with Sam. No matter how crazy or convoluted a process we dreamed up, he always managed to make it work. I could go to him with high-level information of what needed to occur and he could build it. Sometimes he would get a bit flustered about an idea (not sure if it could be done), but it never failed, within a day or two he’d have a good solution. Sam was a huge help at DR, year-end, and with the EC jobs he hated. I’ll miss ya, Sam.

Suzanne Hall

I would really appreciate being able to make a short statement of how Sam affected my life and more importantly the life of his grandmother’s only surviving son, my late husband Dick Hall.
The two of them made quite a pair; Sam being the son that Dick never really had, and Dick being the older brother that was missing in Sam’s life.

They travelled extensively in the ’70’s and early 1980’s, when I showed up in Dick’s life. While I think I was a bit of a surprise to the family, Sam’s family made me feel quite at home. I was even allowed access to Red’s Sanctum sanctorium – her kitchen. Thank God I was able to hold my own, and was given the great honor of having some of MY recipes become “staples” at family get togethers.
I was also allowed the great honor to deliver Red’s eulogy when she left us, all too soon.
After Red’s passing, it took a little time for Sam to realize that his place now belonged in the kitchen, where we would plan our gastronomical plan of attack. He gave it his all, and more. He showed such enthusiasm and lack of fear in stepping out of his comfort zone, to introduce his family to new experiences. And he was a wonderful coach to his sisters who, while Red was with us, were basically shooed out of the way in the kitchen. He encouraged them to experiment; to try new ideas, knowing he would NEVER allow anyone to make them the butt of well meaning, but hurtful statements.

This enthusiasm and fearlessness to “try new things” was the very underlying fabric in Sam’s life. Not that he succeeded every time, but EVERY time he LEARNED and built on that knowledge and experience.

His love of his family, especially his nephew and niece, was devotion beyond description. He was never too busy or too tired to make sure he had some bit of “newness” to share with them, whether that was teaching them to tube Lake Wabasee’s idyllic waters or how to properly bait a shiner to swim in the channel on one of lakes many inlets. He taught them respect of the environment and respect of the other neighbors who shared that environment. He did this humbly, with no braggadocio, despising anyone who called attention to his kindnesses. Yet his devotion to them was the stuff you read of in great soul crushing novels; leaving you to wonder “WAS I really part of that experience,or was it something I only dreamed?”.

Unfortunately, we did not part under good terms. Dick’s death was not the gentle passing we had all hoped it would be. I was forced to make difficult choices that I knew Dick would want, following his own directives. This was complicated by the well meaning, but somewhat unorthodox action of MY family members, who at times appeared to be backing me into decisions that Dick and I had agreed to when we knew we would likely someday face this scenario.
I might have seemed somewhat cold and focused only on MY actions. In reality, this facade of being in control was the only way I could uphold Dick’s wishes without losing my own sanity. I deeply missed Sam’s presence at Dick’s funeral and wake, but knowing Sam as I did after enjoying him for so many years as part of our lives together, Dick would say “Don’t push it. We all handle life and death differently. Let it go, Suzy.”

And, so I did. I was deeply shocked to hear of Sam’s passing, several months after the incident. I would like to say it did not hurt me, but I know it was Sam’s wish; he hated being seen as weak. I know Wendy and Debbie were only following his final wishes.

So, I said goodbye to Sam alone, in the cemetery where he now lies near his mother, keeping watch over her until his father joins them, and ultimately Dick and me, too. Our plot is located in close proximity to the Malkovich family. It’s comforting to know we’ll have such lovely neighbors for such a long time.

I’ve kept this bottled up inside me for the past two years, so please forgive the outpouring. I thank you with all my heart for the ability to pay homage to one of the most gentle, caring humans ever to walk this earth.

Mrs. Richard (Suzanne) Hall

Allen Shaffer

Hello,I’m,Allen Shaffer,I worked with Sam at Allen Bradly in the early 70s.Sam had a hard time fitting in after coming home from war.But after a while,we became friends.It took some time,but it was worth it.We were the the best of friends for a few years,we fished,and Sam taught me to sail,we both enjoyed life.His parrents were the best,we could do 3 to 4 pots of coffee in the morning,then Sam and I would go fishing,Sam hooked a huge dog fish,man it took both of us to boat it,it was against the law to leave it go,so Sam sliced its belly and threw it in the bushes.Guess what?That fish lived 3 days out of water in those bushes.Then I got married for the first time,that took a lot of our time apart,soon there was no more Al and Sam time,I always thought there would be Al and Sam time again.But I was wrong,my first wife was not very nice.But now I have a wonderful wife..I remember Sam’s little brother had this awesome car,extremely fast,it was a banana yellow.I never got to meet Sam’s sisters,and I’m sorry for that.After doing some reading I would enjoy talking to all of you,and I could explain what a nondurable part is.May the Good Lord Bless Each and every one over you.AMEN.

Kevin Kopaczewski

As I try to comprehend this profound loss of Sam, I let myself cry knowing each tear is a note to the heavens there is unreplacable void left in our world.

Thank you for being a part of my life Sam! You leave memories nothing can take away!

Carolyn Shusta

I was sadden to hear about Sam today. I have worked with Sam for a number of years from when we were M&I Data Services to Metavante to FIS. He took care of creating and maintaining many of our jobs.

When I would call Sam and talk about how we could solution a requirement, he would at times respond with “I’m not sure if that will work or I don’t have the time to look at it right now”. But I knew that later that day or the next, he would be calling me back with a solution and something to look at already. He always figured something out. I will miss him greatly!

My condolences to his family and friends he left behind. Take comfort in knowing he is no longer suffering and his bright light will forever shine upon you.

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