MADISON, Wis. - Samuel Gene "Sam" Christie, age 33, lost his battle with substance abuse disorder on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. He was a kind soul with a big heart but could not fight off his demons. Tragically, his addiction was more powerful than all the love and support he was given by family and friends. Sam is survived by his mother, Sally; sisters, Anna (Mike Helms) Christie and Jill (Shemi Shlomo) Christie; nephews, Phoenix Shlomo and Micah Helms; aunts, Sue (Don) Dietsch and Sandy Wiggert; uncles, Richard (Kay) and Ken (Pat) Christie; many cousins; and numerous special friends who he considered family. He was preceded in death by his father, Larry; and grandparents, Beth and Bob Partridge and Gene and Eva Christie. Sam had a larger than life personality and made friends wherever he went. He could always put a smile on your face and loved making others happy, especially children. Sam shared a special bond with his nephew Phoenix and buddy Nathan Mandeville. He was an incredibly talented carpenter and built beautiful homes in the Smoky Mountains. Sam was extremely handy and could fix just about anything. He loved the outdoors, particularly fishing up at the cabin in Tomahawk and hunting with his dad and grandma. Sam was a gifted athlete and had fun playing hockey and baseball as well as coaching softball. He relished finding new musical groups and singers, and he played music everywhere he went. Sam thoroughly enjoyed volunteering with the wonderful people at St. Dennis. A prayer service will be held at ST DENNIS CATHOLIC CHURCH, 505 Dempsey Rd., Madison, at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 25, 2017. Visitation will be held at the church from 3:30 p.m. until the time of the service on Thursday. Sam and his family are incredibly grateful to all those who supported them and tried to help Sam fight his battle. He was lucky to be loved by so many and our family continues to be grateful for the outpouring of love and support. The disease of addiction thrives in darkness and must be defeated in the light. Sam's struggle with addiction began as a teenager. It started with alcohol, became a dependence on opioid pills and culminated with heroin abuse. Sam worked through numerous treatment programs but could not shake the negative spiral that is common to people suffering from addiction. Now Sam is yet another heartbreaking reminder of the heroin epidemic in this country that is stealing the promise and future of so many young lives. Please talk to your children about the devastating effects of narcotics and support an increase in funding for addiction and mental health research and treatment. Contributions will go to organizations in our community working to end substance abuse disorder. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.
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