Guy ‘Sam’ Mortensen

Guy “Sam” Mortensen, 77, passed away in the early morning hours of Dec. 6, 2022. Sam passed peacefully at his Manassa home with his sweetheart of 55 years and one of his children by his side. He was born in Del Norte, Colo., on March 29, 1945, to Floyd and Ellen Mortensen.

Sam married Betty Jane Sowards, his high school sweetheart, for time and all eternity on May 27, 1967, at the LDS Manti Temple.

Sam loved his family, church, God and country. He was very patriotic.

Sam loved growing up in the San Luis Valley. Before and after his school day he worked on the ranch with his father and younger brothers. During high school at La Jara High School, he drove a school bus, he was captain of the football team, and he played basketball, track and baseball. He escorted Manassa Homecoming Queen Betty Jane Sowards to the Manassa Homecoming.

Sam sold his car to pay for a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Central Atlantic states. His children have memories of studying the heavily worn and marked scriptures used since his mission.

Sam attended Brigham Young University in the first graduating class of the Army ROTC program, double majoring in Business and occupational Development. His time at BYU touched off a lifetime of learning. Sam completed a law degree at South Texas College of Law and a master of Higher Educational Administration at the University of Houston. His PhD in Higher Education Administration at Texas A&M University was halted due to a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Sam enjoyed learning about how people work and think. Most of his professional career at Texas A&M involved working in the Human Resource Department. The last three and a half years of his career were spent as the Texas A&M Director of Human Resources at Qatar, in the Middle East.

Sam loved piloting a plane and he enjoyed shooting, often bringing his children on his adventures.

Sam is survived by his wife, BJ, his children; Eric (Cherie), Stuart (Jody), Jim (Jeanette), Tamara (Russell), and Juliann (Andy), and many grandchildren, as well as the two great-grandchildren. Sam also leaves behind three siblings; Kelly (Elaine), Dennis (Kassie), and Anne (Donald) Shawcroft.

Sam was laid to rest on Dec. 7,2022, at the Sanford Cemetery.