He passed peacefully from his earthly home to his heavenly home, holding hands with his wife, Bev.
Sam was born on June 3, 1944, to Samuel and Mary Zeakes of Tiltonsville, Ohio. Nicknamed “Butch,” he was an extraordinary athlete, lettering in varsity football, basketball, and baseball throughout his high school career. He was named to the All-State Ohio Eastern Football Team for the 1963-1964 season.
Sam accepted a baseball scholarship at College of Emporia in Emporia, Ks. where he received a B.S. degree in biological sciences. He went on to receive a graduate teaching fellowship at Kansas State University and received both his M.S. in Parasitology (Radiation Biology) and his Ph.D. in Parasitology (Immunoparisitology).
He taught at the collegiate level for over 40 years in three states. He received the “Excellence in Teaching Award” at Marymount College, Salina, KS, in 1981 and the “Donald N. Dedmon Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching” at Radford University in 1989. He was nominated for the “Excellence in Teaching Award” at Radford University another seven times. In 1994 Sam was named as a “Virginia Master Teacher” by the State of Virginia and has been listed in “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” more than 20 times.
His move to Radford University found him actively involved with “Writing Across the Curriculum,” and as the Director of Medical Technology, and Director of Marine Science Study Abroad Program.
Sam met Bev while both were at Kansas State. They were best friends and soulmates for their more than 53 years of marriage. He is survived by his wife; a son, Jason Zeakes (Katrin), of Austin, TX; a daughter Nichole Hawkins (Kyle), of Troutville, VA; four granddaughters, Natalie and Savannah Zeakes and Elise and Alina Hawkins; a brother, Ray Zeakes, and family of Martins Ferry, Ohio, and a sister, Mary Lee Boroski and her family of Rayland, Ohio.
The family will receive friends from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, July 21, 2022, at Mullins Funeral Home and Crematory in Radford. Funeral service will be held at noon on Friday, July 22, 2022 at St. Jude Church, 1740 Tyler Road.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in Sam’s memory to either SECU House, 1970 Baldwin Lane, Winston-Salem NC 27103 or NRV Good Samaritan Hospice, 1160 Moose Dr. NW, Christiansburg, VA 24073.
The Zeakes family is in care of Mullins Funeral Home and Crematory. Online condolences can be made at: www.mullinsfuneralhome.com .