Denfeld News

Sept. 28, 2009
Denfeld Alumni News

Principal Samskar dies at 81

Dr. Wayne Samskar, Denfeld’s principal from 1970 to 1984, died Friday, Sept. 25, in Appleton, Wis. He was 81.

In addition to his many years at Denfeld, Dr. Samskar was principal or taught at Wrenshall, Stowe, Morgan Park, Lincoln, Proctor and Woodland schools. He received his doctorate from the University of Minnesota in 1973, while principal at Denfeld.

After retirement, he served as scholarship administrator for the Duluth/Superior Area Community Foundation. He was an accomplished musician and played with local bands and orchestras for a number of years. He also was an army veteran, Mason, secretary of the Rotary Club of Duluth 25 and participated in numerous state and national educational organizations.

Dr. Samskar was an avid canoeist and known as the "fearless leader" of the Pike Lake cross country skiing group. He wintered in Sun City, Ariz., for 15 years, where he was active in the Minnesota Club there.

He was born in Duluth on May 7, 1928, to Victor and Sadie (Johnson) Samskar. He graduated from Denfeld in 1945 and married Dorothy Nelson on July 3, 1948.

In 1974, Dr. Samskar helped establish the Greater Denfeld Foundation, which currently has assets in excess of $6 million for student scholarships. Since 1974, the foundation has dispensed nearly $1 million to area students.

He was also a key player working with architects in the 1987 addition and renovation at Denfeld. In 1996 he was inducted into the Hunter Hall of Fame.

Dr. Samskar was preceded in death by his son Mark. He is survived by his wife Dorothy, daughter Dorian Jordan of Appleton, daughter-in-law Toni Samskar of Duluth, and five grandchildren, Jessica Samskar, Julia Jordan, Will Jordan, Cassie Gilberg and Jesse Gilberg.

A gathering of family and friends will be held on Thursday, Oct. 1, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Bell Brothers Funeral Home in West Duluth. A memorial service will be held on Friday, Oct. 2, 11 a.m., in Pike Lake Presbyterian Community Church, 5611 Martin Road, with a gathering one hour prior. Private burial services will be held on Friday afternoon.

Memorials may be made to the Greater Denfeld Foundation, 4405 W. Fourth St., Duluth MN 55807, the Pike Lake Presbyterian Community Church or the American Diabetes Foundation.

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