Sept. 28, 2009
Denfeld Alumni News
Principal Samskar dies at 81
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
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
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.