Sam John Rutkowski died Thursday, September 12, 2019 at the Pax Villa Hospice in Mission, Texas at the age of 69. He leaves his daughter, Rebecca Long of Commerce; his son, Sam John Rutkowski Jr of Canyon; five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and his sister Theresa Diane Forbes of Panhandle. He was also survived by his companion, Zepherine Thompson of Mission. Born in Groom on October 18, 1949 and raised in Panhandle, the son of Sam Stanley and Bernice (Kuehler) Rutkowski, he was a lifelong resident of Texas, living in Dimmitt, Canyon, Commerce, and Mission. On August 23, 1969, Sam married Rhonda Joy Kersten in Panhandle. She preceded him in death in May of 2011. Sam worked as a mechanic and then became a master electrician. His skill and knowledge allowed him to work his way up into management. He earned a bachelor’s degree in management from Wayland Baptist University where he graduated with high honors. He approached his work with passion up until his retirement from Cargill. Of his achievements, Sam was most proud of his work as a volunteer firefighter and EMT. He served with the Dimmitt Volunteer Fire Department for many years and was dedicated to saving the lives and property of others. Sam was known for his quick wit and irreverent sense of humor, delivering his lines with a big smile and a mischievous sparkle in his eyes. Visitation is at Brooks Funeral Home in Canyon from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, September 16, 2019. Graveside services will be held at Dreamland Cemetery at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 17, 2019. Please make any donations to Dimmitt Volunteer Fire Department, 100 E. Bedford St, Dimmitt, TX 79027 or to your local fire department.