A GRAVESIDE service will be held at the Malbina Cemetery tomorrow (Thursday) to farewell former New Norfolk resident Sam Wilton who has died in his 96th year. He was a long-time member of the Lions Club of New Norfolk, which has extended its condolences to his family.
David “Sam” Wilton was born in 1926, the youngest of 14 children. He grew up on the family hop farm at Molesworth and attended the local school. He trained and worked as a welder at the Boyer paper mill in Boyer, with a much-loved motorbike providing transport to work and to sporting and social events such as dances in New Norfolk.
It was at one of these dances that Sam met Lola Pearcey. They married in 1948 and briefly lived at Molesworth before establishing their family home in New Norfolk. They had two children, Margaret and Robyn. Sam was a keen hunter and fisherman so the family lived on kangaroo, rabbit and fish. For many years, he played football and cricket for Molesworth and New Norfolk.
In 1984, after he retired, Sam joined the Lions Club of New Norfolk. Lions family social events were a regular part of Sam and Lola’s lives and an introduction to the club for the next generations of their family members. Strongly committed to Lions, Sam would put his hand up for anything that needed to be done. He worked on the chocolate wheel at local shows, at the gates of Baskerville, projects at Tynwald Park, collecting sheep manure to sell, or collecting and splitting wood for winter raffles.
Sam built the steel table and chairs that are near the New Norfolk Historical Information Centre and when the Club Rooms were obtained at Willow Court Sam pitched in with the cleaning and painting. He was awarded life membership of the New Norfolk Lions Club in 2004. He was a devoted family man and, until recent years, was a very active member of the club.
For three decades Sam was renowned for his high energy and commitment to community service. He last attended a Lions activity in 2018. In that year, Lola and Sam celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary and received many messages of congratulations. Lola passed away in 2019 and Sam spent his final years living comfortably in a nursing home at New Town.
Sam’s funeral will be held at Malbina Cemetery at 11am on April 14 and afterwards at the Lions Club of New Norfolk.