Ara Jean Sams

April 12, 1932 ~ May 22, 2021 (age 89)


Are Jean Sams, was born April 12, 1932 at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Joliet, IL.

She passed peacefully from this life Saturday, May 22, 2021 at her daughters home in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  All of her life shewas active in the community and church, holding the oldest membership at Second Baptist Church ofJoliet, where she was baptized in April 1944, at the age of twelve years by Rev. T. King.

This native of Joliet, attended Eliza Kelly Elementary School, Washington Jr. High School, Joliet Township High School (Central), and Joliet Junior College. She was married by Rev. King at Second Baptist Church, to her late husband, Roosevelt Sams February 12, 1955 and bore three children Pamela Jean Sams, Gerald Roosevelt Sams, and Ronald Alan Sams. During their life together, they were active in the Joliet Civil Rights movement and numerous civic organizations.

Ara Jean retired as a school secretary from Joliet Public School District 86, and became a faithful volunteer at the Second Baptist Church and Sacred Heart Blessing Tables. Over the years, she sang in numerous choirs such as the A Cappella Choir in High School and the Second Baptist Church choir, just to name two. She was a member of the Joliet Chapter of the National Hook-Up of Black Women Inc., and was a world traveler.

Due to illness, in 2015 she moved to Maryland to live with her daughter, Pamela Sams and son-in-law, Robert Adams Jr. where she attended the Joseph A. Gilmore Adult Day Center. She was well loved and cared for, allowing her to make new friends and shine.

Ara Jean was preceded in death by her husband, Roosevelt Sams, son, Gerald Roosevelt Sams, mother, Mattie Louise (Jefferson) Jones, father, William F. Jones, and her brother, Louis Frederick Jones.

She is survived by her daughter, Pamela Jean Sams, son-in law, Robert G. Adams Jr., son, Ronald Alan Sams, special niece, Arnetha Price-Moore, sister in-laws Alberta Jones, and Perolian Sams, along with a host of nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Ara Jean Sams Alzheimer’s Association Tribute Page.  The memorial service will be held Saturday June 5, 2021 at Second Baptist Church, 156 S. Joliet St., Joliet IL. 60436.  The pre-past will begin at 9:00 A.M. followed by a memorial service at 10:00 A.M.

(Masks are required.)


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ara Jean Sams, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
June 5, 2021

10:00 AM
Second Baptist Church
156 South Joliet Street
Joliet, Illinois 60436

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