December 1, 2021

Samuel Raines obituary (1945 – 2021) – Bellingham, WA

Samuel Cullen Raines
February 5, 1945 – October 20, 2021
Bellingham, Washington – Samuel Cullen Raines was born February 5, 1945 in Miami, Arizona. Raised in the small Palestinian town of east Texas, filled with dogwoods, he was the only child of Archie Raines and Effie Marie Gibson, who both predeceased him. He was raised in a large and passionate family, all located in the same town, with frequent family potlucks, hunting and fishing trips, and long visits to the backyard while sipping. iced tea. Sam’s only dream as a child was to become a soldier.
A Renaissance man, Sam has lived his life with immeasurable enthusiasm and positivity. Every meal ate, every trip, every person, every hobby was great, to use his word. He embraced each day with compliments and excitement. He was a history buff, recited poetry, loved older music, was fascinated by the weather, was featured in a Tom Clancy book, and even interviewed by Connie Chung for an evening TV news. The hotter the food, the more he liked it.
Sam was an Eagle Scout and eventually appointed to the Order of the Arrow. Graduated from Palestine High School in 1963, Sam was an accomplished football player, class president, student council president, elected to attend Texas Boy’s State and named Most Representative Boy in his senior year. He was appointed to West Point Military Academy, but a football injury prevented him from attending. He was also a camp counselor for disabled children in Colorado for two summers; this is where he ate his very first pizza!
The university brought new leadership opportunities to Sam, including the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fellowship and Phi Delta Theta Social Fellowship. He formed a skydiving club at the university. After almost completed college studies, Sam felt the painful call to serve his country. Awarded a class date to begin naval flight school at NAS Pensacola in Florida, Sam was offered other options to serve his country. It was around this time that Sam was introduced to special ops and the underground world. Ultimately, the military offered him the opportunity to earn two bachelor’s degrees, two master’s degrees and a doctorate in national security in addition to being designated as an American scholar to study international security in England.
Sam’s career in the United States Army began as an enlisted soldier before later attending Officer Candidate School. His monumental thirty-year career in the military included designations in high altitude parachuting, Airborne Pathfinder and Ranger, type ratings in thirteen different fixed and rotary wing aircraft, and a green beret. Its many awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the 3 Legion of Merits, 2 Distinguished Flying Cross, 3 Bronze Stars (2 with V combat), 30 Air Medals (2 with V combat) and 4 Purple Hearts. During the First Gulf War, he commanded the largest combat engineer brigade formed since World War II. Sam has made three tours of Vietnam. He was shot three times, escaped a POW camp, got a bounty on his head by the enemy, and survived a day and night once by breathing through the bamboo. in a swamp. He credits Tobasco for his survival during the war. He retired in 1995, after a final White House assignment, serving under two presidents as the White House’s director of emergency programs.
After retiring from the military, he began a second career leading a team of retired military personnel from the Secret Service, CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, FBI and National Security Council. because they supported the national security interests not only of our government but also of foreign friendly countries. Governments.
After his official retirement in 2008 and a final move to Bellingham, WA, to follow his grandchildren and live in Christmas tree country, Sam and Carol joined the Assumption Catholic Church, where he served as as Eucharistic Minister, was a member of the Parish Council and Funeral Committee and received his 4th degree in the Knights of Columbus.
He enjoyed many hobbies and always gave it all. He grew hot peppers, became an orchid keeper, built model airplanes, made stained glass, collected sea glass and fossils, and created mixed 3D art canvases. He was an avid reader and enjoyed a true Epicurean lifestyle, smoking meat and grilling often.
In June 1969 he married the love of his life Carol Faye Farley of Clifton Forge, Virginia. She brought a different southern accent to the table, a homemade cookie recipe, and together they’ve been around the world more than once. In 1973, they welcomed their only child Amy Samantha while stationed in Alabama. Their rich and adventure-filled 52-year marriage began in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and ended in Bellingham, WA. Sam became Opa in 2002 with the birth of his grandson, and he believed being Opa was the most rewarding opportunity he had ever had. He never missed a game or a chance to eat ice cream, sleepovers and tips. There hasn’t been a conversation with a friend or a stranger where he hasn’t found a way to squeeze in the pride of his grandchildren’s accomplishments.
Sam will be sadly missed by those who survive him; his wife Carol Faye, his daughter Amy (Tony Zender), his two favorite grandchildren Leland and Lena, his precious toy poodle Ruthie and his little dog Hobbs, as well as many cousins. Throughout his final weeks, Sam maintained that he was just a boy from East Texas who wanted to be a soldier and was ready to be with his comrades.
The funeral will be held in private, with a full burial of military honors at Arlington National Cemetery as soon as possible. The family kindly ask that if any donations wish to be made, please consider a donation to Whatcom Hospice House in honor of Sam. You can share memories on

Published by Bellingham Herald on October 24, 2021.

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