Samuel F. Lacey
Samuel Faulkner Lacey died unexpectedly on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, of apparent cardiac arrest. He spent his final moments in the place he loved the most: in a peaceful guest room nestled in the woods on the edge of Keene, with his dog by his side.
He was surrounded by books about gardening, guitars, snowboards, and his treasured Grateful Dead collection.
Sam was born on Feb. 13, 1981. He was a Keene High School graduate. He earned his degree in English literature from Humboldt State University in California.
Sam had two dictionaries on his bedside table when he died. For years, he carried a dictionary in his back pocket, ready to identify the etymology of any word.
Sam’s reading abilities were superhuman. He would borrow a book, read it in a few hours, and then give it back. He knew a lot about a lot. He could hold a deep conversation on almost any topic, but never in a pretentious way.
His intellect was also a hardship. He grappled with severe anxiety and depression from his teenage years onward, which ultimately resulted in a long road of addiction. He would wake up each day trying to figure out how to make himself feel better. It was a daily struggle.
Sam was fiercely loyal to his friends. He had a deep allegiance to the people he cared about, no matter what.
Sam cared about the downtrodden, the round pegs in the square holes. He reveled in the weirdness of life. His own life was complicated. One year, he was getting straight A’s in college. The next, he was homeless.
His last year was filled with hope, as he worked hard to exorcise his demons. It was working. He expressed an optimism that he hadn’t felt for a long time. His final months were happy.
He’s survived by his parents, Tad and Linda Lacey; his brother and sister-in-law, Stephen and Sandy Lacey, and his niece, Acadia; plus many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Linda beat him in his last game of Scrabble by two points. It came down to the last word. He was a good sport about it.
Sam was an avid Grateful Dead fan. Let’s let the words of the late Jerry Garcia close out this verse of Sam’s life.
“Going home, going home, by the waterside I will rest my bones. Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul.”
Sam’s family will remember him in a private celebration of life later this year.
For those who wish to remember Sam through a memorial contribution, donations may be made to the 100 Nights Shelter, 17 Lamson St., Keene, NH 03431.