The following statement is from Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark:
Today, our thoughts are with the family of Samuel Jay Gaydeski, Heavy Equipment Operator for DNR in our Olympic Region. Sam lost his life while working on Monday, February 14, 2011.
Sam was operating brush-cutting equipment on White Rock Road, south of Forks. He was found by his supervisor after not returning at the end of his shift. Sam’s work with DNR began in April 2006 as a truck driver; he was promoted to Heavy Equipment Operator in May of 2007.
Sam was born and raised in Forks, part of a large pioneer family in the Forks area. Sam was a devoted to his family, active in his community and a long-time member of the Forks Lions Club. Many of his colleagues knew Sam as “Sappho Sam” from his days owning a small gas station and convenience store in the once town of Sappho east of Forks. It was a daily ritual for many folks to stop by the store, buy some coffee or a corn dog, and catch up on the community news from Sam. He always greeted everyone with a smile, even at 6 in the morning when he opened the store.
Sam is survived by his wife Deborah and three children—Marin, Mason and Morgan Gaydeski.
This has been a tragic time in our state with three on-the-job fatalities of state workers. Every day thousands of state employees come to work to serve the public. Many work in inherently dangerous conditions, whether it is on the roads and highways, in the forests, fields or the waters of Washington.
Today we take time to remember Sam and those who have lost their lives serving the public. I hope you will join me in sending our hearts and prayers to their families and loved ones.
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