Samuel Lee Wolfinbarger, son of Sam and Grace Wolfinbarger of Neosho, Missouri, passed away peacefully Tuesday evening, December 17, 2019, after a year-long battle with two primary cancers – metastatic pancreatic cancer and a glioblastoma brain tumor. He was born in Neosho, Missouri, on October 20, 1939.
Upon graduation from Neosho High School in 1957, he attended the University of Missouri at Rolla and graduated with a bachelor of science in civil engineering in 1961. That fall he married his high school sweetheart, Brenda Hammond, and began a 58-year journey of life, love, and companionship. During two years of active duty with the U. S. Army, commencing in January 1962, he spent three months in Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, attending the Engineer Officers Basic Course. Then he was assigned to the 27th Engineer Combat Battalion at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. He completed active duty as the Company Commander of the 27th Headquarters Company responsible for security and protection of atomic demolition munitions. Upon completion of active duty in 1964, he returned to his home state of Missouri.
During the next ten years, he worked for the Civil/Environmental Division at Black & Veatch Consulting Engineers in Kansas City, Missouri. His responsibilities included technical detailer, designer, and design team leader. During this period he was active in the U. S. Army Reserve and Missouri National Guard and served as an instructor. In 1974 he joined the firm of Howard G. Moore Company in Springfield, Missouri, and in 1978 he became a principal and the company was renamed Moore & Wolfinbarger engineers-surveyors. In 1977 he received a master of science in civil engineering with an emphasis in construction management.
In 1988 he returned to Kansas City and continued his civil engineering career as a project manager for Black & Veatch until his retirement. His professional career spanned 45 years with an emphasis on planning and designing water and wastewater treatment facilities in communities in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Illinois. He was active in several professional and technical organizations serving as President of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers, Ozark Chapter; President of the Consulting Engineers Council of Missouri; and President of the Consulting Engineers Council of Springfield.
After his retirement, Sam and Brenda traveled around the world to experience different cultures and make new friends in Europe, Africa, South America, Central America, French Polynesia, and Canada. Sam enjoyed playing golf, boating, and fishing, especially with his daughter, Mickie, and gatherings at his sister’s cabin on Table Rock Lake.
Sam is preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Timothy. Sam lives on in the hearts of his loving wife, Brenda of Lee’s Summit, Missouri; two daughters, Michele (Mickie) Wolfinbarger of Halfway, Missouri, and Angela Holder of Clearwater, Florida; one grandson, Blake Holder of Clearwater, Florida; two sisters, Karen Puckett and Betsy Wolfinbarger of Neosho, Missouri; one brother, Anthony Wolfinbarger of St. Petersburg, Florida; and several nephews, nieces, and cousins. He touched the lives of many people and will be remembered by all who knew him.
Memorial services to be held in Neosho at a later date are under the direction of the Clark Funeral Home. Mr. Wolfinbarger’s final resting place will be at the I00F Cemetery in Neosho, Missouri. Memorials may be made to the Glioblastoma Foundation, P. O. Box 62066, Durham, NC 27715, or to the donor’s favorite charity.
Online condolences may be posted at www.clarkfuneralhomes.com
Services are under the direction of Clark Funeral Home, Neosho, MO.