“Live with passion”

Samuel Ding, AKA “Uncle Sam”, 86, passed away on December 9, 2022.  He was a resident of Mount Prospect, IL for 54 years and was formerly living in Atlanta, GA where he finished his graduate degree in Electric Engineering at Georgia Tech University. He was a systems engineer for the telecommunications industry for 27 years followed by serving in the plumbing department at Home Depot as his retirement job.

Sam was born in January 1936 to George and Grace Ding in Shan Dong, China. In 1966 he married Lucy in Princeton, NJ.

Uncle Sam’s heart was for children. This was made evident when he attended the World Clown Association Camp in La Crosse, WI (a 60th birthday gift from his daughters).  There, he learned the art of gospel balloons that started his passion to bring joy to children all over the world.  He traveled from the Navajo Indian Reservations in AZ to the plains of Kenya, Africa to the slums of Rio de Janeiro Brazil and the marketplaces in Romania; twisting balloons into animals and images to weave stories of Christ’s love to children worldwide. While he was a member of the Chinese Christian Fellowship Church in Wilmette, IL, he was also a part of various Chinese churches in the greater Chicago-land area and in Colorado Springs, CO where he spent the last 6 years of his life. He also loved photography and construction. When he was younger, he developed his own stunning black and white photos in which his main subject was his wife.  Sam could also build anything he put his mind to and constructed 1200 sqft of his Mount Prospect home from the ground up.  Notwithstanding the above, the most wonderful attribute of Uncle Sam was his humility.  He had a true servant’s heart and denied himself most worldly comforts for the sake of others. 

He is survived his children: Monica Ding & Paula Tracy; his siblings: Johnny Ting & David Ding and his grandchildren: Amalia & Andrew Tracy.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Lucy Ding.

Memorials in Samuel Ding’s name may be made to either:

  1. Mully Childrens Family
  2. Hand of Help Ministries 

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This Obituary Has 10 Condolences

  1. We are incredibly saddened to hear of Sam Ding’s passing. He was a wonderful, open, and overall happy person who brought a sense of warmth wherever he would go. Our thoughts are with the family during this difficult time.
    -The Ho’s (Molin, Ellen, Kathy)

  2. One of my favorite memories of dear Sam was on a train in China. It was crowded and Sam was in the aisle with his smile and balloons. He had found some children and was making balloon treasures for them. He was speaking to them and I know it must have been about Jesus.

    On that Choir tour I got to know him and it warms my heart that he is with his Lord.

  3. Hello Uncle Sam

    Even though I didn’t have much chance to get to know you, I remembered we went to Invercargill together for Bible study and you loved snacks, we went carolling at the rest home, your magic tricks and balloon twisting with hymns , we spent Chinese New Year together. Wasn’t too much but I learnt a lot from you!
    You will be missed ! Enjoy the reunion with auntie and you may see Queen too !

  4. My brother Sam was a good man. An outstanding human being who gave more than he took.

    We grew up in Taiwan. I attended his wedding in New Jersey in 1966. The last time he visited me at my home in California was in 2015 and the last time we met was when he came to Los Angeles for Bible seminary in September 2019.

    I am so sad that he’s gone and I miss him deeply.

  5. Sam was truly a humble man who needed very little of the world’s offerings. I always remember him eating very healthy and swimming year round as his disciplines. My Dad and my sister and her husband would go into Home Depot often finding him working and enjoying little chats. ❤

  6. I miss Uncle Sam’s big smile. He is always happy and telling fun things from his past. In the past ten years or so I knew him in the Chinese Church in Springs. Uncle Sam loved to come to bible studies, prayer meetings, and of course Sunday worships. He helped in church summer camps and again he made many animal balloons and weaved Jesus stories in. He had passion to tell people about Jesus. It’s comforting to know you are with the Lord now!

  7. So sorry to hear this news, still remember Sam’s smile and voice even though the last time we met was 10 years ago. Be happy in heaven, so glad to know you such a nice and warm friend!

    1. Oh Jane, thank you for sharing your thoughts about Dad. I pray you and yours are doing well. Come visit us anytime! Hugs to you!

  8. I met Sam in 2000 at Indian Hill, IL. He took me to visit the Chinese Church in Springs, and their house. I didn’t realize his contriubtion and love to the children at that time, after I read memorial, I undersand Sam was a good man with a love heart.

    1. Thank you Bryan for your kind words. I haven’t been on this website side he has passed and after a year I feel a greater sense of longing for the afterlife when we will all be together. Please know you always have a home in Colorado with us. Reach out anytime.

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