Tributes flow for young dad

Sam leaves behind his beloved wife Ellie and two young daughters, Rosie (pictured) and Grace. Pics: SUPPLIED

By Gabriella Payne

The Neerim community is mourning the loss of a loving young father and “incredible” family man, Sam Wilson, who sadly passed away in a car accident earlier this month.

A “selfless” man who would go above and beyond to help others, Sam was a beloved member of the local community who was devoted to his wife Ellie and two little girls, Rosie (20 months) and Grace (two weeks old).

Since his passing on 3 October, tributes have been pouring in from hundreds of people that were lucky enough to know Sam in his lifetime, with many donating money to help support his young family via a GoFundMe page set up in his honour.

With over $70,000 raised so far – it’s clear to see the lasting impact Sam had on everyone he met and the difference he made in his time here.

Friends and family described Sam as an amazing husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend, who loved life and always had a “beaming smile” on his face.

“Sam would be the first person to throw his hand up to help out a mate, or anyone in the community,” his family said.

“His beaming smile and no worries attitude meant no problem was too big or too small and his reassuring ‘she’ll be right’ grin always kept everyone around him positive.”

Having been a dedicated Scout from a young age (from Cubs right through to Rovers), Sam had a great love for all things outdoors and was involved in many scouting events and camps over the years.

It was in his scouting days as a young teenager that Sam met his best friend Ellie, who would later become his beloved wife.

Having become a couple at the age of 18, Ellie and Sam had an unbreakable bond and shared many amazing memories together over the years.

“Anyone who knows Ellie and Sam knows how much he loved her,” family friend Natasha Turner said.

“I recently received an email from someone mentioning how Sam looked at Ellie as if she were the stars in the night sky.”

A kind-hearted romantic who loved his wife and family dearly, Ms Turner said that friends and family had many fond memories of the lengths Sam would go to to bring a smile to Ellie’s face.

“A favourite couple of stories of mine about Ellie and Sam are the time when Sam brought snow home for Ellie, so Ellie woke up to a driveway and ute tray full of snow for her to build a snowman,” she said.

“[Another was] when they first got together – Ellie mentioned how much she loved treasure hunts, so he made her a custom treasure hunt including freezing clues into the back of the freezer – sometimes it would take her months to work out the clues and he kept the hunt going for years!”

Known for his country style of “stubbies and a flannie” (which he even wore to his wedding with Ellie), Sam’s easy-going and positive nature was contagious to all those around him and he never failed to make people smile.

Sam worked tirelessly as a machine operator, but when people or the community were in need, he was always willing to volunteer his time to help others.

“When the bushfires happened, he went to help the community in both Bunyip and Mallacoota with their efforts to clear logs and trees from roads and driveways,” his family said.

“This meant he was away from their first born Rosie (now 20 months old) for the first couple of months.

“He was so excited to be home with Grace (born 10 days before his death), to support Ellie and watch Grace’s first moments,” they said.

Even though his time with Grace was short, Sam relished every moment of fatherhood and his family remembered him as a doting dad, who would do anything for his two little girls.

“Sam was an incredible dad to Rosie, bringing her along for rides on the ride-on lawn mower, and even squeezing into her cot to sleep beside her when she needed comforting.

“His 10 days with Grace will never be forgotten, and he made being a dad to two beautiful girls look so natural.”

If you would like to donate to help support Sam’s family during this difficult time, head to