After Thursday’s hockey game between Soldotna High School and Kenai Central High School, the two teams came together at center ice for a prayer for the Clyde family. One of SoHi’s goalies, Tanner Clyde, along with his mother and four siblings, lost Sam Clyde — father and husband — to a fatal collision Tuesday night.
“He was a do-nothing-for-himself kind of guy,” Sam’s brother Lucas Clyde told the Clarion on Friday. “He spent his entire life giving and finding opportunities to help everybody but himself. He was just the most giving person.”
Since Sam’s passing, the local community has rallied in support of the Clyde family. Gestures like the prayer at the hockey game, hockey sticks being left by the doors at Skyview Middle School, and support for two online fundraising campaigns have shown the impression Sam left on the wider community.
Lucas credited that strong response to the strength of his brother’s character. Alongside Sam’s giving nature, Lucas said he was “a goofy, goofy guy — always cracking jokes at the wrong time.”
Lucas, who started a GoFundMe for Sam’s family, wrote about Sam’s generosity and asked for support for his wife and five children.
“If anyone knew Sam, you knew how much of himself he was always willing to give. His time, his knowledge, his hands, and his heart.”
Alyssa Clyde, Lucas’ wife, said Sam made an impact on people’s lives by combining that generosity with a genuine curiosity.
“That’s just who he was,” Alyssa said. She said Sam would see a light in need of fixing, then would run to grab bulbs without missing a beat. She said one of the GoFundMe supporters told her that she didn’t know Sam, but that he had made an impression because he walked into her hair salon one day wondering “what’s going on in here?”
The GoFundMe campaign has more than 500 donations, having cleared several goals. As of 6:30 p.m. Friday, the contributions total $107,000.
Lucas said that money would be used to support Sam’s family, his five children and wife, in the pursuit of keeping their bills paid and their lives as stable as possible.
“(Sam) was an amazing dad. He had two adopted kids and three of his own. He dedicated his life to supporting them and their hobbies — they all play hockey and he was really involved with that.”
Another support campaign, a Meal Train, was organized by Joe Halstead. He wrote, “Sam Clyde was an amazing man to know and be around.” Halstead also invited the community to give in the spirit of generosity that Sam embodied.
Meal Train allows for members of the community to sign up to provide a meal for those in need for a specific day — the calendar is filled entirely from Dec. 14 until Jan. 16, with 66 contributiors listed and volunteers signed up as far as Jan. 27.
Hockey sticks began to be placed outside the doors of Skyview Middle School on Wednesday, which the school explained on Facebook is a tradition to honor the loss of a player. They were placed by the front door and in front of some classrooms with a banner reading “In honor of Sam Clyde, #SticksoutforSam.” The collection ballooned to its largest size Thursday, and though the Skyview Middle School office said some kids had taken theirs home, a sizable group of sticks still sat by the door on Friday.
“The flood of support from this community has just been an absolute blessing,” Lucas Clyde said. “That money is going to be such an amazing tool for them to get by … to get his five kids set up for the future, to help his wife Mandy in the short term to take care of some immediate bills that are not going to stop coming in any time soon with his absence.”
“He did not deserve to go. He was way too amazing and too good of a dad, and a husband, and a community member,” he said.
The GoFundMe campaign can be found under “Sam Clyde’s Beautiful Family” on that platform, and the Meal Train can be found under “The Clyde Family.” Both can be found by searching for “Sam Clyde” on Facebook.
Reach reporter Jake Dye at firstname.lastname@example.org.