Samuel Arthur Scanga


Samuel Arthur Scanga
Samuel Arthur Scanga, 74, went home to his Lord and Savior on Easter Sunday, April 1.
He was born in Salida, Colo., to Frank and Louise (Salerno) Scanga on Oct. 6, 1943. He was raised on the family’s farm and ranch just west of Poncha Springs; graduated from Salida High School in 1961; and attended Colorado State University, earning a degree in forestry and range management in 1965. He was drafted into the United States Army, where he put his talents and passion as a steward of natural resources and love for trees to use, conducting surveillance during the Vietnam War.
While serving his country, he met the love of his life, Anita, in New Hampshire. They were joined forever on Nov. 2, 1968, at the First Baptist Church in Revere, Mass. This union produced three loving children.
Sam dedicated 32 years to the U.S. Forest Service, improving and protecting the forests of Colorado. He retired as the district ranger of the San Juan National Forest in Pagosa Springs, Colo., after stops in Norwood, Steamboat Springs and Craig. After the passing of his father, Frank, in 1988, Sam’s involvement, love and passion for his family’s ranch in Poncha Springs, which was always there, bloomed into a major part of his and his family’s lives. He began to implement improvements to the ranch, expanding the hay and cattle productivity. After Anita’s retirement from teaching, they built a home overlooking his ranch where he could serve as the conductor of daily operations and moved permanently back home to the ranch. If he was not able to be outside working on his ranch, checking cows, harvesting hay, tending to water or spending time with his family (especially his five grandkids), he was certainly not where he wanted to be. Despite his lengthy battle with rheumatoid arthritis, Sam amazed all of those around him with his determination and drive to remain active until his last days on earth; he never quit.
Sam is survived by his loving wife of 49.5 years, Anita; a sister, Marie Perri; his daughters, Rebecca (Robert) Montoya and Lisa (Dana) Hatfield; and his son, John (Chauna) Scanga. In addition, Sam was most proud of his five grandchildren: Megan, Sam, Ian, Madison and Ben.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. on April 14 at the Salida Methodist Church, 228 East 4th St., Salida, Colo., with a reception for friends and family to follow at the Poncha Springs Town Hall, 330 Burnett Ave., Poncha Springs.
In lieu of flowers, the family would request that contributions be made to the following organizations in the name of Sam Scanga: Arthritis Foundation ( or Heifer International (
“‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’” — Matthew 25:23.