Remembering Sam Achilli

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our dear friend and family member, Sam Achilli. For those of you who were fortunate enough to know him, you understand the sadness we feel with the loss of such a tremendous man. And for those of you who didn’t know Sam, we hope that these words convey just how much we loved him. Sam, thanks for the memories and for keeping the laughter alive in all of us. You will truly be missed. 

“Sam made everyone he encountered better. He was one of the most optimistic and persistent people many of us have ever met. You just wanted to be around him, whether it was at work or having fun. And we certainly had fun. He was instrumental in the innovation and launch of many products that continue today at Dickson Industries.  I feel a deep loss and miss him dearly.  I can speak for everyone at our company that they will miss his genuine smile and warm energy.”
– David Dickson 

“Sam was not only an excellent employee, more so, he and I were very close friends. I always admired his positive attitude, his great outlook on life, his sensitivity and his love of his family. I am a better person because Sam Achilli came into my life and I dearly miss my friend”.
– Wells Dickson, Chairman of the Board

“I knew Sam for 20 years and I loved him. He was a great man. He was my teacher with liquid smoke and the formulations. I will miss him and I send my deepest condolences to his family” 
– Adnan, Production Manager Deli Knit Dept.

Sam Joseph Achilli, 70 of Lake Geneva WI, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loved ones on July 9th, 2023. Despite his unwavering will and determination his body was fatigued. Sam had recently battled and overcome cancer but naturally succumbed due to the treatment and his previous medical conditions.

Sam was born on August 4, 1952, in Elgin, IL, to the late Sam and Ruth (Bohlin) Achilli. Sam was the youngest of three sons, the late Howard, and Jim who resides in Elgin, IL. Over the years, Jim and Sam developed a lasting brotherly bond and shared a love for cars, golf, and a nice glass of wine. Sam attended St Joseph’s Catholic High School, Elgin Community College, and NIU in DeKalb, IL. He was drafted into the Army and proudly served his country from April 1972 to December 1973.

On August 1st, 1981, he married his best friend and soulmate Sandy Peters in Readlyn, IA. In addition to being a devoted husband for 41 years he was also a loving father to his two children, Nickie (Wally) Brown and Nate Achilli. Sam was the proud, fun loving “Papa” to his three grandchildren, Davis (10), Finley (8), and Ben (3). Family was his true passion, whom he loved deeply with all his heart. He loved supporting all their endeavors and was the biggest cheerleader

Sam was a devoted employee for Hormel Foods from 1978-2000, Red Arrow Products from 2000-2008 and Dickson Industries from 2008-2017. Sam was passionate about the food industry, loved talking to his customers, and was quite the salesman. He also enjoyed product development, which ended up being some of his proudest accomplishments.

Sam retired in December 2017 which allowed him to pursue his love of golf, travel, boating, food, wine and spending time with family and friends. However, Sam was not one to slow down. Soon after retirement he continued consulting with Kerry Foods and obtained his real estate license with Southwick Real Estate in Lake Geneva, WI. In December 2022, Sam was awarded a patent for a heat resistant cooking apparatus (campfire forks). This vision came about when he experienced watching his grandson touch a hot fork while roasting marshmallows. He was persistent and succeeded in finding a way to make them safer for children.

Sam touched the hearts and souls of so many people throughout his life. His smile and laughter brightened the room, and he could always strike up a conversation with whomever he met. He was a master of having fun and living life to the fullest. He exuded positivity through every obstacle that was placed before him. He brought such joy to our lives and will be deeply missed by everyone who was lucky enough to have known him.

A Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, August 13th, 2023, at The Ridge Hotel in Lake Geneva, WI from 1:30-5:30pm. The service will begin promptly at 2:00pm with Military Honors. Gathering of Family and friends will be held immediately following the service.

If there is one thing Sam loved the most it was conversation, stories, and laughter. As another way to keep Sam’s spirit alive forever, please use the following email address to share stories and/or memories you may have about our most favorite person. We would also love to hear if/when you encounter any signs of Sam in the future. We are looking daily for those signs and would love to know when our dear guardian angel decides to show you a sign he is watching over all of us and guiding us.