Spc. Samuel Jacob "Trout" Barbetta

San Francisco, 27.July.1977 - 13.February.2004
died in Fort Bragg, NC

BARBETTA, Spc. Samuel Jacob, aka "Trout"

Wednesday, February 18, 2004
San Francisco Chronicle

BARBETTA, Specialist Samuel Jacob, aka "Trout" - July 27, 1977 - February 13, 2004. Born at Hahn Air Base, Germany, longtime resident of San Francisco, CA. Airborne trooper with the elite 82nd Airborne Division of Fort Bragg, NC. Sam was a San Francisco bicycle messenger for seven years, a gear-head and extreme sports enthusiast. Sam loved riding bicycles, motorcycles, skateboards and playing roller hockey. He was thrilled and honored to be an airborne trooper and looked forward to his next jump. Constantly taking apart engines since a small child, he applied this trade while serving in the U.S. Army. His hobbies included fly fishing and cooking. He spent hundreds of hours volunteering with multi-disabled children and with the SPCA. Sam is survived by his mother and stepfather, Diana and Jerry; father and his wife, Tony and Rosemary; sister, Jessica; wife Iris; in-laws Tess and Dennis; step-brothers and sisters Kermit, Autumn, Jay, Joanna, Davis, Daniel and Lisa; grandparents John, Georgia and Leo; great-grandmother Mildred; uncles and aunts Jim, Mickey, David and Danny; cousins Kristen, Ashlee, Halie and April; and best friend, the beloved pooch, "Girl." Sam, you will be so greatly missed by so many. You've left a void that will never be filled. Because of Sam's full organ donations, three lives have been saved, others will be enhanced. Donations to the charity of your choice.

My husband and I rode our motorcycles in the memorial ride for 'Bones,' and we are thrilled that the messengers will ride for Sam tonight. Please know that Sam was happy to be a messenger, and thrilled to also be a paratrooper jumping out of planes.

The first picture is Sam with my husband Jerry. They both had a very close relationship and my husband is devastated by his passing. The second is from basic training in the Army. The third is Sam and I. As you can tell, he had been clowning around....his normal attitude about most things.

I would like to write what my husband said at Sam's Funeral.

Sam & I had a tumultuous relationship that started when he came running home to make sure that his mother's new relationship was 'safe,' and our relation grew to one of mutual love and respect. A man who lived with a very big heart, a heart that yearned to reach out for the underdog when his own heart was broken. That heart, now like his soul is happy and free. We are left with a lesson of how giving and loving a broken heart can be. May it forever heal!

- Diana and Jerry Wallace


Hi you. I hope you are happy and comfortable where ever you are now. you deserve all the happiness that escaped you down here.
I am going to miss you. I had it all written down, everything that I wanted to tell you, how much you mean to me, but you already know, you were here, you know.

On Friday we had a ride for you, Spiller got one of your track frames. He dropped it off at the office. I cried and cried when I saw it, it was hard for me to even let go of it. Have you ever hugged a bike frame? It's kind of weird, not the easiest thing to wrap your arms around.

At your ride, I felt so good to see how many people were there to pay their respects to you. It was really a mixed bag of emotions for me, being there was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I never thought I'd be riding for you -- you are supposed to live forever.

I am so blessed to have had the chance to know you, who you really are. We shared many of the same passions, but I am not as driven as you are. I admire your drive and ambition.

You have this amazing gift; you can handle heartbreak, ridicule and stress for your jobs and still manage to be a man with a golden heart.You made me think as long as the world has someone like you we might just be okay. Without you here, the days seem a little more gray.

Sam, I am going to miss you, your family misses you, and everyone that never met you are going to miss out on a great person.
I am so proud of you, and I carry with me fondness and admiration for your heart, strength and courage!


photo courtesy of Diana Armes Wallace

photo courtesy of Becca Cain