‘Warm and Loving’ Alabama Man Killed by COVID Known as ‘King of Bayou’
Those who knew Sam Schjott mourn his death from COVID-19, claiming he threw a party with him everywhere he went.
The native of Bayou La Batre, a man known to his friends as “Sultan of San Souci” and “King of Bayou”, died on August 22. He was 36 years old. Friends on social media shared a video of Schjott dancing in costume at Mardi Gras, remembering good times. Those who came to his service of life celebration were invited to come with their best Sam stories.
“To know Sam was to love Sam,” said Gary Nelson, a friend. “And knowing Sam was knowing and loving the things he knew and loved. People. Places. I will miss him so much.
A graduate of Huntingdon College and the University of Florida, Samuel Dana Schjott became one of Alabama Power’s youngest supervisors at age 29, part of a management software development team. At the same time, however, he worked part-time as an emergency dispatcher for Dauphin Island Police and volunteered on several boards and civic organizations.
He said he followed his grandmother’s advice: “Samuel, never be too busy for others.
“That’s how she lived, and I’m trying to do the same,” he said in a 2014 profile in Mobile Bay Magazine.
His obituary remembers him as “Unmatched in his roaring laughter, unmatched in his optimism and unmatched in befriending anyone he met, he was the inimitable and legendary Sam Schjott”.
“If you met him once you were his friend, if you met him twice you were family,” Evan Seaman said. “You could be assured that he would ask you ‘how are you mom and daughters.'”
A friend recalled that in her senior year of high school, Schjott begged her to let him drive his new car to prom. “Of course I said yes because who can say no to Sam,” Carrie Diamond said. “That smile and that laugh lit up a room.”
Another friend recalled Schjott always waving his car to him if he passed it on the road.
“I hardly ever waved back; mainly because I haven’t seen it, ”said Holly Roberts. “He saw me somewhere one day and told me I should always wave both cars in a small town because chances were, you knew them. And always give him a sign.
In a Facebook post, former Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan said Schjott’s smile “lit up a room.”
“Her hug was warm and loving,” Lathan said. “A gentle giant. He called me Mama T because he started out as a young man in the GOP. He was a warrior for conservative causes at a young age and never shied away from compromising his values. “