For more than 15 years Sam, his full name Anthony Jerome Wilkinson, travelled to all corners of the island playing at resorts large and small, his face and voice carrying his simple beautiful message of what it was like to live in Phuket.
During his years on the island, Sam wrote innumerable restaurant reviews for many respected dining publications. He also worked a stint as an editor at The Phuket Gazette and later contributed as a writer to The Phuket News.
Sam passed away at Marie Curie Hospice in his home town of Liverpool in England on June 5 after a brief battle with cancer. Although it was already noticeable that Sam’s health had started waning, in total it was only two months from diagnosis to death. He was 66 years old.
Since his passing the number of messages posted online of condolences, support and tributes to the wonderful character that Sam was have been too many to count, testament to how many lives of people living in Phuket, and many regular returning visitors, he had touched with his engaging vivacity. He was a loving force of nature.
“To all the beautiful people at Marie Curie Hospice in Liverpool who cared for our dad Sam Wilkinson until his last breath...words cannot express our appreciation for everything you did and continue to do for those in need. May you be as blessed as we were to have you caring for us in the final days, hours and minutes,” wrote Collette Edouard, Sam’s daughter who lives in Phuket, where she co-founded HeadStart International School.
“He was lovingly cared for by my warrior of a sister Joy Dove, family members and the beautiful human beings at Clatterbridge Hospital and Marie Curie Hospice in Woolton. If you think there are no more good people in the world, think again. These people are heroes in my books,” she added.
“Dad took his last breath at 10.47pm with Joy and I at either side of him. We played him his favourite Jimi Hendrix, Van Morrison, Beatles and John Mayer songs as we read all the messages that his friends and family sent in the days leading up to his death,” Collette wrote.
“From being diagnosed with advanced pancreatic and liver cancer in April to passing in June, we had precious little time to revisit the places of dad’s youth and relive his happy memories here in England, but we tried our best!” Collette added, posting a collection of photos of Sam “so that you can experience the beautiful time that we spent together in dad’s final days.”
“Rest in peace dad. You’ve left a legacy of strong, brave and kind children and grandchildren. You are gone but not forgotten. And in true Liverpool spirit remember that you’ll never walk alone. Let your free spirit fly with the angels, never to suffer again.”
Details of the memorial event, during which Sam’s ashes will be scattered at his desired location in Rawai, where he lived for many years, will be announced when they become available.
Anyone seeking information regarding attending the memorial in December can email Collette at firstname.lastname@example.org