Soldotna rallies in support of local family after fatal car crash

After he died in a car accident last week, one local man’s family said they’ve received an outpouring of support from friends and neighbors — more than they ever expected.

Thirty-six-year-old Sam Clyde, of Soldotna, leaves behind a wife and five school-aged kids. His sister-in-law, Alyssa Clyde, said the contributions from the GoFundMe and the donated meals will help support the family as they head into an uncertain future.

“It truly means so much, and the fact that every single time someone reaches out to help — just that little bit of stress taken off the family, and for them to get the proper amount of time to grieve is just so amazing,” she said.

Hockey sticks lined up outside, in front of a sign that says "In honor of Sam Cylde)
Students and staff at Skyview Middle School put hockey sticks outside the school building last week to remember Sam Clyde — a big part of the local hockey community. (Courtesy Of Skyview Middle School Office staff)

Alyssa has known Sam and his family since kindergarten and is married to his youngest brother, Lucas Clyde.

She said to his nieces and nephews, Sam was known for being goofy.

“He is a self-proclaimed funcle — fun uncle,” she said. “And he was an amazing father, too, very involved in everything. They just moved onto a lake and he created a big hockey rink for his kids to skate on. And he called his Zamboni a ‘Samboni.’”

Hockey was a big part of his life. The Soldotna hockey community has paid tribute to Sam, placing hockey sticks outside Skyview Middle School and saying a prayer for the Clyde family on the ice at a high school hockey game.

As of Tuesday morning, a GoFundMe campaign for the Clyde family had raised over $127,000 from over 600 donors. Contributions have come in many other forms, too — down to donated food for the family’s dogs.

Alyssa said that generosity reflects the spirit of a man who was always giving.

“The day that Sam passed, he contacted us because one of our units had a boiler problem,” Alyssa said. “And we were having a hard time getting a plumber. And he is not a plumber. He is a lineman. And he was like, ‘Y’know, if we try this, this and this, and I have a couple tools, maybe we can help you fix it.’”

Alyssa said they’re still deciding how to best use the funds, whether it’s helping the kids through college or chipping away at the family’s mortgage. But she said every contribution helps.

“Every time we go on there, we just get so emotional,” Alyssa said. “It was more than ever expected.”

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