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Eleanor S. Sampey

June 8, 1928May 10, 2020

Eleanor S. Sampey, a retired CIA analyst passed quietly in her sleep on May 10, 2020. She was 91 years old.

Born June 8, 1928 in Saint Clair, Pennsylvania she grew up in on the family farm with her three sisters and two brothers. In high school, and on a whim to learn the clarinet, she joined the marching band and became quite adept at it. Next, she was thrilled to land her first job working at the local A&P after school. A job she always credited with giving her a strong work ethic. In her early twenties, she took her father's sound advice to "expand your horizons" and moved to the Washington, D.C. area. There she immediately went to work for the CIA (referred to at that time only as “U.S. Government”) before meeting and marrying the love of her life Charles W. (Bill) Sampey in 1952.

Eleanor and Bill moved to Franklin Park in 1959. A beautiful and quiet neighborhood located in McLean, Virginia. This would become the place Eleanor would call home for the next 50 years.

Raising two daughters she became very involved in many areas of the community. A longtime member of St. John Catholic Church, some 60 years, she found pleasure in volunteering at the parish thrift shop and various school functions. She also enjoyed playing bridge, league bowling and visiting with her many friends as often as possible.

Eleanor loved entertaining, was a gracious host and a great cook. A talent her daughter LeeAnn would inherit. At Christmas she would bake, for a select group, what her son-in-law Rob called the best 'fruitcake' he ever tasted.

As an analyst for the CIA she took her work seriously. It allowed her to travel to many parts of the world and earned her the prestigious Career Intelligence Medal after 30 plus years of service.

Retiring in 1995, she continued to enjoy her travels overseas and cherished the time spent with her two grandchildren, Michele and Michael. She was so proud of who they had become and all of their accomplishments. In 2016, she felt blessed to witness her granddaughter marry and was thrilled to welcome Joel, her husband, into the family.

Every challenge she faced in life just made her more determined. Nothing stopped her as she just kept going and going. An admirable quality that caused her daughter Amy to call her the original and true "Energizer Bunny".

In 2009, Eleanor said goodbye to her longtime McLean home and moved across town to The Jefferson, an independent living facility in Arlington. While she quickly formed new friendships there she never quit nurturing the old ones.

Eleanor's beautiful spunky spirit will be missed by those who loved her most. Comfort can be found in knowing she has been reunited with her beloved Bill after 26 1/2 years apart.

She is survived by her two daughters LeeAnn Cox of Annapolis, Maryland, and Amy Sampey Wilson (Rob) of Alpharetta, Georgia. She also leaves behind two grandchildren Michael Cox of New York, New York and Michele Coxander (Joel) of Rochester, New York.


  • Memorial Service

    Thursday, May 14, 2020



Eleanor S. Sampey

have a memory or condolence to add?

Betty (Somjai) Orr

May 16, 2020

I will never forget all of our childhood memories in West Virginia. Our families stayed in touch and created more memories to cherish as we married and raised our families. We always had a good time when we were together.
My sympathy to you and your families.
Betty Orr (one of the Somjai sisters, with Julie and Margy)

Suzanne DeDad

May 14, 2020

Heartfelt sympathy to LeeAnn and Amy and their families. I was blessed to have had a wonderful and caring person as my Godmother. Eleanor and my mother were the closest of friends since age 12. She will forever be in our memories and hearts. Love and peace to all.


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