Samuel "Sam" S. Cope

May 10, 1942April 8, 2019
Play Tribute Movie

Samuel “Sam” S. Cope, 76, of Fort Smith passed away on April 8, 2019. Born in Lancaster, PA, May 10, 1942. Lovingly thought of as “a Gentle Giant” due to his larger than life heart. He was the son of Elmer and Martha Cope. He graduated from Hempfield High School, Lancaster, PA., 1960 where he was a wrestler.

Sam was in the transportation industry for more than 55 years, spear heading flatbed divisions for multiple companies throughout his career. He was to retire April 11, 2019 from Maverick USA after 20 years. Sam was looking forward to his retirement party April 10, 2019 featuring his favorite “Al’s BBQ”.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1961-1964 as a Bridge Specialist, he was an expert Rifleman remaining “extremely” patriotic through his life.

He was a member of Grand Avenue Baptist Church, passionately giving his time to Helping Hand ministry for 10 years. Sam loved his Bible study group and his church. He enjoyed outdoors, especially Spring and spending time with his pets, Spanky, Gypsy and Tigger. He loved college basketball, specifically Alabama Crimson Tide and Sprint car racing. Sam also loved hot air ballooning and attended many festivals in New Mexico.

After marrying Wadina, his wife of 22 years, Sam willingly took on the role of father, grandfather and friend in their family.

He is survived by his wife, Wadina; children, Elijah, Debbie, Dina and David and his wife Regina; eight grandchildren; and four great grandchildren, with another due in June; brother, John D. Cope (Helen), PA; sister, MartyAnn Habecker, PA; numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Visitation to be at Edward’s Funeral Home 201 N. 12th St., Fort Smith, AR 72901 Thursday, April 11th from 5pm-7pm. Private burial. Celebration of life will be Saturday, April 13th at 11am at Grand Avenue Baptist Church 3900 Grand Ave., Fort Smith, AR 72904.

Donations in Sam’s name may be made to Helping Hand Ministry c/o Grand Avenue Baptist Church or Hope Humane Society, 3800 Kelley Hwy., Fort Smith, AR 72904.

To leave an online memory, visit



  • Visitation Thursday, April 11, 2019
  • Memorial Service Saturday, April 13, 2019


  • Graveside Service with U.S. Army Honors

Samuel "Sam" S. Cope

have a memory or condolence to add?

Debbie Powell

April 12, 2019

I am not sure there are words to describe this blessing of a man but for the past 25 years our family has been so full because of him. Sams heart was so big, he was always there to listen or give his assistance, he was someone you knew you could count on. When I left California to move to Northwest Arkansas and had the opportunity to spend more one on one time with both Sam and my mother, my life became even fuller. Whether is was pets, birds, tv shows and movies, grandkids, current news or just enjoying the quiet he was a joy to be around. I am so thankful that he found his way into our family, he was more than a step-father but another Dad. Thank you Sam for allowing us to be part of your life!

Dina Ortega

April 12, 2019

Sam was the most big hearted, kind, generous Man I had ever had the joy of meeting. When he came into our lives, as my Mom's Husband and our Father Figure, as well as a Grandfather to our kids, we were definitely blessed beyond measure. I enjoyed all of the many stories Sam told from his younger years to all the wisdom filled ones of him growing up. Sam was an inspiring individual, somebody who was always there to share a kind word or simply a big hug. My Mom was the happiest she'd been after meeting Sam and that was a blessing in itself. Sam, I love you and I will continue to miss your presence in my life always. I will cherish all the fond memories with you and the ones you made with my kids and Grandkids. Rest in Paradise Same Cope.

John Culp

April 11, 2019

This week was supposed to be a celebration for Sam’s retirement after 20 years of service at Maverick. Most, if not all, of the things I had planned to say about him during the celebration for his retirement are very applicable as we celebrate his life. The same things that made him successful at Maverick are the same things that made successful in life. Sam was a Maverick and he lived life The Maverick Way, “Do the right thing” with integrity, respect and commitment. He also very much valued people. He cared about people. I have heard many awesome stories this week about how Sam impacted their lives and the kind of friend he was. He was a good friend to many and a darn good flatbedder. We were blessed to have Sam at Maverick and those who knew well were also.

Our Maverick flag flies at half mast for our friend. We will miss him, but for me, I am still going to celebrate. Not at his retirement party, but for his homecoming party.

Julie (Kepes) Jones

April 11, 2019

Sam took me under his wing in my early days at Prime. He was a great mentor. He was intimating on the outside at times, but he was a big teddy bear underneath. He became my friend in spite of a few differences. :-) He has kept touch with me over the years and I'm so very grateful for that. Wadina, my heart breaks for you. I pray that you will find peace in knowing he is with the Lord now and having the best retirement party of all. He's probably reminiscing with a few of his pals.
I look forward to seeing him again. Sending prayers and hugs to you and your family. God bless!!

Don Perry

April 11, 2019

I was blessed to know Sam through Maverick. He often took the time to just come by and say Hi, or to send a much appreciated encouraging note. When I remember Sam I'll think of the word "Kindness".

David Powell

April 11, 2019

I new the first day that I met Sam that my mom had met her soul mate. She was the happiest that I had ever seen her and it was Sam that made her life complete with his larger than life personality and bright smile, but the way that he put everybody first is what made Sam stand out to me. We have lost not only a great person but the greatest example of kindness that was just part of who Sam was even up until his final days. I was very blessed to spend some time with Sam a couple of months ago after not seeing him for quite some time and I will always have that time we spent eating lunch, staying up watching shows, and having great conversation to cherish and reflect on for the rest of my life. May you rest in peace Sam.

Drew Allbritton

April 11, 2019

I met Sam when I first started at Maverick 9 years ago. From the start, he was always there to lend a helping hand as he was a very selfless & caring man. I always enjoyed my conversations with him & he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts & prayers are with you all.

Jose Origel

April 11, 2019

I would just like to say thank you for being you. For 14 years you were always fair to me. There were times you could have written me up but instead you chose to to teach me how to do things the right way. I always looked forward to going to Fort Smith because I knew you would always have a kind words to say. Although sometimes I would not agree with you I always trusted you because I knew that you were a fair person. Mr Cope, people like you in management are so rare. I know that you were my boss but I also thought of you as a friend. Thank you for all your patience, friendship, and leadership. I will always remember you.

Louis Webber

April 10, 2019

I have known Sam through Maverick for over 17 years. We had many conversations ranging from job related issues to our families as well as many Veterans related issues. I enjoyed all of our conversations. He was always a professional who truly cared about our Drivers and issues that involved them. I had an immense amount of respect for him and his opinion. In fact if Sam had told me the sky was purple I would not have looked up. I will miss our talks and he will be missed by many of us. It was an honor to have known him.

Kimberli "Celeste" Royal

April 10, 2019

Mrs. Cope, Debbie, and family,

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I remember Mr. Cope from the many times you would visit Debbie in California. The last time we saw you was at Ashley's High School Graduation. Mr. Cope played with my daughter making her laugh and giggle. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you find comfort in Jesus during this difficult time. Much Love, Celeste, and family.