James R. Sample

February 26, 1934August 8, 2017
Play Tribute Movie Play Tribute Movie

James “Jim” R. Sample, age 83, passed away Tuesday evening in Hampton, Virginia, surrounded by his loving family.

Jim was born on February 26th, 1934 in Morgansville, West Virginia, to William J. and Ruby Lotus Sample. He graduated from Doddridge County High School in West Union, West Virginia in 1952 and continued his education at the Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School, graduating in 1957 as a Machinery Designer. Jim served in the Virginia Army National Guard from 1954 to1963, attaining the rank of Sergeant First Class. On April 8th, 1955 Jim married Joyce Ann Camp, daughter of Paul D. and Irene Camp of Charleston, West Virginia, at Broad Street United Methodist Church, Richmond, Virginia.

He lived in Hampton, Yorktown, and Newport News, Virginia, and worked at Newport News Shipbuilding until his retirement in 1993 from the Engineering Division as an Engineering Manager.

Jim was a member of Bethany United Methodist Church, Hampton Virginia; a life member in perpetuity of Smithfield Union 18, AF&AM; Newport News Valley of the Scottish Rite, a life member of Lafayette Gun Club; the Tidewater Genealogical Society, and the Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice Alumni Association. He was a former member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, the Society of Logistic Engineers, and the North-South Skirmish Association. He was also active in helping to feed the homeless through Hampton Roads Ecumenical Lodgings and Provisions, Inc. and was a member of the Thomas Nelson Chapter of Son's of the American Revolution.

Jim will be especially remembered for his life-long passion for woodworking, genealogy and photography, the many other hobbies he enjoyed, and numerous activities with his family and grandchildren.

Survivors include his spouse, Joyce Camp Sample; sons, James Douglas and Paul Jennings and his wife, Ann; daughter, Myra Ann and her husband, Jon Matthews; seven grandchildren, Jamie, Randy, and Nick Sample, Amber Matthews, and Keely, Erich, and Erin Sample; and several nieces and nephews. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, William J. and Lotus Sample; brothers, Harold and William Sample; sister, Patty Ann Dennison; son, William L.; and daughter, Dana Lynn Sample.

A Celebration of Life service will be held in the Chapel at Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home, 2551 N. Armistead Avenue, Hampton Virginia on Monday August 14, 2017 at 11am. Visitation and Receiving of Friends and Family will be held at the same location on Sunday, August 13th between 6 and 8pm.

Memorial contributions are welcome at Bethany United Methodist Church, 1509 Todds Lane, Hampton, Virginia 23666.

Special thanks to the staffs of Riverside and Sentara hospitals for their outstanding care of Jim over the last year as he fought through several medical conditions.

Friends are encouraged to visit to share memories and words of condolence with the family.


  • Visitation Sunday, August 13, 2017
  • Celebration of Life Service Monday, August 14, 2017

James R. Sample

have a memory or condolence to add?

Bob and Judy Weikle

August 15, 2017

To the family of Jim Sample.
We express our deepest sympathy to all of you. Seems like it was just a few months that we saw him and Joyce often as we are residents at the Chesapeake too.
Bob and Judy Weikle

Lisa Gibson

August 15, 2017


I am truly sorry for the loss of your Father. He was an exceptional man. You two shared so many wonderful memories they will be etched in your heart forever. Always remember his love is your legacy. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May God's love comfort you during this difficult time.

With Heartfelt Sympathy,

Deb Feick

August 14, 2017

Doug, I know you are going through a very hard time now. Keep those memories of your Pa close to your heart forever.

Edward Devlin

August 13, 2017

Dear Sample Family,
So sorry about your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. May God comfort and strengthen you at this time of need.


August 13, 2017

Tyler and I are sending our deepest sympathy for the loss of your Father.

Cindy Sample

August 12, 2017

I am honored to have called you my father in law, and to have held your hand as you ran your last lap. Thank you for all you have done for my family and i know Jamie, Randy and Nick will be better men having had you as their grandfather and mentor. I know they will continue to make you proud as you watch over them from heaven. RIP
Much love - Cindy

Pat Gilliland

August 12, 2017

Doug, I am so sorry for your loss ! Keeping you in my heart and in my prayers !

Patricia Smith

August 12, 2017

My greatest sympathy and prayers to Joyce, Doug,Jamie, Randy, Nick, Jennings and Myra and Amber.. May God walk with you through these difficult days. What a wonderful father, grandfather, and faithful church member he was at Bethany UMC...always ready to serve, contribute, and put God's work first. Rest in Peace, Jim.

Doug Sample

August 12, 2017

Doug Sample

August 12, 2017