John Harrison Sampson
March 8, 1939 – September 15, 2019
John Harrison Sampson was born in Ozan, Arkansas on March 8, 1939 to Charles W. and Naomi Sampson. He had a twin sister (Joyce) and a younger brother (Charles).
John possessed a love of music that was nurtured at an early age while attending the Detroit area public schools where he participated in band and honed his saxophone skills. In his teen years, John sang with a Detroit area R&B group called the Daptones.
After graduating from Ecorse High School in Michigan in 1957 and a year in college, John enlisted in the US Army and was sent to basic training in Fort Knox, Kentucky. He was then sent to basic and advanced medical training at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. After these trainings, John was then stationed at Ladd Air Force Base in Fairbanks Alaska for two years, and from there was based three years in Vitry-Le-Francois, France. In 1965, John was sent to Fort Benning, GA where he received his initial orders to Vietnam. After John’s first tour in Vietnam with the First Cavalry Air Mobile Division as an E-4 Medic in 1965-1966, he was sent to The Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, Massachusetts. In 1968, John applied to the Officer’s Candidate School at Fort Benning in Georgia and he graduated as a Second Lieutenant.
From there, John was stationed as a Platoon Leader in Fort Ord, California and he received a BA degree from Chapman University in Orange, California. After graduation, he returned to Fort Knox, Kentucky where he taught Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Warfare to Armor Officers.
In 1970, John received new orders Can Ranh Bay, Vietnam where he served as a company Commander until 1971. After completion of this second tour in Vietnam, John returned to Ford Ord, California where he served as a Brigade Chemical Officer in the 7th Army Division until he was assigned as a Commander. John retired from the Army in 1978 as Major. John was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Medical Combat Badge, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry and the Presidential Unit Citation during his 20-year military career.
After retiring from the Army, John was active in the local chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and he traveled throughout the State of Oregon in support of Veterans and Veteran groups. In addition, John enjoyed working with the AROCT and AFROTC program at the University of Portland and the JROTC programs at Oregon City and Reynolds High Schools.
After retiring from the military, John moved to Salem, Oregon and then Tigard, Oregon where he spent 8 years at Oregon Health and Science University as the Associate Director of the Infertility Service Laboratory. He was recruited by Emanuel Hospital where he began a fertility service program where he worked for three years until he received his Master and Doctorate Degrees and began his private practice at the Andrology Northwest Fertility Service Laboratory. When John initially moved to Lake Oswego, he began searching for a church. When John found St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Beaverton, Oregon, he knew he was home. In fact, St. Matthew is where John met his wife of 32 years, Judith Kay Sampson. John served as Worship Chairman for seven years under Pastor Mike Foss and he has been involved in the music ministry for over 30 years. John looked forward to playing his saxophone during Sunday worship services. John and Judy resided in Tualatin, Beavercreek and most recently Beaverton, Oregon.
John is survived by his brother (Charles), three children (John Eric, Steven Craig and Lori Michele) from his marriage to Millicent Elaine (Coates) Sampson and a stepdaughter (Melissa Ann). In addition, John has a total of 9 grandchildren, 3 step-grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild and a host of relatives and friends. John will be sadly missed by his family and friends, but he will live on in our hearts forever.
- Memorial Service Saturday, October 5, 2019