January 28, 2020

JASPER- A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Grace Episcopal Church, 820 Howard St., Carthage, for Gerald L. “Jerry” Sample, 83, Jasper, who died at 9:01 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, at his home, following a battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Father Steve Wilson and Father Joe Pierjok will officiate.

Visitation will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, at Weng Funeral Chapel in Jasper.

Memorials are suggested to the Jasper Community Education Foundation or to Grace Episcopal Church, in care of the funeral chapel.

Condolences may be left online at

Survivors include his wife, Doris; a son, JD Sample and wife Karla; six grandchildren, Jamey Smith, Kenny Sample and wife Kristy, Steven Sample and wife Cissili, Angel Malone and wife Ashley, Zach Sample and wife Alisha and Harley Gerald Sample; seven great-grandchildren, Samantha Smith and husband Nakayia, Brice and Maddi Davis, Jada and Conner Henson, Duncan Sample and Kenlee Grace Sample; two great-great-grandchildren, Able and Zayn O’Hara and step-grandchildren, Stephani and Matthew Hooper, Ethan Middleton and Oliver Neay; an aunt, Mary Colvin Bennett; a sister-in-law, Pamela Harshaw; nephews, Phillip and John Ross Harshaw; a niece, Jennifer Capps and husband Eddie; two cousins, Tom Colvin and wife Christine and Tim Colvin and wife Kim and a host of friends and former students.

He was preceded in death by his son, Kenneth Lynn Sample in 1981; his parents; his stepfathers, John Harshaw and Vernon Jones; his stepmother, Mildred Sample; his sister, Kay Sue Duncan and his brother, John Y. Harshaw.

Mr. Sample was born Jan. 27, 1936, at Pittsburg, Kan., to Gerald and Lawassa (Colvin) Sample. He graduated from Pittsburg High School in 1955 and from KSC in 1960 with a BS Ed. and was commissioned a ROTC Army Lieutenant and received his Master’s Degree from KSC in 1965. He taught junior high science at Lamar from 1960-62 and taught 30 more years at Jasper High School, retiring in 1992.

He married Donna Cochran on Nov. 7, 1958 and they had two sons, JD and Ken Sample. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1967. He married Doris Hoover on May 29, 1972 and she survives of the home, along with their dog, Wonka Lou.

Mr. Sample was licensed to preach by the First Baptist Church of Pittsburg and preached at Opolis Christian, Diamond Union, Pleasant View, Cherry Grove and Walnut Baptist Church while attending college. In 1964 he joined Grace Episcopal Church at Carthage and served as a lector.

At the age of 18 he enlisted in the Kansas Army Reserve and he transferred to the MO National Guard when he moved to Missouri. He was a Captain and served as the Company Commander at the Nevada Armory, serving 26 years from 1954-1981. His unit was called to riot duty in 1968 when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. In 1978 he spent two years in Germany with his unit as engineers. They also served as supply and medical units. He was a member of the 203rd Houn’ Dawg Retirees Association and the Four State Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America.

He was named Jasper Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year in 1977 and in 1992 he was named an honorary member of the Eagle Chapter of the National Honor Society.

He had many hobbies, including photography and everything train related. He was also an avid collector of Coca Cola, stamps, coins, bottles, fruit jars, bricks, insulators and cars, especially Buicks.