George W. Samples, 76, of Heyworth, Illinois, passed away at 5:24 p.m. at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center.
His visitation will be Saturday, August 11, 2018, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with his funeral service following at 1:00 p.m. at Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, Heyworth, Illinois. Lunch will immediately follow.
George was born September 16, 1941, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the son of George B. and Mabel Samples. He married Mary Frances “Susie” Dyson on April 16, 1962. She survives.
Also surviving are their children, Stacey Blauw, Heyworth; Courtney (Marc) Swanson, Wadsworth; Brooke (David) Selep, Arlington Heights; Sean (Shelly) Samples, Armington; Shannon (Rodney) Shaffer, Chicago; Paige (Jody) Howey, NC.
Also surviving are two sisters, Diana Pepperman and Sherma (Merrill) Dean, all of Norman, Oklahoma. Many nieces and nephews, 23 grandchildren: Ashley; Justin; Kyle; Jesse; Jordan; Jared; Lucus; Sean; Ryan; Lainey; Whitney; Ty; Chandler; Rayne; Quentin; Corey; Peyton; Cassidy (Rose); Sydney; Miranda; Kiefer; Connor; and Tea’, and 12 great-grandchildren: Kennedy; Kyleigh; Raegan; Sophia; Karter; Easton; Skylar; Landon; Paisley; Rowen; Gracie; and Arabella.
George was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Mary Ann Schmidt.
George joined the United States Air Force straight out of high school where he served his country for the next 6 years. Upon discharge, he joined the United Brotherhood of Carpenters until retirement in 1999. He built everything from residential homes to high-rise buildings in Chicago and later in Bloomington. He enjoyed building things and could fix just about anything! Even in the final weeks of his life, he continued helping remodel his farmhouse in Farmer City that he shared with his wife and grandsons for over 15 years.
He had 6 children of his own, but as a softball coach for over 13 years in Arlington Heights, he mentored and taught hundreds of athletes, passing on his love for the sport to all. He managed several championship teams and travel teams. He even managed to get himself thrown out of a few games while defending his players and fighting for what was right. His passion as a coach was second to none. In the eyes of many, he was simply the best!!
Once his children were grown, much of his focus was on his grandchildren. He spent much of his time watching softball, baseball, track, cross country, gymnastics, wrestling, and many glorious evenings under the Friday night lights. He supported all of his grandchildren in their many endeavors. His love for them was unprecedented.
His love for his family was great, as was his love for Oklahoma where he was born and raised. As an Oklahoma fan, his life motto was, “I’m Sooner born, I’m Sooner bred and when I die I’m Sooner dead”. He was a dedicated husband to his wife, Susie for 56 years, an involved father and a proud Papa. He loved living life and fought the good fight until the end. He will forever be our Guardian Angel watching over us. He will be greatly missed by all that knew him.