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Samuel Arthur McPherson

Posted By obits On April 21, 2022 @ 9:36 am In Elizabeth City,Obituaries | 22 Comments

McPherson Samuel Arthur

Samuel Arthur McPherson, III, age 77, of Davenport, Florida, laid down his tools and passed away April 16 after an 18-month battle with cancer.

Sam was born in 1944 to Samuel Arthur McPherson, Jr. and Doris Marie Spence of Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Sam, known as “Mac” to his family, was diligent and hard-working even as a boy. He developed an interest in carpentry and woodworking at an early age and took a part-time job in a local woodworking shop while in his teens. Over time, he would nurture this interest into a full-blown passion for DIY, remodeling, and construction.

After graduating from Elizabeth City High School in 1962, Sam initially attended the College of the Albemarle and later transferred to North Carolina Wesleyan College. While working at the campus bookstore, Sam met Judith Anne Hampton when she tried to fix him up on a blind date with one of her friends. Luckily (for us), he declined the invitation, and the rest was history. They were married in 1965, and moved to Wilson, North Carolina to complete their degrees at Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College).

In 1966, Sam received his degree in mathematics and went to work for the Newport News Naval Shipyard; he also taught mathematics as an adjunct professor at Thomas Nelson Community College. In 1970 he took a contracting job with NASA which soon became a full-time position, kickstarting a 36-year career of faithful civil-service.

Sam was a man who valued dedication and hard work, making a name for himself as a problem-solver and expert in his field. However, he preferred to be defined by the work he did outside of the office and the time spent with family. He was not a man who liked to talk about work or bring his work troubles home… to this day, his sons are still not entirely sure what he did for a living.

Sam worked hard, but also played hard. He was a lover of RV and trailer camping, and an unrivaled champion of the driveway trailer-backing slalom. He and Judi traveled to nearly every corner of America, but his love of the Old West, country music, and rodeo called him back frequently to some of his favorite places like Cody, Wyoming. Ultimately, Sam loved exploring parts unknown and was equally comfortable at the helm of an RV, a Boston Whaler, a pontoon boat, or simply strolling along the deck of whichever cruise liner was the latest-and-greatest to be christened.

At the end of a hard day of work …or play… Sam loved nothing better than relaxing in his recliner in front of the television. He could be found in his favorite chair every night after dinner, with his legs up and the remote control resting comfortably in his lap… fast asleep. He was known far and wide for his ability to nod off at the drop of a hat. A fan of Andy Griffith and Gunsmoke, as well as NASCAR, PGA golf, and many others; he would watch all of these shows in five-minute increments between naps.

When not traveling the globe (or sawing logs in his recliner), Sam could almost always be found in the place he was truly most comfortable… the garage. On any given Saturday, he could be found in his natural element, up to his ankles in fresh sawdust with a pencil behind his ear, a tape measure sticking out of his back pocket, and (more than likely) his tongue sticking out the side of his mouth in concentration.

There was always some new renovation or upgrade requiring his attention and he always rose to the challenge. On those rare occasions where there was nothing to improve at home, Sam’s services were always highly sought after in the neighborhood, at church, and especially by his sons. He could diagnose problems over the phone as well as provide suggestions for how to improve upon an existing design… and he cherished every second of it.

Sam was a man who saw the potential in all things, from a vacant plot of land (perfect spot for a beach house) to a block of wood, and certainly within the people around him; he was always looking for the opportunity to help shape and craft those things into their best possible form.

Of his many accomplishments and memberships, Sam was always the most thankful for the opportunity to join and serve in the brotherhood of freemasonry. He was a long-time member of Eureka Lodge #317 AF & AM in Elizabeth City, NC where he rose in rank and became a Master Mason 1965.

Sam was a man of steadfast faith, who always embraced the ideals of Christian charity and love; the foundations of this faith were laid down in his youth as a member of First United Methodist Church in Elizabeth City, NC. After moving to Hampton, VA he became a member of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, where he was active in Sunday School and the United Methodist Men’s ministry. After retirement, he frequently attended First Presbyterian Church in Haines City, FL while at home. Even when roaming the countryside in the RV he would still find time for fellowship; from campgrounds to community centers, he would join other travelers or local congregations wherever he found them.

He is survived by his wife Judi, his brother Allan (and wife Ann), his sons Scott (Lisa) and Steve (Ran), five grandchildren Demi, O.D., Devon, John Louis, and Kaitlin, his first great-grandchild Josie, and enough nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins to fill a football stadium.

Never a fan of formal occasions, Sam has requested that we skip the funeral and jump straight to the fun part; instead of mourning his passing he asked that everyone do something to celebrate his life in whatever way seems best… grill up some burgers, go see a rodeo, back a trailer up the driveway, nap through an episode of Andy Griffith, or maybe just take a moment to stop and smell the sawdust!

For those insistent upon spending their hard-earned money, please consider a charitable contribution in lieu of flowers. Memorial contributions in memory of Sam may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123.

Twiford Funeral Home, 405 East Church Street, Elizabeth City, NC 27909 is serving the McPherson family. Online memorial condolences may be sent to the family at www.TwifordFH.com.


Twiford Funeral Home (Elizabeth City)

Memorial Chapel
405 East Church Street,
Elizabeth City, NC 27909
Phone: (252) 335-4395
Fax: 252-335-4329
Email: J.J.Twiford@TwifordFH.com

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Condolences for the family of “Samuel Arthur McPherson”

Condolence from Sherry Johnson Miley on April 21st, 2022 10:35 am

Judy, I was so sorry to read of Sam’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time of sadness.

Condolence from Alline Aydlett on April 21st, 2022 11:55 am

Judy and family, I am saddened to hear of Sam’s death. I’m also happy to know that he was a Christian man. You know exactly where he is. That gave me great peace when Chris died in 2020. Please know that all of you are prayed for. God will give you the strength to get through all the changes that are ahead of you.

Condolence from June Banks on April 21st, 2022 12:02 pm

Sending prayers and hugs to family and friends. Went to school with him, a very nice person to all.

Condolence from Catherine Eason Gardner on April 21st, 2022 12:34 pm

So very sorry to learn of Sam’s death. Remembered him from Central High School. Prayers and thoughts to each of you.

Condolence from Bessie Reid Ward on April 21st, 2022 12:55 pm

So very sorry to see Sam passed.

I remember him as a leader in M.Y.F. . meeting’s.

I knew his parents very well with Eastern Star.

My prayers are with his family & friends .


Bessie Reid Ward

Condolence from Walt Jennette on April 21st, 2022 7:27 pm

Sam was a good friend when we were in high school. A fun loving, adventurous, self confident individual. Over the years, I have often thought about him.

Glad to know he closed the door on this earth as he lived his life: upbeat and positive.

Long live his spirit!

Condolence from Brenda Simpson on April 21st, 2022 8:26 pm

Judi & Family I was so sorry to hear about Sam. He was a very special person and I am glad to have know him all thru high school and our time at College of the Albemarle. May the Lord comfort each of you during this time of great sorrow.

Condolence from Faye and Chris Hooper on April 21st, 2022 8:27 pm

Mother and I are so sorry to hear of Sam’s passing.

Condolence from Brian on April 21st, 2022 10:00 pm

Wonderful words that brought back so many memories.
I love you, Uncle Mac!

Condolence from James L Madre on April 21st, 2022 10:26 pm

Sam’s family have my deepest condolences. Sam and I were good friends from Junior High School to Elizabeth City High School. I am so proud of his accomplishments throughout his life. I always knew he would make a great husband, father, and grandfather. Make God take you in His loving arms and give you Peace. God bless you.

Condolence from Jack Ward on April 22nd, 2022 2:34 am

Judy, so very sorry to hear of Sam’s passing. Great high school and COA classmate. Such a nice person and I know he will be greatly missed by you, family, and friends.

Condolence from Millicent Owens on April 22nd, 2022 9:12 am

Judi and family, I am so sorry to see this obit. My thoughts and prayers are with you and family. God be with y’all and keep you in His loving arms. Millicent

Condolence from Melinda Miller Haines on April 22nd, 2022 1:33 pm

Just getting this devastating news! I can see Sam now dancing with his wife at one of our class reunions. He was always one of the best to all of our class of 1962! We were all so lucky to grow up together in our wonderful home town. God bless all of his extensive family.

Condolence from Trish and Buddy on April 22nd, 2022 4:29 pm

Judi, we are so sorry. We remember Sam with fondness! Take care of yourself! Buddy and Trish

Condolence from Karen Spence Jackson on April 22nd, 2022 5:42 pm

Condolences from the extended family of Aubrey and Sophia Spence . . Mac lead a great life instilled by his parents Doris & Sam. It was many years between us but I’m certain we both held fond memories at Spence gatherings at Zeldas. His life was full and I know he has left many cherished memories. Our condolences for a family member that has left our presence but we rejoice for he is living his best life in Heaven.

Condolence from Lisa and Marvin on April 22nd, 2022 6:42 pm

This is by far the best obituary I’ve ever read. I’m sure Sam is smiling his big smile as folks read it.
Marvin and I send our deepest sympathy. Sam was an incredible man that knew a lot about many things.
We send our love to Judi and the boys. And we will celebrate Sam’s life by grilling something good. We love you all.

Condolence from Eureka Lodge No. 317 A. F. & A. M. on April 23rd, 2022 6:41 am

On behalf of the Master, Wardens and brethren of Eureka Lodge No. 317 please accept our sincerest sympathy for the loss of husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle and masonic brother. Our brother now resides with our Supreme Grand Master, in that house, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

May God richly bless you all and give you peace during this time.

Condolence from Penelope Saunders Smith (Penny) on April 24th, 2022 7:57 pm

Thinking of you during this time of your loss. May God be with you.

Condolence from Mike Megan Balod on May 4th, 2022 7:59 am

Our deepest condolences to the McPherson family.

Condolence from Joel Brothers on May 4th, 2022 4:28 pm

I’m so sorry to hear of Mac’s passing. It has been many years since we were at Grace Methodist Church together while our families were members there. I particularly remember how close our mothers were, having grown up in Newland together. They were like sisters.
Please accept my condolences. I pray that you will find comfort during this sad time.

Condolence from Tina Balod Funk on May 5th, 2022 3:23 pm

May the Lord cover your family with peace and comfort. I’m so sorry for your loss.

Condolence from Linda Montgomery on June 2nd, 2022 8:12 pm

I just found out this heartbreaking news. I will always remember and cherish every moment we had with you while living in Dunston Hall. You treated Tyler like he was one of your own. In his eyes he was one of the Grandchildren. Hugs and prayers to you all.

Linda Montgomery (Hilling)

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