ROCKWOOD — Martha Jean Boswell Sams, 82, passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 5, 2012, in Rockwood, Tennessee, formerly of Bristol, Virginia.
She was born April 28, 1929, to Octave and Robert C. Boswell in Richmond, Virginia. She was preceded in death by her parents, and her husband, John Neal Sams.
She was a caring mother and grandmother who shared her warmth and her love of art with all who knew her.
She is survived by her son, Rob Sams, of Watauga, TN; son, Jeff Sams and wife, Melinda, of Greer, SC; daughter, Beth Sams Plemmons and husband, Mark, of Oak Ridge, TN; daughter Sally Sams Huckeby and husband, Huck, of Kingston, TN; daughter in law, Pam Pearson Sams; grandchildren, Jordan and Ian Sams, Laura and Kevin Sams, Taylor Plemmons Burson and husband, Brian, Carson Plemmons McGregor and husband, Kent, and Kyler Huckeby; and her great grandson, Jim Burson. She is also survived by her sister, Archer Boswell Parsons and husband, Tom, of Bristol, VA; son, Tom Parsons Jr. and wife, Shelley, and daughters, Annie and Katie; and son, Steve and wife, Vikki; and by her godson, Matthew Crymble; and by family friend, Ian Murphy.
Mrs. Sams taught Art in the city school systems of Oak Ridge, TN, Charlotte, NC, and Memphis, TN. She also taught pre-school at Sullins Academy in Bristol, VA.
She was a lifelong member of State Street United Methodist Church in Bristol, where she and her husband, Neal worked with the church youth program for many years. She served on the Board of Stewards of State Street United Methodist Church and on the First Methodist Church Kindergarten Board of Directors. She also served on the Border Guild/Junior League Administrative Board and on the Tri-Cities Arts Council. She was a sustaining member of the Blue Stocking Club, and served on the board of Girls, Inc. of Bristol, VA.
The family will receive friends from 12:30 p.m. until 2 .p.m Saturday, April 21, 2012, at the State Street United Methodist Church in Bristol, Virginia, followed by Celebration of Life at 2 p.m.
The family will be staying at The Courtyard, 3169 Linden Drive, Bristol, VA and will have a hospitality room for friends or family to come by and visit on Saturday evening.
The family wishes to thank the staff at the Grand Court in Bristol, VA, and at The Bridge at Rockwood in Rockwood, TN, for their kind care and friendship.
Instead of flowers, friends are encouraged to consider a donation to The University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Center, 250 South Stadium Hall, Knoxville, TN 37996; or to the State Street United Methodist Church Youth Ministry, 300 W. Valley Drive, Bristol, VA 24201.
Kyker Funeral Home, P.O. Box 69, 350 West Race St., Kingston, Tn. 37763; Phone: (865) 376-6531 Fax: (865) 376-4700