Tom Samples

September 2, 1924 – July 8, 2018

Memorial Service

10 AM on July 14, 2018
Woodin Valley Baptist Church
5400 228th St. SE
Bothell, WA 98021

Military Service

10:30 AM on July, 18, 2018
Tahoma National Cemetery
Kent, WA 98042

Jeryl Thomas Samples, known to all as Tom, lost his battle with Dementia on July 8, 2018, while surrounded by family. He was born on September 2, 1924, in Macedonia, Iowa to Kirk and Mary Ethelyn Samples, and was the third of seven children.

On October 23, 1944, at the age of 17, he joined the Navy. He served on the USS Ticonderoga during World War II and received both the Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. He was honorably discharged on June 3, 1946, in Bremerton, Washington. He returned to Iowa and married Doris Young in January 1948 before moving to Seattle, Washington in fall 1954. He worked for Boeing, Diamond International, and Burlington Northern Railroad in Seattle. He enjoyed the railroad experience and even took his son Kirk with him once.

Tom then went to work for Downs NW Diebold and started traveling back and forth to Alaska. There he fell in love with his future wife Dale. They married in Anchorage and stayed for a few months before moving to Iowa. For four years they farmed, and in one year had over 800 “hogs”. Tom and Dale left Iowa in May 1977 and traveled around the country in their first of many motorhomes.

After a year on the road they settled in the coastal town of Homer, Alaska where they stayed until 1993. During this time Tom sold real estate and worked for the Kenai Peninsula School District. Tom and Dale also owned and operated Woodside Apartments as overnight lodging. Tom was an affable host at Woodside during the busy Homer tourist season, always entertaining the guests and maintaining the facility with a smile.

In 1993 Tom and Dale sold Woodside and retired to Anchorage. Tom’s love of driving to beautiful locations continued as they were able to motorhome around Alaska and the United States. In 2005 they relocated to Seattle to be closer to family. They settled at Green Acres Park in Bothell, Washington where they enjoyed the natural setting and met many wonderful neighbors. Even during his final years with dementia Tom could often be heard singing the songs he remembered. His love of music brought great joy to him, and to those around him.

Tom was lively, funny, observant, and patient. Those are the characteristics that most accurately defined him. From listening to him sing along with Fats Domino, walking on the beach, following him around the yard as he gardened, road trips powered by jokes and On the Road Again, numerous games of cribbage, and his affinity for cherry pie, to his support and love during painful times; he exemplified family. He was a wonderful Husband, Father, Father-In-Law, and Grandfather. He will be deeply missed.

He is survived by his spouse, Dale Samples. Children: Nancy Johnson, Deborah Phare, Patricia Christopherson, and Cynthia Levine. Grandchildren: Terri Johnson, Linda Johnson, Alexis Truitt, Rebecca Phare, Beija Levine, and Archer Levine. He survived his late son, Kirk Thomas Samples, and his first wife Doris Samples.

Flowers may be sent to the service at Woodin Valley Baptist Church.
Or in lieu of flowers, please make a donation (in the name of Tom Samples) to one of the organizations below:
Alzheimer’s Association –
American Veteran’s Center –

For more information on the USS Ticonderoga please visit the Naval Historical Center:

One Response to “Tom Samples”

  • Joanne grisham says:

    So glad to have known this fine man but a short time through our church. Like my husband Tom will be greatly missed but fondly remembered. You were a blessed family and wife Dale. May the Lord bcomfort you and yours.

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