Sammy French Countryman(1932 - 2014)

Countryman, Sammy French Sammy French Countryman, age 81, passed away Tuesday, February 25, 2014, in Rogers, Arkansas. Sam was born in Mountain Park, Oklahoma on October 23, 1932 to Joseph Bob and Katherine Alma Glasgow Countryman. He is preceded in death by his parents, five sisters, Katie Ray Countryman, Jessie Holder, Mary Grinstead, Edna Erle Davis and Bernice Stump; two brothers, Jeff and Joe (Jake) Countryman; two nephews, Greg Davis and Jerry Grinstead. He is survived by two daughters and a son-in-law, Catherine Countryman Cook, husband Michael and Karen Countryman. Two grandchildren, Jessica and Joel Cook, sister, Billie Spence, many nieces and nephews, friends, and life long companion Ann Veith. Sam graduated from Central High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, attended Oklahoma University, Oklahoma City University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science from American Technological University, in Killeen, Texas. Sam's life long love for his country started in 1939 as a boy scout, he started his career at age 15, in the Army National Guard. In 1950 he was fully activated during the Korean War and served in Japan. Major Sam Countryman retired after 45 years of service from HHC 3rd Battalion, 149th Aviation, Texas Army National Guard, Grand Prairie Texas. Throughout his military career he was a helicopter pilot and instructor for Southern Airways during the Vietnam War at Fort Wolters in Mineral Wells, Texas. During Operation Desert, Sam also a Chinook pilot and instructor had many missions and instructed pilots in Chinook training. Sam retired from American Airlines after 34 years as a flight instructor. The 777 being the last aircraft trained for American. Sam retired from CAE Simuflight Civil and Business Aviation after 17 years, training the Learjet and Cessna Citation. He instructed thousands of pilot 'checkrides' and was requested yearly by his students from all corners of the world. Sam was very fulfilled over the years watching his pilots grow from green to master pilot. Sam held aircraft type ratings for the B727, B757, B767, B777, Citation 500, Citation 750, Learjet, MD11, BV234, Chinook and various other helicopters. Hundreds of pilots fly the skies today with skills learned from Sam. In 2005, Sam was honored with the prestigious Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award recognizing him for safe flight operations for more than 50 years. Sam was a QB Member (Quite Birdmen). He accepts the toast by his fellow QBs as he "goes west" and please tell many off colored jokes at his expense. Sam loved people, he donated his time as a mediator for dispute and resolution on behalf of the Courts and Citizens of Tarrant County, Texas. After over 60 years as a resident of the Republic of Texas he relocated to Rogers, Arkansas to be near his daughters which he loved more than flying and life itself. After a very short illness due to a heart attack and life saving surgery he was well enough to return home where he died peacefully and happy. A memorial service will be officiated by Reverend Stephen P. Davis (Nephew) on March 11, 2014, at 11AM at Meadowood Baptist Midwest City Church, 2816 North Woodcrest Drive, Midwest City, Oklahoma 73110. A private, full military honors ceremony and burial will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers please make memorial donations to: Operation Homefront, P.O. Box 1933, Lawton, Oklahoma 73502-1933,, 866-316-9170 or Sheep Dog Impact Assistance, 1200 West Walnut Street, Suite 2301, Rogers, Arkansas 72756,, 479-466-9713.


Published in Dallas Morning News on Mar. 9, 2014