John Paul Sampley
Palm Desert, CA — Born in Georgia (March 5, 1935), reared in Florida, formally educated in North Carolina, Texas and Connecticut, I was blessed to teach in good institutions (Drew University 1965-70, Indiana University, 1970-80, and Boston University 1980-2001) where I had fine colleagues whom I counted as life-long friends. And the students, they were the big reason I was on those faculties. Another highlight was when Sally and I took part-time leadership in the Charlemont Federated Church (1980-85); that church patiently taught me what it meant to be a pastor.
I was always intrigued by and curious about honeybees, birds, indeed about all of nature and its creatures, and how things work. Like my namesake, the Apostle Paul, I have been amazed not only at the grandeur and generosity of spirit we humans sometime manifest but also about our persistent proclivities to shoot ourselves in the foot. The most awesome gift I ever received was Sally, my love and my partner across all these years in which we danced and tiptoed our way through this awesome, marvelous and broken world.
Though we decided not to have biological children, Sally and I embraced and welcomed into our hearts and lives an enlarged family populated by some literal relatives, some friends, the offspring of friends and colleagues, students and others who simply crossed our paths.
I like to think my teaching, books and articles helped open access to the Apostle Paul.
I am survived by my brother, Roy C. Sampley, his daughters Carollene Moon and Laurinda Conlon, Walter Houk, son of my deceased sister Annelle Houk, and all those people who expanded the borders of our family. Among, but not diminishing the rest of them, I have to name those who expressly took on even the traditional nomenclature of family: our godson Stephen Webber, our goddaughter Suzanne Webber and her husband Al Miller, our grandchildren Elizabeth Marne Kossnar and Nathan Paul Kossnar; our daughter Ana Sabatino, and her two offspring who became our granddaughter Marie Elena Amaya, and our grandson Enrique Amaya.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Howard University in Washington D.C. for scholarships, the Audubon Society or the American Heart Association
A celebration service will be held at Mary Lyon Church in Buckland, MA, October 16 at 2:00 P.M. To access the zoom of this service please email [email protected]
Published by The Recorder on Oct. 9, 2021.