John Paul Sampley
1935 - 2021
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.
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Celebration of Life
Mary Lyon Church
Buckland, MA
Please consider a donation as requested by the family.
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4 Entries
We met Paul and his wife Sally for the first time in 1998 in South Africa, where we not only attended a conference together but also afterwards travelled to remote places and had a lot of fun. From this time onwards, we not only continued attending conferences together for a number of years, but also felt very honoured to get the privilege to visit Sally and Paul in their house in Charlemont and later also in Palm Desert. Their unsurpassed hospitality is unforgettable and will always be part of our most beautiful memories. Paul was such a charming and witty person, which made every conversation with him so delightful. In our prayers we are with him and Sally these days, and we are convinced that God has already welcomed him in heaven, from where he now looks down on us and rejoices in all the nice comments people say and write about him. We will dearly miss you, Paul!
Susanne & Willi Pratscher
October 14, 2021
Paul and Sally were dear family members of our Rowe / Charlemont hilltown family, the group of neighbors and friends scattered over a few miles. We still have his parting gift to us as we both moved to the west in our later years, and will pass it down to our son. A gentleman. Godspeed Paul. Sandy Lively
Sandra Lively
October 12, 2021
Although I knew Paul but for a brief time, I truly enjoyed the conversations we had. My condolances to Sally and family.
David Smith
October 11, 2021
May your memories of the wonderful times you shared with your loved one comfort you and your family, today and always.
American Heart Association
October 11, 2021
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