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James Darrell “Jim” Samples

James Darrell “Jim” Samples 83 of Versailles, IN, died due to complications with a breakthrough case of Covid on Monday, January 3, 2022 at King Daughters Hospital in Madison. Jim was born on February 5, 1938 in Clay County, Kentucky, the son of Wendell and Zedra (Webb) Samples. He married Joyce A. Sutherlin on May 21, 1966 and she survives.


Survivors include two daughters, Nicole (Chris) Wiedeman of San Luis Obispo, CA and Kerry (Mark) McConnell of Osgood; two grandsons, Christopher Adkinson and Shane McConnell of Osgood and one great-grandson, Oliver Adkinson; two brothers, Tullas (Judy) Samples of Missouri, Bert (Sonja) Samples of Rexville and one sister. Jim was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Glenn Samples, Samuel Samples and Frank Samples.


The large Samples clan moved to the Ohio Valley when Jim was in grade school and eventually settled the family farm in Rexville. He was a member of the 1956 graduating class of New Marion. Jim joined the US Army in July of 1956 and as an enlisted he saw California and Germany and was called on for an office position when it was discovered that he was a good typist.
Jim was a hard worker. He spent long hours farming and building roads all throughout the region as a concrete finisher and site superintendent. Even though long retired, Jim still was a caretaker at a local friend’s farm at the Busching Bridge near Versailles State Park. His loved ones will always remember him saying he was “off to mow” or “I’m going over the hill” to check on things. At one point, Jim had several bison in the pastures and stables at the farm and tourists and locals alike would enjoy stopping to see them. In service to his community, Jim was elected to the South Ripley Jr./Sr. High School Board in the early 2000s and was an integral part in the gymnasium and building additions made to the school grounds. He was elected and served as the Johnson Township Trustee in the 1990s.


In retirement he traveled with Joyce in a motorhome that took them from places like Yellowstone and the Florida Panhandle. The RV became a second home for them at the Sundown Resort just 7 miles from Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


Jim was a quiet man, until you got to know him. Although he was never the heart of a gathering, he’d share his wry, witty jokes and observations with his family afterwards and always to great laughter.


A Celebration of Jim’s life will be held on his birthday, Saturday, February 5, 2022, at 1:00 pm at the American Legion Post 173 in Versailles. Jim’s wishes were to be cremated. The family requests all attendees wear a mask to the service. In honor of Jim, he would appreciate that you all get your Covid-19 vaccine and booster if you haven’t done so. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Friends of the Smokies or charitable organization of choice, in care of Stratton – Karsteter Funeral Home.