Georgia “GK” Sampson, 96, died on July 27, 2018 in her home in Houston, TX. Georgia Kathryn Smith was born to Pauline Butts Smith and Paul M. Smith on June 10, 1922 in El Reno, OK. Raised by her mother, Pauline, and maternal grandparents, Leroy “Dad” and Leona Butts, she graduated from El Reno High School in 1938 and Ward-Belmont (Junior) College, Nashville, TN in 1940. GK attended University of Oklahoma in Norman where she majored in Zoology. In 1942 she accepted a lab technician position with Phillips Petroleum in Bartlesville, OK, where she met and later married James E. Sampson of Hood River, OR on November 26, 1942. GK and Jim eventually settled in the Golden Triangle in 1951, where they raised five daughters in Orange, TX.
While residing in Orange, GK was an active member of St Paul’s Episcopal Church. She taught Sunday School, served on the Vestry, participated in Episcopal Church Women, and was a member of and served as director of the Altar Guild. GK was well known for the thousands of loaves of bread and sweet rolls that she baked over the years for the annual church bazaar.
GK was an expert seamstress who made dresses, clothing, gowns, and costumes for her entire family. She was an exceptional cook and baker. GK had a love for flowers and an extraordinarily green thumb, grounded by her upbringing in a family of florists and greenhouse growers. GK was an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Orange Chapter. She also enjoyed participating in the Red Hats Society.
GK volunteered many years with the American Red Cross as a certified Water Safety Instructor, teaching hundreds of children how to swim. GK taught geometry for a school year at Stark High School in 1959. With five daughters, GK was very active in Camp Fire Girls as a volunteer group leader. In 1964 GK was hired by Camp Fire Girls as Executive Director in Orange, a position she held for 10 years. She touched thousands of young girls’ lives with her enthusiasm, leadership and mentoring as the Director of Camp Otanya. GK served on the West Orange Cove Independent School District School Board. GK enjoyed the many vacations and cruises taken with her husband, Jim, after his retirement in 1982. In 2004, GK and Jim moved into University Place in Houston.
Over the years, GK and Jim hosted many memorable family gatherings with delicious food, endless games of canasta, marbles, dominoes, and lots of laughter. We love and miss our Mama, Grandmama and Great-grandmama very much. GK was the best!
GK is preceded in death by her mother, her grandparents, her husband Jim Sampson, an infant son, daughter Barbara Sampson, and granddaughter Selena Steele.
GK is survived by daughters Pam Steele of Waco, Paula Pennington of Orange, Jan and Scott Leigh of Victoria, Lynn and Creighton Smith of Redding, CA, seven grandchildren, and seventeen great grandchildren.
A funeral service will be scheduled at a later date at St Paul’s Episcopal Church, where her ashes will be interred in the church’s memorial garden.
We wish to extend a very heartfelt thanks to GK’s excellent caregivers: Betty, Gail, Grace, Lillian, and Trina. And special thanks to the PAS Staff of University Place and the Memorial Hermann Hospice staff.