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B: 1949-07-30
D: 2021-01-17
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James Sample
B: 1933-01-23
D: 2021-01-17
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Sample, James
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B: 1963-02-06
D: 2021-01-15
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Robert Halvorson
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B: 1948-10-10
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B: 1931-11-26
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B: 1937-03-24
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Edith Beacom
B: 1918-03-29
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B: 1931-09-04
D: 2020-11-23
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1120 E. Main Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
Phone: 605-624-2829
Fax: 605-624-2931
James Sample

James Sample

Monday, January 23rd, 1933 - Sunday, January 17th, 2021
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James Ivan Sample, Jr. of Vermillion, SD passed away Sunday, January 17, 2021 at Ava’s House in Sioux Falls from Congestive Heart Failure.
Jim was born January 23, 1933 in Spring Valley, Minnesota to James Ivan and Ruth (Utley) Sample. He graduated from Spring Valley High School, attended Iowa State University and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1958 with a degree in Animal Science.
The Sample family raised and showed Aberdeen Angus cattle and Jim was very involved in 4-H. A highlight was winning the reserve champion carcass at the International Livestock Exposition in Chicago in 1949.
Jim married Ranah (Closson) Sample on June 26, 1965 and initially lived in Spring Valley, Mn. and farmed. Later they moved to Pipestone, Minnesota where he was employed by Farmers National Company as a farm manager and real estate salesperson. After selling Mormon feed for a short period, he returned to Farmers National in Vermillion, SD. Later he had his own farm management and real estate business.
Jim, from an early age, rode and showed Quarter Horses and that is where he and Ranah met. Later their girls, Sona Sample and Shawna Sample Letcher showed, rodeoed and trail rode with their horses. It was a “horsey” family that was the love of his life.
Jim loved his harness ponies and showed single and multiple hitches at many harness shows and won awards in each division. In 1989 he built a replica wagon and drove his ponies and borrowed mules in the Centennial Wagon Train across South Dakota.
Jim and a small group of woodturners started the Siouxland Woodturners of which he held various offices, mentored starting woodturners and spent hours creating works of art in his shop. In 2014 he was awarded the American Association of Woodturners Lifetime Achievement Award. Woodturning and helping others with the craft was his joy and passion.
Jim is survived by his wife Ranah of Vermillion, a sister Evadeen (Don) Hagberg of Maple Grove, Minnesota, daughters; Sona (Randy) Kott of Platte, SD, Shawna (Mike) Letcher of Rapid City, SD, as well as five grandchildren, Sarah (Jay) Myers of Winner, SD, Jessica Kott of Platte, SD, Jayden Kott of Platte, SD, Jessica Letcher of Minneapolis, Mn. and Samantha (Dalton) Vroman of Ivanhoe, Mn. great grandchild Christopher Myers of Winner, SD and numerous nieces and nephews.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, in-laws, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and brothers, Richard and Gregg.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 30th at 1:00 P.M. at the First Baptist Church, 101 E. Main Street, Vermillion, S.D. Social distancing and masks are required. Interment will be at the Greenvale Cemetery, Castle Rock, Mn. at a later date.

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Service Details

  • Service

    Saturday, January 30th, 2021 | 1:00pm
    Saturday, January 30th, 2021 1:00pm
    First Baptist Church
    101 East Main St.
    VERMILLION, SD 57069
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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4 trees have been planted in memory of James Sample

Siouxland Woodturners

Posted at 10:00am
In memory of Jim. Siouxland Woodturners will always be grateful!

3 trees were planted in the memory of James Sample

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Heidi Matthew

Posted at 05:26pm
With loving memories of "James Sample",
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of James Sample — Plant a Tree Now

Terri Treiber

Posted at 09:47pm
So sorry to hear of Jim's passing. Praying for you through this difficult time. Terri Treiber

Rennae O'Connor

Posted at 11:08am

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I know you had a great life together. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Rennae O'Connor

Joe Sokolowski

Posted at 09:05pm
We were so very sorry to hear of Jim's passing. I always enjoyed visiting with him about our shared love of horses and driving. He was always a gentleman and a good story teller. Our deepest sympathies. Deb and Joe Sokolowski

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