- Category: Obituaries
- Published on 21 May 2014
- Written by Mount Vernon Optic-Herald
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Sam Jumper, Jr. passed away peacefully May 12, 2014 at his residence at the age of 87 surrounded by his loving family. Funeral services were held May 15, 2014 at Harvey Funeral Home in Mt. Vernon, TX with Bro Troy Hollingsworth and Bro. Jim Crittenden officiating.
Burial followed at Friendship Cemetery in Mount Vernon.
Grandsons Michael Jumper, Patrick Jumper, Jonathan Blake, Eric Robertson, Hayden Parker, Edward Odeh, and Jeremy Shelton served as pallbearers. Edward Odeh played taps at the graveside service.
Sam was born August 28, 1926 in Franklin County, Texas to Hubert Sam and Lois Pryor Jumper. The oldest of five children, he began doing a man’s work at an early age - working in the cotton fields and on the farm. The work ethic he learned as a child remained with him throughout his life. While farming and ranching were his jobs of choice, he always had a “second job” which included working in the ship yards of Houston as a teenager, the Wells Lamont glove factory, and Winzen Research, where he worked for more than 20 years.
During his grade school years, Sam attended one-room schools in the Prairie Grove and Hamilton communities. He graduated from Mt. Vernon High School in 1943. He actually was one of those people you’ve heard about that walked a mile or more to school and back (barefoot in the summer) and took his lunch in a syrup bucket.
He proudly served his country in the Army Air Corps. He enlisted in 1945 and served in the occupation of Europe and was honored to have been a participant in the Berlin Air lift. He tried to enlist in the Army, but was rejected because of his flat feet. He often joked that he was thankful for those flat feet because if he had been in the infantry, he might never have met his “Little Fraulein,” which is what he always called his wife, Resy.
Sam met Resy Boetsch in Bad Kissingen, Germany in January, 1947. She worked on the base as a telephone operator. He liked to tell the story of how they met to his children and grandchildren. It seems Sam was the guard on duty and Resy was late for work and had forgotten her pass to get on base. She tried to sweet talk her way in, but, of course, Sam was always a “by the book” kind of man and wouldn’t let her enter. She had to return home to get the pass and when she got back to the guard shack as he would always say, “she slammed it down and said There! Are you happy now?” A few weeks later they met again, but under different circumstances. Resy didn’t recognize Sam, but he knew it was her and “fessed up.” Resy must have forgiven him, because that same day she took him home to meet her parents. After meeting Sam, her mother told Resy that he was the man she would marry. Sam and Resy became engaged on May 4, 1947, and they married on September 25, 1948.
Sam and Resy arrived in Franklin County in November, 1948 to begin their life together. Sam got busy finding land to lease and began his farming operation. In 1952 they bought land in Northeast Franklin County. Sam always said he could have looked forever and never found a better wife. Sam and Resy were perfectly suited for one another and were truly each other’s helpmate throughout their 65 years of marriage. At first they farmed cotton and corn, but then their energies turned to raising cattle and hay. For many years he did custom hay baling for the public. He was named “Outstanding Young Farmer” in 1961, and his story was featured in the “Progressive Farmer” magazine. While he was raising his family, Sam always had a full-time job besides the farming and ranching. He would rise early and feed cows before and after work in the winter, and in the summer he would come in from work and change his clothes, eat some cheese and crackers, and start working in the hay field. Anyone who knew Sam knows he was never idle. A man of quiet strength, his actions spoke louder than his words. Sam loved his family, and working hard to provide a good living for them was one way he showed it.
He overcame many obstacles in his life, but one of the biggest was throat cancer. He was diagnosed Christmas Eve, 1956 and given a bleak prognosis of only six months to live. He had surgery and radiation treatments in Dallas, and after a decade of yearly checkups was pronounced cured. He was a 57 year cancer survivor and doctors continued to be amazed throughout his lifetime when they heard his story. His family knows it was truly a miracle from God.
Sam was preceded in death by his parents, a sister and brother-in-law, Deloria and Thomas Tower, a brother, Howard Jumper, and a grandson, Robert Ryan Blake. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Resy, a son and daughter-in-law Larkin and Cathy Jumper, and a daughter and son-in-law, Rosewitta and Steve Blake. He was much loved “Bigdaddy” to his grandchildren, Lea Jumper Robertson and Eric, Michael Jumper and Amy, Patrick Jumper and Kelly, Laura Jumper Parker and Hayden, Hayley Blake Shelton and Jeremy, Jonathan Blake, and Holly Blake Odeh and Edward. His legacy continues with eleven great-grandchildren, Kathryn, Caleb, Ethan, and Andrew Robertson, Jillian, Jacob, and Jensen Jumper, Vivian and Jackson Parker, Bridgette Jumper, and Kaitlyn Blake. He is also survived by two brothers, Don Jumper and Elva, and Jerry Jumper and Ann, a sister-in-law, Mary Jumper, a brother-in law, Franz Boetsch and Krista, and many nieces and nephews.
Sam was a member of the “Greatest Generation” and like others from that era, he lived through the depression and knew about hard times, but he also appreciated when times were good. Although he never went to college, he had an amazing mathematical and analytical mind, along with a great abundance of common sense. Sam lived out the teachings of the Ten Commandments and the book of Proverbs even before becoming a Christian. Working hard and being a person of character, honesty, and integrity were the standards by which he lived his life.
Although he was the most decent, moral, and honorable man his family knew, Sam came to realize that was not enough and that he needed a Savior. He was led to the Lord by Bro. Pete Hollingsworth and at the age of 55, Sam confessed his sins and accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord and was baptized at Calvary Baptist Temple where he remained a member for the rest of his life. While we grieve his loss, we, his family, rejoice and draw great comfort in knowing that the very moment his heart stopped beating here on earth, he was immediately ushered into the presence of our Heavenly Father and into the loving arms of Jesus. May the Circle be Unbroken!
If desired, memorials may be made to Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Heal Our Patriots, Donor Ministries, (800) 528-1980 or the charity of your choice.