Samuel Grayson Stephens, Sr. died peacefully surrounded by his family and friends on November 3, 2020. Sammy married Joyce Murray Stephens on June 4, 1960. Sammy and Joyce celebrated 60 years of marriage this past June with his children and grandchildren at their lake house in Santee. Sammy accomplished many things in his long, beautiful life, but he was most proud of his family. His love for them showed through his warm hugs and soft grin. He never missed an opportunity to spend time with his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Every Sunday he visited his beloved Dorchester family “down home”. Sammy enlisted in the National Guard after graduating from Harleyville Ridgeville High School and served until 1964. He competed on the rifle team with this brother, Buddy. Sammy graduated from Newberry College in 1961 and served the State of South Carolina Department of Education for forty-one years. Sammy was a servant to his community. He was a member of Omar Shrine where he dedicated countless hours to helping others. Specifically, he was very passionate about raising money for the Shriners Hospital. He was awarded the Omar Shrine Medal of Honor and a member of the Royal Order of Jesters Court. Sammy was awarded a Life Membership to the Harmony Lodge in 2014 for 40 years of service. He was a member of the Lions Club where he served as President and had many years of perfect attendance. He was awarded the Chevron Award for 55 years of service in March 2020. Sammy could be found cooking sausage at the pancake supper every February for the Lions Club. Sammy was appointed to the Dorchester County Transportation Committee where he served as Chairman. Sammy was an avid walker, and many will miss seeing him each morning on his daily route to get the newspaper. Sammy enjoyed attending monthly Chamber meetings with Joyce, Sammie and Martha. Sammy was a member of St. George United Methodist Church. He loved his church and his church family. He served as President of the Men’s Group. Each year, one of Sammy’s favorite times was Indian Field Campmeeting. He loved spending time with the children in Tent 50 and he always had plenty of money for the store.
Pallbearers will be his nephews: Edward Bryant, Nick Judy, Shannon Stephens, Lance Stephens, Stan Stephens, John "Eddie" Stephens, and Keith Smith.
Sammy is predeceased by his parents, Laura Iduna Clayton and Edward K. Stephens, his sister, Veleria Welch, brothers Edward Stephens, Larry Stephens, and John Stephens, two brothers in law, Stevie Murray and Terry Murray, and one grandson, Jacob Andrew Fogle.
Sammy is survived by his wife, his brother, Stanley “Buddy” Stephens, and his children, Samuel Grayson Stephens, Jr (Marianne), Shari Stephens Wimberly (SkeBo), his grandchildren, Rebekah Fogle Durr (Cody), Rachel Anne Fogle (Samantha Mims), Hannah Fogle McCarter (Hunter), Samuel Grayson Stephens, III, Lillian Margaret Stephens, and great-grandchildren, Lane Claude Durr and Huck Andrew Durr, his sisters in law, Cathi Reeves Murray and Sandra Zeagler Murray and many nieces and nephews, cousins and friends whom he loved dearly.
The family will receive friends on Thursday, November 5, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. outdoors at his home at 300 Carolina Avenue in St. George. The graveside service will be held at Zion United Methodist Church, 1194 Zion Rd, Dorchester, SC 29437 at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, November 6, 2020 with Rev. Dr. Theron Smith officiating. Memorials may be made to St. George United Methodist Church, PO Box 506, St. George, SC 29477 and to the Lions Club of St. George, c/o Mike Norris, PO Box 643, St. George, SC 29477.
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