Vernon Lee Sampels
Vernon Lee Sampels, "Vern" age 85, of Powell Butte, lost his battle with Alzheimer's on Sunday, Sept. 15.
Vern was born on December 16, 1933 in Bend, Oregon. The son of Wilber and Evelyn Sampels, he grew up with his two younger sisters, Alice and Glenda, along with his uncle Les Schwab.
Known for his athletic abilities, lettering in basketball and football led to a football scholarship with Oregon State University. After graduating in 1956 from Oregon State, with a bachelor's degree in health and science, Vern enlisted in the Army stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to become a paratrooper. It was during his time at Fort Bragg, he met and married Loy Clark in 1959. The newlyweds immediately headed to Madras, Oregon, to start his career as a high school biology teacher and coach. Vern also taught and coached at Cottage Grove and Redmond High School until 1978, when he left teaching to run his own business. Vern is most known in the Central Oregon community as the successful owner of the Vern Sampels Landscaping business, for over 30 years.
With a love of the outdoors, Vern enjoyed archery hunting and fishing. He even caught an 18 pound, 3 ounce, 31-inch long brown trout from Paulina in 1960. He made the newspaper with the largest brown trout ever caught spin fishing. One of his greatest archery hunting achievements was a 4-point buck that he proudly displayed in his home. Birdwatching was also a passion. He enjoyed being a member of the National Audubon Society and an expert at identifying every bird he saw.
Vern was a member of the Powell Butte Christian Church, where he served in a variety of ways. Although Alzheimer's slowed his body and mind, Vern's kind and loving spirit was ever present. His constant talking, storytelling and oneliners brought joy to many.
As a supportive and loving husband, Vern cared about his family and wife's interest, often announcing for Loy's clogging performances. He enjoyed fishing, hunting and camping with his four children and grandchildren.
Vern is survived by his wife, Loy; four children, Arden, Shane, Andrew, Kiley; grandchildren (Arden) Victoria, Hayden, (Shane) Evan, Katie, (Andrew) Zach, Audra, Clark, Drew, Ridge, Daisha, David (Kiley) Sydney, Sage, Macy; and nine great-grandchildren; sisters, Alice and Glenda.
Service will be on Sept. 27, at 11 a.m. at the Powell Butte Christian Church, 13720 SW Highway 126, Powell Butte.
The family suggests sending memorial contributions to the Alzheimer's Association at https://www.alz.org.