Samuel "Sam" Sharpe, Sr.
December 24, 1938 - June 13, 2020


Samuel "Sam" Sharpe, Sr.
Dec 24, 1938 - Jun 13, 2020

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The spirit of Samuel Dance Sharpe, Sr. flew to Jesus on June 13, 2020 at 10:30pm, also there to welcome him were his father, Samuel Edward Sharpe, and his mother Edith Dance Sharpe.
Sam was born in Knoxville, TN on Christmas Eve, 1938. He grew up in Fountain City, attending Fountain City Grammar School, and Central High School. After graduating, he enlisted in the Army and did a 6-month stint in Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. After returning home he entered UT, graduating in 1962. His first job after graduation was working for HJ Heinz Company stocking baby food and soup in local grocery stores. After leaving HJ Heinz, Sam worked for KCDC, CAC, and Paslode before beginning to work for East Tennessee Children's Hospital and finding his calling as the Human Resources Director, working there until retirement.
While attending Central, Sam met Carolyn Lamora Payne. They married June 13th, 1959. Soon they became parents of a daughter- Shawna Marie, 1963; and a son- Samuel Jr, 1966.
Sam loved sports of all kinds, but especially football and basketball, he was truly a Vol for life. He coached the Pleasant Ridge Mustangs for years as Assistant Head Coach. In the early 1970's the Mountain Madness group met once a year for vacation in Gatlinburg. The Roaches, the Laniers, the Balls, and the Williams along with the Sharpe's, rented a cabin for the week where the men played poker, and the women did crafts and shopped.
Graveside service will be 11am Thursday June 18, 2020 at Lynnhurst Cemetery. A church service will be scheduled at a later date.
The family asks in Lieu of Flowers for donations to be made to East Tennessee Children's Hospital or to a charity of your choice.
Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel is honored to serve the Sharpe family and invites you to view and sign the online registry.

Healing Registry on Jun 17, 2020

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Sydney Wallace Stegall on Jun 21, 2020

I extend to Carolyn and the Sharpe family my heartfelt condolences on your loss. I have the fondest memories, going back over seventy years, of Sam, his delightful parents, and the countless good times we shared. Blessings and peace to all.

Carolyn Houston on Jun 21, 2020

I cannot even remember how many years ago The Three Carolines (our vocal group) became forever friends with Sam! One of us even married him! My husband (now deceased) and our "group" of musical friends (lightly described) played his guitar and Sam his "air" bass guitar ALSO more times than I can remember. Sam was fun, funny, and dear to us all. Hope he and my John are now entertaining the angels in Heaven! Rest in Peace. old friend! Carolyn DeShong Houston

Gene (Shane) Hill on Jun 18, 2020

Gene (Shane) Hill
If you had Sam for a friend you had a true friend. I always considered Sam as a Class 57 and Fountain City historian. I always called him with question about both. I will miss our phone chats.

Richard Trythall on Jun 17, 2020

Sam was a very dear neighborhood friend. As a child I always liked his good humor, personal warmth and friendliness and, over these many, many intervening years, that warmth and gentleness never failed him. My heart goes out to Carolyn and family over their loss.

Bobby Davis on Jun 17, 2020

Carole and I are heartbroken at your loss of our dear Sam. I have so many warm memories, particularly playing basketball at Central Baptist or St. Paul. He was very admired by his friends and acquaintances and will be sorely missed. We will be with you in spirit tomorrow. Please extend our condolences to Shawna, Sammy and other family members. With much love, Carole and Bobby

Tom Dillard on Jun 17, 2020

A great friend for over 60 years. Blessings and comfort to Carolyn and family.

Clayton Webster on Jun 17, 2020

Played many a sandlot football game with Sam. Also lots of basketball and baseball too. Enjoyed being his friend for many years.

Judy and Winfred Cassell on Jun 16, 2020

CandleMet Sam in high school and friends ever since. Enjoyed watching Braves baseball with Sam every chance we got. May God comfort Carolyn and Family.

Allen Riggs on Jun 16, 2020

What a wonderful friend for more than sixty years. Love you, Sam. We'll meet again.

Allen Riggs

Jim Walker on Jun 16, 2020


Jim and Angela Bell on Jun 16, 2020

Sam was a good Christian man, and I was honored to serve with him as an Elder in the church. He always closed our meetings with the joining of hands, and his melodious voice, "praise God from whom all blessings flow...." We will miss that man more than most know in many venues. We have great memories of Sam, and pray that the families memories of him become their eternal blessing.

Patti Rule Sayres on Jun 16, 2020

I have so many memories growing up with Sam and having known him all of my life. With parents being close friends, we were always together. So many fun times we had as children and teenagers. Pictures from vacations to parties with Sam will be cherished. Patti Rule Sayres (Tom)

Marilynn Haws Boston on Jun 16, 2020

CandleA truly sweet man and friend. You will be missed. Jerry and Marilynn

Elaine Wright Houser on Jun 16, 2020

May God Comfort you Carolyn and your family. I will cherish the friendship and awesome memories my family and I have shared with Sam ,Carolyn, Shawna and Sammy. Respectfully, Elaine Wright Houser



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Graveside Service

2300 Adair Drive
Knoxville, TN, United States 37918
11:00 AM
A Memorial Service will be held at a later date.

*Due to time restrictions, delivery to service is unavailable.

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