Sonja Young Sams

Published 12:47 pm Monday, October 23, 2023

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Sonja Young Sams, 83, of Elizabethton, Tenn., passed away Friday, October 20, 2023, at Hillview Health and Rehabilitation Center. She was born in Roanoke, Va., to the late Aaron and Eva Young.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Gene Sams; son, Stacy Sams; and brother, Ronnie Young.
Sonja was a 1958 graduate of Elizabethton High School. She was a member of the EHS Cheerleading team, the Queen of Betsy and the first calendar girl for the Elizabethton Star. While in college, she worked at Kress Department Store in downtown Elizabethton and worked during the summer as office manager for the Johnson City Yankees.
On August 31, 1961 she married the love of her life, Gene Sams. They always made sure to attend the first UT football game every season. She was active in the PTA and EHS Booster Club. Sonja was a member of Calvary Baptist Church and enjoyed listening to gospel music by Elvis and the Statler Brothers. In her spare time, she loved to put up freezer strawberry jam and spoil her grandchildren with gifts.
Those left to cherish her memory are her son, Kevin Sams (Elaine) of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; grandchildren, Ashley Davis (Keaton) of Murfreesboro, Tenn., Patrick Sams (Abby) of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., and Alex Sams of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; one great-grandson, Ryman Davis of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; special family friend, Katrina Nidiffer; caregiver and special friend, Wanda Turner; her life-long cheerleading friends and friends of the EHS Class of 1958; sisters-in-law, Kathryn Young of Bristol, Tenn., and Shirlene Sams of Augusta, S.C.; and brothers-in-law, Elmer Sams (Frances) of Elizabethton, Tenn., and B.J. Sams of Little Rock, Ark. Several nieces and nephews also survive.
A graveside service for Sonja will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, October 24, at Happy Valley Memorial Park with Rev. Chris Hughes officiating. Pallbearers are Patrick Sams, Alex Sams, Keaton Davis, Brad Sams, Chad Sams, Kent Young and Andy Arnold. Those who wish to attend the graveside service are asked to meet at the cemetery at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday. The family would like to give a special thanks to Gentiva Hospice and Hillview Health and Rehabilitation Center for all their loving care and support during this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, friends and family may donate to Calvary Baptist Church, 225 Holly Lane, Elizabethton, TN 37643. Online condolences may be shared with the family and viewed on our website at
Hathaway-Percy Funeral and Cremation Services are honored to serve the Sams family. Office: (423) 543-5544.

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