John C. Sampson, 70, charter bus driver

John C. Sampson
John C. Sampson
Posted: September 01, 2014

John C. Sampson, 70, of Pennsauken, a Vietnam veteran and charter bus driver, died of a heart attack at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden on Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Mr. Sampson, who had been battling health issues, served in Vietnam for four years as an aircraft mechanic in the Air Force.

It was 1972 when Mr. Sampson, a tenor in his church choir, went to a church music convention near Wilkes-Barre and met Mary, a 26-year-old music teacher and professional cellist. Each caught the other's eye while sifting through sheet music.

"He was very sincere and really good-looking. And he was just a nice, very polite person. Those are kind of hard to find," Mary Sampson, 68, said.

The two talked about their families and discovered their birthdays were one day apart. "We thought, 'This must mean something,' and he said, 'I want to see you again.' "

That led to a 40-year marriage, four daughters, and a lifetime of music and memories. The family moved to Pennsauken from Pennsylvania when Mr. Sampson, who was working for the Martz Lines bus company, was transferred to Philadelphia.

He would bring home stories - and occasional souvenirs - from the various groups he drove around. They included his beloved Phillies, the Flyers, and eager gamblers en route to Atlantic City.

"He was a people person. He always knew how to make us laugh," said his youngest daughter, Kate, 26.

Mr. Sampson also took time off to be a stay-at-home father while his wife worked as a music teacher. She retired from the Evesham School District this year.

Among the couple's favorite activities was train watching - Mary Sampson's father worked for the railroad - and the Atlantic City line runs near their home. Now when one passes, she said, she'll think of her father and her husband.

She again found herself sifting through sheet music last week, selecting her husband's favorite hymns - God of Our Fathers, a patriotic song, and O God Our Help in Ages Past, to play at a service on Wednesday, Sept. 3.

"He sang in choir until he couldn't any more," Mary Sampson said. "We loved him and we're going to miss him."

In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Sampson is survived by his other daughters, Anne Ehrke, Rebecca Sampson, and Amy Liberi; and three grandchildren.

Visiting hours are 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, at Inglesby & Sons Funeral Home, 2426 Cove Rd., Pennsauken, and 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, followed by a 10 a.m. funeral there.

Burial will be in Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Wrightstown, N.J.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Mr. Sampson's name to the Trinity Episcopal Church Music Memorial Fund, 6901 Rising Sun Ave., Philadelphia 19111.


jterruso@phillynews.com

856-779-3876

@juliaterruso

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