The earthly journey of Sammy Kaye Oates ended the morning of Monday, July 23, 2018. He loved life and treasured all of his 74 years.
Sam was born January 9, 1944, in Alice, Texas, to Delbert Henry Oates and Evelyn Finnigan Oates becoming part of a family of 3 brothers and one sister. He graduated from Bay City High School in Bay City, Texas, where he excelled in numerous athletic programs. Following high school, Sam attended and graduated from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. There he was a member of the Sam Houston Bearkats football team which were National NAIA Co-Champions in 1964.
On St. Patrick’s Day, 1980, on the campus of Texas A & M University, Sam married Avanell Power creating with her a blended family which includes son Kelly Oates, his wife Jill, and children Cameron, Connor, and Alana of Spicewood, Texas; son Michael Oates of Tilden, Texas; stepson Harold Rex Combs, III, his wife Lisa, and children Chelsea and Carson of Richmond, Texas; daughter Leia Stevens, her husband Benji and daughter Morigan of Dripping Springs, Texas; and son Brian Oates, his wife Amy, and sons Samuel and Charles of Versailles, Kentucky.
For approximately 20 years, Sam and Ava operated a horse ranch in the central Texas area while he worked for the Texas Department of Corrections. Upon retirement, Sam enjoyed traveling in his motorcoach and participating in the motorhome rallies of the Cruisin Cajuns in south Louisiana. He was an avid reader and enjoyed western movies—especially those featuring John Wayne. Sam enjoyed spending time with his family and cooking for family and friends. He loved his country and often expressed his concerns for its well-being. In 2016, a cabin in the Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky was purchased which was his delight in his final year.
Sam was predeceased by his parents, his brothers Delbert and Ed, his sister Mamie, and his granddaughter Rhiannon. He is survived by his wife, his children, his grandchildren, his brother Raymond of Lake Charles, Louisiana, his brother and sister-in-law Jerry and Kathy Power of Katy, Texas, and numerous family members, and friends in many locations.
On Sam’s behalf, the family would like to express our appreciation to the many doctors, nurses, and caregivers who assisted him in his long battle with a devastating disease. A special thanks is extended to the staff of the Amyloidosis Center of Boston University School of Medicine, the staff of St. Claire Regional Hospital in Morehead, Kentucky, Cindy Kissick of Kentucky, and Heartsway Hospice of Marshall, Texas.
Visitation will be 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Sunday, July 29, 2018, at Sullivan Funeral Home, 100 Travis Street, Marshall, Texas. Funeral services will be at the same location at 10:00 AM on Monday, July 30, 2018, followed by graveside services at Algoma Cemetery, Marshall, Texas. Pallbearers will be Mark Oates, Danny Oates, Johnny Fitzgerald, Scott Oates, Damon Oates, and Benji Stevens. Honorary pallbearers are Dr. Shane Mills of Round Rock, Texas, the medical staffs of Morehead, Kentucky; Longview, Texas; and Boston University School of Medicine centers and hospitals, Boston, Massachusetts; members of the Cruisin Cajuns Motorhome Club; members of the 1964 Sam Houston State University football team; and Kentucky friends Kevin Lawson, Davey Dale, Barry Kunz, Dave Eskins, Brandon Kissick, and Roxann Ingram.
Memorial donations may be made to the Amyloidosis Center of Boston University School of Medicine, 72 East Concord Street, K503, Boston, MA 02118.