Michael David Sample, 51, of Little Rock, was reunited with his parents in heaven on Friday, Oct. 7, after suffering fatal injuries in a motorcycle accident. Mike was born in Little Rock on March 25, 1960. to Jack “Coogan” and Betty Clair Sample.
Mike worked as a conductor for Union Pacific Railroad, a job he relished with the co-workers he enjoyed being around.
He is survived by his children, Justin Sample and Makayla Sample, and their mother, his former wife, Lisa Roberts Sample, all of Bryant; three brothers, Dennis Spencer and wife Marilyn of Little Rock, Douglas Spencer and wife Debbie of Warren, and Samuel Sample and wife Stacey of Benton.
He is also survived by his extended family, including nephews Mark Spencer and wife Kristy of Warren and Joshua Sample of Benton; nieces Michelle Wilson of Austin, Kellie Spencer of Perth, Western Australia, Cindy Spencer Langston and husband Jason of Smackover; Rebekah Spencer Bryant and husband Doug of Little Rock. Sarah Spencer Shera and husband Cade of Little Rock, Rachel Spencer Golden and husband Harry of Little Rock, and Caty Sample of Benton.
Also surviving are his cousins, Billy Joe Sample and his family Myka, Matt, Aaron and Briar of Benton; and Mark Sample and wife Tracy of Benton. Mike is also survived by his longtime special friend, Claudia Peele of Benton, and manygreat-nieces and great-nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m.Wednesday, Oct. 12, at Ashby Funeral Home. A graveside service will follow at 2 p.m. at Oakland Cemetery in Monticello.
Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.
Pallbearers are Mark Sample, Billy Joe Sample, Toby Erwin, Mike Gundolff, Dean Ryan, Matt Sample and Briar Sample. Honorary pallbearers include David Roderick, Aaron Sample and Mark Spencer. Memorials may be made to Highways And Hedges Ministry. P.O. Box 326, Alexander, AR 72002-0326.
Family comments: Mike loved to say he graduated from the "school of hard knocks." He lived an adventurous life, once hitchhiking from Arkansas to California. Mike was a hero to many, and as a teenager he saved his young nephew from drowning. Mike never met a stranger, loved people, and was blessed with his mother’s gift of gab. Mike was a wooly, wild, wonderful man, nicknamed Hoghead, by his biker friends. He looked tough on the outside, but had a heart of gold. His hearty laugh and quick wit always brought smiles to those around him. He was an incredible cook and a sentimental man. Mike loved his motorcycle and could often be seen showing it off at area bike shows. His greatest love and proudest accomplishments were his two children, Justin and Makayla, and his extended family.