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Betty Jane Johnson Sams, 90, of Beaufort, South Carolina, died peacefully at home on Friday, January 11, 2019.

Betty was born in Conway, SC, on June 12, 1928 to William Timmons Johnson and Mildred Schulmeyer Johnson. She attended Conway High School where she was a member of the National Honor Society, a noted thespian, a cheerleader, and a forward on the basketball team. After graduation in 1945, she attended Limestone College until 1947 when she transferred to USC, where she met her future husband, Talbird Reeve Sams of Beaufort. She graduated from USC in 1949, with a BS degree in Chemistry and Biology. In 1949, she attended Winthrop College to earn her teacher certification. She went on to teach in Horry County, Richland County, and Beaufort County schools, retiring after 31 years of service.

She was a member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church for 62 years and participated in several of its ministries. She was a catechist, a greeter, and served on the Bereavement and Alter Linens Committees. She was a member of the Beaufort Historic Foundation, Dataw Historic Foundation, Beaufort County Historic Foundation, and the Open Land Trust of Beaufort County. She was a member of the Alpha Delta Kappa International Teachers Organization, becoming a Silver Sister after 25 years of service. She was also a member and past president of La Sertoma Club of Beaufort.

She was predeceased by her husband, Talbird Reeve Sams, and two brothers, Lloyd Parker and Thurlow Parker. She is survived by her children, all of Beaufort-William Toland Sams (Donna), Jane Elizabeth Sams Fisher (Neil), and Talbird Reeve Sams, Jr. She is also survived by her nine grandchildren- Hilary Sams Thomas, Dylan Sams, Toland Sams, William Fisher, Anna Fisher, Megan Fisher, Mallory Sams, Tyler Sams, and Kennedy Sams, as well as four great grandchildren- Nathan Vilasineekul, Natalie Vilasineekul, Mason Thomas, and Melissa Harrison. In addition, she is survived by her brother, William Timmons Johnson, Jr. of Conway, sister- in- law Therese Talbird Sams Colquhoun of Beaufort, numerous nieces and nephews, and longtime friend, Mary Robinson.

The family will receive friends from 5 until 7 o’clock Friday, January 18, 2019, at Copeland Funeral Service – One Copeland Drive.

A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, January 19, 2019, at 11 o’clock at the historic St. Peter’s Catholic Church on Carteret Street, with burial after the mass. A reception will be held at her residence, 313 Hancock Street, Beaufort, SC, following the burial service.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the preservation of the historic St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 70 Lady’s Island Drive, Beaufort, SC, 29907; Dataw Historic Foundation, P.O. Box 819, Beaufort SC, 29901; the Beaufort County Open Land Trust, 1001 Bay Street, P.O. Box 75, Beaufort, SC, 29901; or a charity of your choice.

Online Condolences

  1. Judith Gabriel says:

    Goodbye to a wonderful lady. Eternal rest grant unto her. Let perpetual light shine upon her. Amen

  2. Kathy Lewis Benson says:

    So sorry to hear of the death of your beautiful mother. I saw her recently at Mary Francis’ funeral. It was so nice to see her after all these years. Mom told me after we left what a lovely lady she was and how she was so much like Aunt Mildred her mother, who was one of the sweetest women I have ever met. I’m sure you will all feel such a great lost as I did after losing my dad (Derwood) a couple of years ago, but we can all rest assured they are all together in a much better place rejoicing in the light of our Savior Jesus.
    With much love and kindness regards,

  3. Hamlin O'Kelley says:

    All my sympathies and love to the family of our beloved neighbor “Aunt” Betty Sams. With the Aimars across the street and the Sams next door, I always thought of Betty Sams as our “Aunt” Betty, too. Such a lovely lady. There’s a great Reunion in heaven with the Sams and the Aimars. All my best – Hamlin

  4. Marilyn M Orendorff says:

    We send our love to the family of a dear woman. Betty Sams was much admired and role model to all we will miss her much. Until we meet again. Floyd and Marilyn

  5. Darlene Duseberg says:

    The sisters of SC Alpha Delta Kappa send their sincere condolences to the family of Betty Sams. As a teacher, Betty touched many lives and she will surely be missed.

    Darlene Duseberg
    SC Rho

  6. Cookie Simpson says:

    With sincere sympathy and condolences from the Simpson family. So pleased to have gotten to know Betty in recent years–a wonderfully kind and gently soul–always so thoughtful of others. She will be greatly missed by family and friends. May God bless you all in your time of sorrow.

    Cookie, John, extended family and especially Kim

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