Edna Mae (Eddie) Miller Sampson passed away peacefully at home on Nov. 30, 2023, at the age of 97. She was born to William E. Miller and Louie B. Harris on Aug. 19, 1926. She married Doyle C. Sampson on June 3, 1946, after his return from World War II. Their marriage was later solemnized in the St. George Temple. As newlyweds, they relocated to New Mexico where Doyle finished college. Upon returning to St. George five years later, they made this city their home. Doyle and Eddie shared 59 wonderful years of marriage prior to Doyle’s passing in 2005.
Eddie was raised and educated in St. George. She graduated from Dixie High and Dixie College. When her youngest child was in fifth grade, Eddie made the drive to Cedar City for two years to complete her bachelor’s degree and obtain her teaching certificate. She taught third- and fourth-graders at West Elementary for the next 10 years. She loved teaching, and for the rest of her life, her students would tell her she was their favorite teacher.
After she retired from teaching, Eddie often volunteered in her great-grandchildren’s elementary school classes. She would teach a unit on poetry or give a lesson about her latest travels. With pictures, stories, and some history, she was always a hit with both teachers and students.
Eddie was asked to help start a community education program with classes in the evening for all ages. Once the program was in place, she led by example and immediately signed her entire family up for a typing class.
Edna Mae raised three kids, supported Doyle in his business endeavors and still found time to be a force in the community. Serving on the Planning and Zoning Committee for six years, two of which she chaired, prepared her to be the first woman to run for a city office in St. George. She was passionate about higher education and was appointed by the governor to be a trustee for Southern Utah State College for six years. Eddie served four years on the Washington County Senior Citizens board and another four years as vice-chair of the Dixie Health Care Foundation.
Her leadership skills were well-known and applied to many different institutions. She served on the board of the Dixie REA Electric Company, as president of the Dixie Junior College Alumni Board, president of the Lady Lions, president of the VFW Auxiliary and president of the Red Hills Reviewers book club. She was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and accepted whatever assignment that came her way. She was definitely a go-getter.
Edna Mae was a wonderful cook; she always set a beautiful table and loved to host dinners. No matter what time of day or night you visited her home, she would offer to feed you. She was known for her homemade salsa, fresh loaves of bread, pomegranate jelly and Thanksgiving rolls.
Eddie enjoyed most sports. She golfed and was a good tennis player. At times she played on the tennis courts with her friends at midnight to escape the Dixie heat. She was a strong swimmer and taught in the Red Cross swimming program at the city pool in Worthen Park. She spent many hours with her grandkids swimming at the Veyo pool.
She loved the outdoors, especially her and Doyle’s mountain home on Kolob. She was an avid hiker and has hiked most trails in Washington County and Zion National Park. She even hiked rim to rim with an overnight stay at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
She loved to travel and was always planning her next outing with a group of friends who called themselves “The Road Runners.” These ladies were either on the road or in the air exploring the world together. She has been to all seven continents and loved to entertain her family with tales of her grand adventures.
Edna Mae is survived by her children: Doyle C. (Sam) and Theresa Sampson, St. George; Mary Lou Sampson, Green Valley, Arizona; Sherrie Sampson and partner Michael Campbell, Nashville, Tennessee; grandchildren: Kurtis and Belinda Esplin, Mike and Emily Sandberg, Shannon and Kyle Pexton, Eric and Niki Sampson, Greg and Jeannie Sampson, Matthew (Chewy) and Mandy Smith, and Sam and Kalli Sampson; 24 great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; and her sisters-in-law Mary Ann and Beth Smith.
She is preceded in death by her husband, parents, siblings John and Bill Miller; Jess, Penn and Sally Smith; and great-grandson Benjamin Sandberg.
Eddie and Doyle left behind a legacy of love. Rest in peace Mom, we love you dearly.
The family acknowledges the special care given to Mom by Patricia Price Ford, a lifelong family friend.
A viewing will be held Sunday, Dec, 10, from 4-6 p.m., at Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 South Bluff St. St. George, Utah.
Funeral services will be held Monday, Dec. 11, at 11 a.m., at the LDS Chapel on 500 North Bluff St., St. George, Utah, with a viewing prior to services from 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Interment will take place at Tonaquint Cemetery, 1777 South Dixie Drive, St. George, Utah.
Arrangements are under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S Bluff St., St. George, 435-673-2454. Family and friends are invited to sign Eddie’s online guest book.