Larry Sample and Wanda Sample passed away on October 1 and 2, 2020 respectively.

Larry Richard Sample was born on July 8, 1944 to James Ira Sample and Julia Izzetta Sample (Smith). He was born in North Platte, Nebraska. At the age of 3 his family moved to Eureka, California. Larry attended Eureka City Schools, becoming a star basketball player for Eureka High. He was inducted into the Eureka High Hall of Fame on October 15, 2009. One of Larry’s earliest jobs was working for Partrick’s Candy while in high school and was allowed to eat as much chocolate as wanted. Anyone who knew Larry well, knew he never lost his love for candy. He also went on to work for Food Mart before finding his calling as a car salesman. Larry worked for a few different dealerships, including Opie’s Fine Cars, until striking out on his own in 1977 when he opened Sample’s Auto Sales. Eventually, Larry went back to work for Opie’s Fine Cars as a salesman and lastly as their finance manager. Larry touched many lives with his loving nature, his smile, his generosity and his kindness. He was well known in the community and was equally respected and beloved. There was not a person that Larry met that he could not charm. He also had a fantastic sense of humor and was quick to laugh. In his 30s, Larry was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis but never let the disease get the best of him. He kept a positive attitude and is a shining example how to handle difficult times. Regardless of how Larry felt with his disease, he worked 6 days a week for many years prior to retirement from Opies’ at the age of 65. Larry passed on his strong work ethic to his five children. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Ron.

Wanda Gail Sample (Faulk) was born to Calvin Faulk and Edna Modell Faulk (Canaday) on March 9, 1945. She was born in Chatham, Louisiana. At the age of three her family moved to Crannell. Wanda attend Trinidad School, then Arcata and McKinleyville High. She was in the first graduating class at McKinleyville High in 1963. When Wanda was five years old, she met Carol (Holt) Kolling and Donna (Bratton) Denman and they remained lifelong best friends throughout the years. At the age of 24, she donated one of her kidneys to her brother, Jerry Faulk. This procedure was new at the time and was done in Denver. Although her brother only lived for a few weeks after the procedure, she did not regret her decision. Wanda was a giving, caring, loving, and loyal individual. She consciously chose to live her life through her generous acts of kindness as shown with her brother. Wanda worked at Bims when she and Larry starting dating. However, Wanda mostly enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom and wife to Larry. Wanda was a driving force behind her High School and her Crannell School reunions and diligently worked on them. Wanda opened her heart and home to many people over the years and would literally give you the shirt off of her back. She was quick to lend a helping to those in need and offered her kindness and support to many in her life. Wanda also collected Fire and Light recycled glass and shared them with her family and friends. Wanda was also very feisty, something that would serve both herself and Larry well especially during Larry’s battle with Arthritis. Wanda was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers Jerry and Cal.

Larry and Wanda got married on June 24, 1978. They enjoyed doing everything together. Their hobbies evolved over the years based on their families’ activities combined with their own health needs. Probably their most favorite pastime was going to see their children, grandchildren and their nieces and nephews play sports. Larry and Wanda also loved celebrating the holidays with their families. They created the most memorable Christmas mornings for their children and grandchildren. These memories are still deeply cherished by all today. One hobby that they loved doing together was “playing slots” at the casinos. They typically went to the local casino in Trinidad but would also map out many casinos when they traveled. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, Larry and Wanda became involved in the collecting and selling sports cards which led to many weekends traveling to card shows. After slowing down with the sports cards, they started collecting rocks and gemstones (agates), which again, led to many vacations traveling around the western states in search of the perfect gem . Larry and Wanda’s next hobby became going to country and music concerts. They traveled all over the US to see concerts and made many friends (online) along the way. Their new friends also attended these concerts and occasionally would take Larry and Wanda backstage to meet the artists. Painting pictures was also another favorite pastime of Larry and Wanda. Wanda lovingly painted many greeting cards for others on special occasions. They generously shared all of these paintings with their loved ones. Finally, in recent years they were known as the “yard sale couple” which created their love for “ebaying” newfound treasures. Most importantly, Larry and Wanda were very caring people helping many in need and never gave up on anyone.

Larry and Wanda were survived by their children: Jeri Paup (Wes), Rick Sample (Lynda), Jamie Schneider (Bob), Renee Petit (Charlie) and Jeremy Duncan (Glynne): their grandchildren, Heather, Stacey, Blake, Drew, Erin, Macie, Josh, Izzy, Melissa and Lily: Larry’s brother Mel, Wanda’s brother Delbert and Wanda’s sister Gwen: there were also great grandchildren as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and their beloved dog, Roxie. They had a few special people in their lives: Dorothy Howard, Evone Garrett, Raelene Olsen and Debbie Anderson.

Due to Covid-19, the family is postponing the services until after the first of the year and are planning on it being open to immediate family only.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of the Samples’ loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.