Gerda Sample, age 91, of Clarksville, TN passed away peacefully on Monday, January 23, 2023 at Fieldstone Assisted Living.
Gerda was born April 30, 1931 in Reichenbach, Germany to the late Wilhelm Betke and Elsa Wegner Betke. She is also preceded in death by her brother, Erwin Betke.
Gerda is survived by her son, Ron (Loretta) Sample; daughter Sue (Donnie) Schmidt; sister, Irmgard Muller; grandchildren, Jessica Todd, Lauren (Tyler) Blake, Ryan (Candace) Sample, Jennifer (Dewayne) Gee, and Angela (Donald) Kazee; she is also survived by 8 great grandchildren.
Gerda was the oldest of 3 children who grew up in Germany during WWII. As a young woman she worked in a café where she met her future husband, an American soldier named James Sample who she lovingly called “Jimmy”, and later, Jim. It was love at first sight for Jim, It took Gerda some time but with the encouragement of friends, she let her guard down and the rest is history. They married in 1953, after which Jim was stationed at “Camp Campbell”. Jim quickly gave his wife the nickname “Gerrie” to avoid other nicknames that Gerrie was not fond of.
Not long after their son, Ron, was born, the Army sent them back to Germany where they had their second child, a daughter, Sue Ellen. Gerrie of course cherished time spent in Germany, close to her family. They were later stationed back to what was now Ft. Campbell where they decided to put down roots and buy a home. This provided the family with security while Jim made 3 tours to Vietnam. This was very difficult for Gerrie, but she was always very proud of Jim’s military service
Gerrie’s family meant everything to her. She was very proud of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She maintained a close relationship with her family in Germany with frequent visits. Her sister Irmgard also visited frequently. She loved to cook and entertain in her home, most especially with German food on the menu. She enjoyed the tradition of afternoon cake and coffee with friends and family alike, and always decked the table with lit candles. She had a talent for whipping up something tasty in a moment’s notice. She always made visitors feel special…..actually, she was the special one.
A private family Celebration of Life in Gerda’s honor will be held Thursday, January 26, 2023 in the Chapel of Neal Tarpley Parchman Funeral Home at 4:00 PM. Visitation will be held on Thursday, January 26, 2023 from 2:00 pm until the hour of service at the funeral home.
The family wishes to thank the caregivers at Fieldstone Place and Tennova Hospice workers Dana, Hope and Brandy for their unwavering care.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Clarksville Humane Society, 940 Tennessee Avenue, Clarksville, TN 37040.
Arrangements are entrusted to Neal Tarpley Parchman Funeral Home, 1510 Madison Street, Clarksville, TN 37040; (931) 645-6488. Online condolences may be made at www.nealtarpleyparchman.com .