Nancy Sample

Obituary of Nancy Ann Sample

Mrs. Nancy A. Sample, 78, passed away peacefully Saturday, September 24, 2022, in the comfort of her home surrounded by loved ones.

A lifelong native of rural Gridley, she was born November 26, 1943, the daughter of area cattleman and rice farmer Ben E. and Myrtle (Justeson) Fairlee.

Nancy married the love of her life, Doyle L. Sample, Jr., April 1, 1969. She is survived by her daughter La Shel (Richard) Sanders of Gridley, and grandsons Jayden Vallejo of Gridley, and Jessie Vallejo of Great Bend, Kansas. She was preceded in death by her parents and stepfather Larry Lind, son Doyle ‘Skip’ Sample lll, husband Doyle Sample, Jr., and sister Jean Davis.

A graduate of Gridley High School, Nancy continued her education at Sacramento State, where she discovered her passion for numbers. She lived a short time in Sacramento where Allstate Insurance was lucky to have her.

Nancy eagerly awaited Doyle’s arrival back from Vietnam, so they could start their lives together in San Pedro, CA. The couple later returned to Gridley. Nancy went to work for Wilbur Mills Construction as an administrative assistant in accounts receivable, where she worked for 7 years. She was an active affiliate of Butte County Cattlewomen’s and West Gridley 4-H, before managing Fairlee (with sister Jean) and 6F ranches.

Nancy was an avid bookkeeper. Her family got quite the tickle mocking her tenacity for perfectionism. She enjoyed raising and exhibiting nationally acclaimed English Bulldogs in the ’80s, her male Samples’ lil’ Abner began his career as the GHS’s mascot.

Nancy had a passion for animals. She couldn’t wait to see those newly dropped calves stand up to take their first wobbly steps. She also didn’t mind getting sprayed by a baby skunk if that meant she got to hold it for a few minutes. Doyle once surprised her with rescued raccoon babies, one of which she had for many years - Chatter.

In later years, Nancy spent most of her days enjoying her grandsons. There wasn’t a ballgame or livestock show she would miss. Nancy relished the spring season so her and La Shel could make their annual trips to Home Depot seeking the perfect plants before they got picked over. She had quite the green thumb.

Nancy was a timeless, classy, respectable lady with a heart of gold and generous to a fault. Most of all, she was the epitome of a loving wife, mother, and “Nana.” In the words of Pastor Greg Mansur (Adventure Church) “Let us be reminded of Nancy’s humble and kind ways and be that person to someone else.”

A graveside service was held Tuesday, October 4th at the Gridley-Biggs Cemetery.

Arrangements entrusted to Gridley-Block Funeral Chapel.



10:30 am - 11:30 am
Tuesday, October 4, 2022
Gridley Biggs Cemetery
2023 Hwy 99
Gridley, California, United States
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