Earl "Sam" Sams Lightner

Monday 25th of July 1938 - Tuesday 14th of May 2019

Earl "Sam" Sams Lightner
Earl Sams Lightner (Sam) passed away on May 14th, 2019 in Lexington, Ky. after a long battle with dementia.  

He was born in New Rochelle, New York on July 25th, 1938 to Camille Sams Lightner and Larry F. Lightner.  He was raised in Brownsville, Texas and graduated from Culver Military Institute and Southern Methodist University (1956).  After serving six months in the US Army he moved to New York City to join Merrill Lynch Investments Company.  He completed their investment training program and moved to Corpus Christi, Texas where he was involved with several businesses as well as investments with Merrill Lynch.  There he met his wife of 53 years, Robin, started a family and was involved in many charities including Corpus Christi symphony, Art Museum of South Texas and the Earl C. Sams Foundation.

He was Treasurer of the Corpus Christi Yacht Club and their Vice Commodore.  After moving to Jackson Wyoming in 1976, he continued his philanthropy by serving on the board and as president of the Grand Teton Music Festival and the National Museum of Wildlife Art.  Additionally, he was a director for the Jackson State Bank and Chairman of the World Fly Fishing Contest.

Sam was avid at whatever he did.  He was an accomplished sailor having owned and raced several sailboats in the Bahamas, Bermuda, Northeast US and Gulf of Mexico.  His favorite boat was "Scarlett".  He was a hunter of big game making two safaris to Africa, and hunting in Alaska, British Columbia and Idaho and Wyoming.  He often could be found fishing behind his home on Lake Creek or from his boat "Sunshine" in the Bahamas.

Sam was a great friend; warm, funny, and giving.  He cherished his friendships and family.  He is survived by his wife, Robin, two children, Earl Sams Lightner Jr. (Liz) of Lander WY and Camille Lightner Brunker (Jay), two beautiful granddaughters, Isabel and Corinne of Lexington, KY and his brother, Larry Lightner (Sue) of Dallas, Texas.    

Sam will be buried at the Elliot Cemetery in Wilson, Wyoming.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that you consider a donation to the National Museum of Wildlife Art (wildlifeart.org) or the Grand Teton Music Festival (gtmf.org).  


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