Samuel “Sammie” Elton Leonard, 84, of Calabash, NC entered his heavenly home on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 at his residence surrounded by his family. He was born on May 26, 1939 in Shallotte Point, NC. He was the son of the late Lloyd Leonard and Pauline Grissett Leonard.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by sisters Joyce Skeen and Dorit Teeters, and brothers Elroy Leonard and Etheridge Leonard.
Sammie was quite a successful commercial fisherman, owning a fleet of shrimp boats. He was well respected in the shrimping industry as one of the best. He even designed and took part in the building process of his largest boat, The Big Mama, which dwarfed other boats of its kind. He later owned and operated True Value Hardware in Calabash, NC. Sammie was a jack of all trades and always willing to lend a hand when needed. Fishing, oystering and deer hunting were among his favorite past times. But, most of all, spending time with his family and friends was the highlight of his life. To these special people in his life, he had unique endearing names such as Big Daddy, Granddaddy, Pumpkin and Pawpaw.
He married the love of his life, Betty Simmons, in April of 1958. They recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this past April. They were blessed with three children. Sammie was an active member of Andrews Chapel Global Methodist Church where he enjoyed singing in the choir. Here, he was rarely seen without suspenders and praised for his “world famous” chicken bog.
Sammie is survived by his loving wife, Betty Simmons Leonard of Calabash, sister, Shelby Rourk of Shallotte, three children, Terri L. Carter, Michael Leonard (Brenda) and Linda Borrelli (Richard), all of Calabash, “adopted sons” Gary Gainey (Kitty) of Tarpon Springs, FL and Phil Norris (Sandy) of Ash. Also surviving Sammie are 18 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday, August 12, 2023 at eleven o’clock in the morning at Andrews Chapel Global Methodist Church in Calabash, NC. Pastors John Bracey and Phil Norris will officiate the service. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service, from ten o’clock until eleven o’clock at the church.
In lieu of flowers, please consider honoring Sammie’s wishes by donating to either:
Andrews Chapel Global Methodist Church
1091 Hickman Road NW
Calabash, NC 28467
Lower Cape Fear LifeCare Foundation
1414 Physicians Drive
Wilmington, NC 28401
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