James R. Sampsell, 81, a resident of Susan Taylor Lane in North Bennington died on Saturday evening, May 16, 2020 following a long illness.
He was born in Elmira, New York and was the son of the late Charles B. and Marion (Mackay) Sampsell. James received his education in Elmira Schools and is a graduate of the Elmira Free Academy. James was a star athlete in high school, playing both baseball and basketball. He is a member of the Alumni Hall of Fame with teammate Ernie Davis, at Elmira Free Academy. Following his graduation from high school he enrolled in and was accepted at Ithaca College, where he spent his freshman year, playing baseball and was signed to a minor league baseball contract with the St. Louis Cardinals.
After his baseball career, James went to work for different companies over the years including American Bridge Company, American LaFrance Fire Engine Company, and then went to work in the steel industry. He started off as a Draftsmen and worked his way up to Project Manager and oversaw projects for IBM plants, and several colleges. He moved to Bennington and worked at Bennington Iron Works for several years, until they closed in 2011. He continued to work in the structural steel business and he eventually went to work at Schenectady Steel Company of Schenectady, NY, from where he retired. He had married the former Ann Makowiec, who predeceased him in April 1999
He never gave up his love of baseball, coaching little league teams in both Elmira and later in Bennington. Over the past several years, James and his son, Joseph have traveled to many Major League Baseball Stadiums across the country. James was also a golfer. He was former member of the Norshaft Lions Club. He was characterized as a “quiet man of few words.”
He married his second wife, the former Arla (Crosier) Worthington, in 2000. She survives. Other survivors include his children: Terrance J. Sampsell of Longmont, CO, Andrew A. (Kimberley) Sampsell of Bennington, Joseph C. Sampsell (Lynn M. Roberto) of Springfield, VT, Timothy R. Sampsell of Bennington VT, Bridgette S. (Paul) Worthington of Pownal, VT. As well as stepchildren: Paul M. (Bridgette) Worthington of Pownal, VT, Amanda W. Hall of Bennington, and David E. Worthington (Erin Rogers) of Shaftsbury, VT.
James leaves several grandchildren: Elizabeth K. Sampsell, Ethan J. Sampsell, Andrew J. Sampsell, Kara A. Sampsell, Adam J. Sampsell, Caroline A. Worthington, Catherine J. Worthington, Joshua B. Worthington, Phebe J. Hall, Kylee T. Hall, Brayden J. Rogers, and Evan P. Worthington, and two great grandchildren. James has one sister, Marion “Susie” Wade of Elmira, and a brother, Norman Sampsell of Elmira. In addition, he is survived by one sister-in-law Jacqueline Draht of Pine City, NY and one brother-in-law, Simeon Crosier of Virginia, and several nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his first wife and one brother, Charles “Chuck” Sampsell. Throughout his life, James received loving support from his first wife’s family and remained in close contact.
Graveside services will be held on Saturday, May 23, at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in North Bennington at 1:00PM. Due to the COVID-19 protocols, there are no calling hours or funeral services at this time.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Ernie Davis Community Center in Elmira, New York, or the Mount Anthony Union High School Booster Club in Bennington, Vermont, or the Kurn Hattin Homes For Children in Westminster, Vermont, through the Mahar and Son Funeral Home in Bennington, VT.
The guestbook for condolences can be found at www.maharandsonfuneralhome.net