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Wednesday, March 22, 2023
5:00 - 8:00pm (Eastern time)
Thursday, March 23, 2023
Starts at 1:00pm (Eastern time)
Thursday, March 23, 2023
Samuel “Sammy” Justin Harris, 65, of Fleming and Jessamine Counties passed away at home Friday March 17, 2023 surrounded by “his girls” – his wife Cibina Harris of nearly 40 years, and his loving daughters Mollie and Samantha Harris.
Sammy was the 10th of 12 children born to Carless Dewey and Olive Mae (Gregory) Harris in Sharkey, KY on March 21, 1957. The family moved to Flemingsburg soon after, and his childhood was spent working the farm with his father and brothers and gardening with his mother. A jack of all trades and a master of most, Sammy picked up skills quickly and had an iron strong work ethic. He held multiple jobs in electric and construction throughout his young adult life, and went on to own and operate his own successful concrete construction company for nearly thirty years.
He was devoted to the craftsmanship, beauty, and details of his many projects. One of his most often-repeated sayings, about work or otherwise was, “If it ain’t worth doin’ right, it ain’t worth doing at all.” His concrete work can be seen all over Central and Northern Kentucky, including the fountain at the Norton Center for the Arts on Centre College’s campus, a Memorial fountain in Frankfort, the Big Blue Building in Downtown Lexington, and several areas at Keeneland, including the Entertainment Center that he enjoyed taking his family and friends to each Derby Day.
Sammy met his wife Cibina in 1978 at the old Burger Queen parking lot, now the Dairy Queen parking lot, in Flemingsburg. They were married June 25, 1983 in the presence of friends and family. They loved one another so much that they renewed their vows in June of 2022. Sammy and Cibina resided in Lexington, Kentucky before settling into their family home that Sammy built, with help from his brothers and friends in Jessamine County.
While Sammy enjoyed construction work and being a “boss man,” he was a farmer at heart. He was able to semi-retire from construction to dedicate more time to achieving his life-long dream of establishing a fine herd of Angus cattle. He became well known for raising good, solid and gentle Angus bulls.
Of all the things Sammy achieved in his life, he was the most proud of being a Dad to his and Cibina’s two daughters– Mollie (Molls) and Samantha (Panth). He was deeply proud of them and their accomplishments, but even more proud of the beautiful, strong, smart, and witty women they have become.
Sammy loved and revered nature, and the farm was his happy place. His gardens at both his home and at his farm were legendary, and he had a talent for growing perfect summer tomatoes. He enjoyed numerous hunting trips over the years, especially pheasant hunting out west where he made lifelong friends. In his later years, he mostly hunted with binoculars instead of a shotgun, but he was always looking out for the “Big Buck.” Sammy also loved fishing. On pretty days, you could find him casting for a big bass in the ponds, but he was pretty much a strict catch, kiss, and release fisherman. He had a gift for photography, a deep appreciation for wildlife, and enjoyed sharing the beauty he found on his farm by sending near daily photo updates to his family and friends. He loved to sit in his truck and listen to music in “the back thirty” acres of his farm.
Sammy loved a road trip. He was in peak form planning a family vacation with his trusty Road Atlas, and loading up the Winnebago for a hunting or NASCAR trip. When not communing with nature, hitting the road, or taking care of his herd, Sammy enjoyed a good UK Basketball Game, a night out to dinner with his girls, watching Andy Griffith and Gunsmoke, cooking a mean country ham for Christmas, and long talks and visits with his friends and family. He wasn’t the loudest person in the room but if you were in the corner with Sammy, you were in for some laughs and ornery ideas.
Sammy passed away at home with his girls at his side. He fought a courageous battle against a rare neurodegenerative disease called Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). He couldn’t win this fight, as there is no cure, but he could control how it was going to end– by choosing quality of life over quantity. His family and loved ones will be forever inspired by the courage and good humor he showed through it all. The pain felt at his loss is the pain of having loved him and been so well loved by him. His girls will miss him more than any words could ever say.
Without the continued love and support from his friends and loved ones, this journey would have been much harder. Above all, Sammy loved to have fun. He managed to have a great deal of it while his girls took care of him at home and during the many visits with special friends and family where they gathered to view home videos, photos, and share stories. Cibina and the girls request that his friends and family continue sharing stories about Sammy.
He is survived by his wife Cibina of nearly 40 years and his daughters Mollie and Samantha of Lexington. Sisters; Shirley (Jerry) Tolliver, Mary (Harold) Stanfield, and Debbie Harris. Sister-in-laws Vickie Burke, Sylvia Bailey and brother-in-law Billy Bailey. A host of nieces and nephews, and his farm buddy “Little Dog/LD/Deezer,” who Sammy shared joint custody with neighbor Jackie and Tammi Boling. Sammy was preceded in death by his parents Carless Dewey and Olive Mae (Gregory) Harris, father and mother-in-law S.W. “Buster” and Delores Bailey; brothers Denver, Robert, Roger, Dallas, Adrian, Donnie, and Danny Harris and sister Betty McKee.
Family and friends will be received at visitation on Wednesday March 22, 2023 from 5-8pm at Price Brothers Funeral Home in Elizaville, KY. The funeral service will be held on Thursday March 23, 2023 at 1pm at Price Brothers Funeral Home in Elizaville, KY with burial to follow at the Elizaville Cemetery Chapel. The funeral service will be officiated by Rich Anderson.
Pallbearers will be Johnny Goldy, Desmond O’Donnell, Skip Burke, John Harris, Glennis Harris, Larry Caudill, Dustin Harris, and Amy Tolliver. Honorary pallbearers are his longtime friends and family; Ricky, Donnie, Bobby, Jimmy, Pat, Billy Wayne, Matthew, and Brian Story, Mikie Goldy, Ian Michael McHugh, Willie Burl Gregory, and the Convict Pike Council.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the MSA Coalition in honor of Sammy at www.multiplesystematrophy.org
The Price Brothers Funeral Home, 5197 Elizaville Road, Ewing, Kentucky 41039 is caring for all arrangements for Samuel “Sammy” Justin Harris.