Samuel Fuqua Hurt, Jr.
November 16, 1926 – September 17, 2018
In the end, my dear sweet friend
I’ll remember you
On November 16, 1926, Samuel Fuqua Hurt, Jr. was born in Austin, Texas to Samuel Fuqua Hurt and Mary Ratliff Hurt.
In 1928, Sam’s father became manager of the Ratliff Ranch and the family moved from Austin to the Ranch near Odessa, Texas. As a child and teenager, Sam attended Odessa public schools and worked the cattle ranch along with his dad, brother, other ranch hands and neighbors.
Early in his senior year at Odessa High School, Sam received an appointment to the United States Military Academy, West Point and attended the Millard Preparatory School in Washington, DC to prepare for the Academy’s entrance examination. He was admitted to West Point in 1944 and graduated with the Class of 1948.
Sam was commissioned in the then new United States Air Force; he was first stationed at Lackland Air Force Base as a training officer and then at Randolph Field, TX for primary and basic pilot training and Williams Air Force Base near Phoenix, AZ for advanced training in the F-80 “Shooting Star”, one of the early jet fighters.
Upon graduation from pilot training in 1949, Sam was assigned to the 36th Fighter Bomber Group stationed at Furstenfeldbruck Air Force Base near Munich, Germany.
When Sam was rotated back to the United States in 1953, he was assigned to the Air Force base at Selma, AL for flight instructor training, then to Conolly Air Force Base near Waco, TX, where he served as an advanced flight instructor in the jet fighters of that era. While at Conolly AFB, Sam decided to change careers in favor of his long-standing interest in the law, resigned his commission and received an honorable discharge from the service.
Upon his discharge, Sam entered the University of Texas School of Law, and with help from the GI Bill, completed the curriculum and passed the bar exam in 1957. In the intervening time, Sam married Cecile Gill in 1955. That relationship was blessed by the birth of three children: Sam, John and Tom – all of whom have grown into fine men, and happen to be Sam’s best friends.
As a brand new lawyer, Sam had all of one job offer –which he immediately accepted– with the Midland, Texas firm of Stubbeman, McRae, Sealy, Laughlin & Browder. He moved his new family to Midland, where he learned how to get along in a big law firm and eventually specialized in oil and gas law, and related agreements and title examination.
By 1964, Sam was a junior partner in the firm but decided to yield to the lure of the oil and gas business. One more twist and turn, and Sam was a new, up and coming independent oil operator in Midland, where he continued to live and work until 1999 when he moved to Abingdon.
Sam’s marriage with Cecile Gill ended in divorce in the late 1970’s. In 1996, he married Jan Foust, his longtime companion and friend.
Soon after the 1999 move, Sam became interested in preserving and protecting the Town of Abingdon’s trees and, with the advice and guidance from then Town Councilman Tom Phillips, drafted and worked to secure passage of Abingdon’s first tree ordinance, became the first Chairman of the Town’s resulting Tree Commission, and eventually spent several years drafting and working to secure passage of a major revision of the Town’s Historic Preservation Ordinance.
In 2014, Sam was awarded the Arthur Campbell Community Service Award, the highest award the Town of Abingdon bestows a town citizen.
He is survived by his wife, Jan; sons Sam III and wife Jun, John, and Tom and wife Kathie Tovo, all of Austin, TX; one brother, Buzz Hurt and wife Betsy, of Odessa, TX; and four grandchildren, Nicolas Hurt and wife Janelle, Elaine Hale and husband Kent Hale, Ella Jiao Tovo-Hurt and Qiu Li Tovo-Hurt.
Memorials can be made to the Animal Defense League of Washington County (PO Box 2099, Abingdon, VA 24212); The Barter Theatre (PO Box 867, Abingdon, VA 24212); or Mountain Mission School (1760 Edgewater Dr., Grundy, VA 24614).
Visitation and service will be at the Frost Funeral Home at 250 E. Main St., Abingdon, VA.
Visitation on Monday, September 24 from 6-8 PM. Service will be in the Chapel on Tuesday, September 25 at 3 PM. Interment will follow the service in Sinking Spring Cemetery, Abingdon, VA.
Pallbearers will be Sam Hurt III, John Hurt, Jack Barrow, Emmett Yeary, Garrett Jackson and Richard Gibian.