NEWPORT NEWS — Sam Wilson Harrell Jr., 54, died Tuesday, April 11, 2006, at Mary Immaculate Hospital.
Born in Norfolk, he had resided on the Peninsula for the past 43 years. He graduated from Denbigh High School in 1969 and was working at Pro Music & Sound repairing string instruments.
Sam began his musical career at the age of 15, having mastered the bass guitar, guitar and keyboards. In addition, he sang and wrote his own music. He had been voted Best Bass Player in Tidewater by his fellow musicians.
He played with many groups throughout his musical career including: The Warlords, Roads End, Road Apple Red, Mason, Sass, Chyna, Steve Bassett Band, The Digits, The Nerve, Boat Rockers, Kid Chyleen, Ko-Ko Bops, Webber Brothers, Psycho Johnny, Busch Hoggs, FOB Band, Groove Project, Sammy Harrell Project and various FM99 Projects. He also did lots of local studio work.
Sam was preceded in death by his grandparents, Dr. C. Lydon and Lela Wilson Harrell and Elizabeth Barnes and John R. Barnes, and his uncles, Dr. Gordon F. Harrell and E.E. Harrell.
He is survived by his parents, Wilson and Betty Sue Harrell of Newport News; his loving daughter, Alexis E. Harrell of Williamsburg; his sister, Claire Haislip and her husband, Frank, of York County; his nephews, Ian and Sean Haislip of York County; his uncle, C. Lydon Harrell Jr. of Virginia Beach; his cousins, Fletcher, Billy and Frances Harrell, C. Lydon III, Morgan and Deweese Harrell and Anne, Janice and Nancy Forbes and their families; and his former wife, Michelle R. Harrell.
A celebration of Sam's life will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 15, at the Weymouth Funeral Home. The family will receive friends following the service at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mary Immaculate Hospital, 2 Bernardine Drive, Newport news, VA 23602.