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Earl Gordon Sams

March 13, 1924 - April 20, 2023

Service Date April 29, 2023

Graveside services will take place at Woodlawn Cemetery, Knoxville, TN on April 29, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. Following the service, please join us at Graystone Presbyterian Church to share memories and stories of Gordon at 12:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, Gordon requests donations be made to the Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless. Donations can be made in his memory at!/donation/checkout

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Gordon Sams, vibrant to the end, peacefully passed away on April 20, 2023, at his home in Knoxville, TN. A lifelong resident of Knoxville, TN and member of Graystone Presbyterian Church. He is survived by his loving wife Nancy Sams. Proud father to son Scott Sams, and daughters Vanessa Evans (wife of Matt Evans), Victoria Carlberg (wife of Scott Carlberg), and Zoe Shaver (wife of Andew Shaver). Devoted “Poppi” to grandsons Fred and MJ Evans, and granddaughter Averie Carlberg. Gordon is preceded in death by daughter Sabrina Sams, brother Billie Sams, and sister Lou Alice Sams. While Napoleonic in stature, Gordon’s presence in the Knoxville community is large. After serving in WWII as a Navy gunner’s mate, Gordon returned home and completed his bachelor’s degree in business administration from UT Knoxville. In 1960, Gordon opened the doors to Gordon’s Townhouse, a jazz club located on Cumberland Avenue. Gordon then went on to serve two terms as Register of Deeds for Knox County from 1965-1974. In 1974 Gordon served three terms as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Housing Development agency, helping to provide securing funds for housing opportunities for low and moderate income families. Meanwhile, from 1963-2000 Gordon ran his advertising and marketing firm, Gordon’ Sams and Associates, before retiring as a land and residential developer in 2009.

“I thank my God for every remembrance of you” Philippians 1:3