Captain Jack Wallis Samford, 82 of Center

Captain Jack Wallis Samford, U.S. Navy (retired), passed away on Saturday, March 31, 2018, at the age of 82. Jack was born in Center Texas on December 20, 1935, to proud parents Claude and Thelma Samford. Jack was an only child; however, he was very close in age with his Aunt Margaret with whom he grew up.  Margaret Andrews was more like a sister to Jack, and still resides in Center Texas, (age 92) at her long-time residence next door to Jack’s family home. Jack had plenty of aunts, uncles, and cousins, as well as friends and mentors that helped shape Jack into the man that joined the service at the age of 18.                                            

Jack graduated from Center High School (Roughriders 1954), but not before meeting his first and only sweetheart, and soon to be Navy Wife, Deidra June Anderson. Jack joined the Navy and arrived at the Naval Training Center in San Diego, CA, in October,1954, and briefly returned home to Center, Texas to marry his sweetheart Deidra on January 29, 1955. He attended many training schools and reenlisted for 6 more years in September,1959. Jack reported to the University of Texas, Austin in September 1960 as­­ an NESEP Student, and in July 1961 he was promoted to Chief (ATCA). He graduated in June 1964, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and later earned a Master’s Degree in Financial Management from the Naval Post-Graduate School, Monterey CA, in 1972. Jack had a long and distinguishing career that included service in the Vietnam war. He was aboard numerous naval ships as a repair officer and was held in high regard for all his efforts in wartime and peace. Jack and Deidra spent most of their shipyard years housed in numerous different quarters located at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, in Bremerton, Washington. The Samford’s met many friends and colleagues whom they would cherish relationships with forever. Jack would eventually become the Commander of the Naval Shipyard in Bremerton Washington in August 1984.  Being commander of a shipyard is akin to running a small city, and Jack was able to apply his experience, leadership, and knowledge of Navy protocol into that command, as he had with every assignment that was given to him.  Jack’s military career with the Navy ended with his retirement on July 31, 1990 where he was the Assistant Chief of Staff (Engineering) to Staff Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk, Virginia. He had a very honorable 36-year career.

Jack is survived by his loving wife and two daughters, 4 grandchildren, a son-in-law, a nephew, a sister in-in-law, numerous friends, colleagues, and people whom admired him as the great human being he was. He’ll be best remembered for his absolute integrity, love for country, mild manner, big smile, and being a faithful and loving husband, generous provider, an awesome father, great friend and of course for his chiseled good looks.

Jack Wallis Samford is being entombed on Tuesday July 24, 2018 at Fort Rosecrans in San Diego, CA.  Family and a few friends will be in attendance as to not embarrass Jack. He was not for show, but a simple man who will be missed by all who loved him.



The Light and Champion

137 San Augustine St.
Center TX 75935