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Coach Sam Sipes

Updated: Mar 19, 2021

Coach Sam Sipes, 56, of Abingdon, Va., passed away on Monday, March 15, 2021, at his home following a brief battle with Pancreatic cancer.

Sam was a lifelong farmer, he was born and raised on the Wilson/Gray family farm and was employed there for over 35 years. He was an avid fisherman and golfer. Coach Sam Sipes was best known for his longtime dedication to coaching girls’ softball and basketball throughout southwest Virginia for over 30 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, James Junior Sipes and Katherine Owens Sipes.

Survivors include two sisters, Ellen Elizabeth Whitaker (Jerry Arant) and Ruth Ann Spiva; five nephews including one special nephew, Michael Whitaker; lifelong friends and employers, Bob and Karol Gray; special friends, Danny “Peewee” Mefford and Chris Widener.

The family and friends of Coach Sipes wish to express their appreciation to his caregivers and home health staff for their care.

A celebration of Coach Sam Sipes’s life and legacy will be held at 2 p.m., on Sunday, March 21, 2021, at the Holston High School Softball Field at Damascus Middle School with Pastor Jim Walker officiating. A procession will follow to Mount Olivet Cemetery in Glade Spring, Va., for interment. Pallbearers will be Dustin Spiva, Austin Spiva, Justin Farmer, Luke Arant, Dylan Smith, Travis Gray, Adam Gray and Jeff Gray.

In accordance with current state and local Covid-19 regulations, the use of face coverings, social distancing practices and capacity mandates will be followed.

In lieu of flowers memorial gifts can be made to the UVA Medical Center Cancer Research, 1240 Lee Street, Charlottesville, Va., 22903 or by visiting All donations should be marked to be used for Pancreatic cancer research.

Frost Funeral Home & Cremation Services is honored to serve the family of Coach Sam Sipes.


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