Sam S. Hurt, III, age 93, left this earth early Thursday morning, August 17, 2023. Sam was born March 9, 1930, in Saltville, Virginia. His parents were Samuel Sawyers Hurt Jr. and Margaret Rice Hurt. The Hurt family moved to Oak Ridge in 1943 as Oak Ridge was beginning this carefully guarded new city to begin the essential secret effort to develop nuclear energy for National defense. This research later became Sam’s lifetime profession.
Sam attended Oak Ridge High School where he placed emphasis on both academic and athletic achievements. During Sam’s Senior year, he was named ORHS Athlete of the Year. Following Graduation, Sam was awarded a football scholarship from the University of Chattanooga where he earned a degree in Physics Engineering. Upon college graduation, Sam was drafted by the New York Jets, but he ultimately decided to stay with his family in East Tennessee where he accepted employment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
He worked in the field of Nuclear Technology for 40 years while earning an advanced degree from ORNL School of Reactor Technology. His accomplishments and contributions to the important nuclear research of ORNL won him many awards during his career.
Sam spent 18 years coaching at the Oak Ridge Boys & Girls Club. He coached all sports and loved to dedicate his time and effort mentoring his players. Sam was inducted into the Oak Ridge Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.
Sam and Jimmie Sue met 76 years ago while attending Oak Ridge High School. It is said that one day Jimmie Sue challenged Sam to a game of Ping-Pong at the Wildcat Den, and the rest is history. They had five children and there was never a dull moment in the Hurt household. You would never miss them at any church, school, or sporting event. Family was everything to Sam and Jimmie Sue. Sam was a true example of how love is the key to living a life full of good times and surviving the hard times. He would do and did everything for his family.
Sam’s greatness, kindness, and love for all will be deeply missed by family and friends. Sam’s family includes his wife: Jimmie Sue Hurt, five children: Lamara (Dwaine) Rhea, Julian (Myra) Hurt, Jimmie (Harry-d.) Rankin, Lyndon (Lisa) Hurt, Kevin Hurt (d.), his 12 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren, his seven sisters: Evelyn Roberts(d.), Billy Jean Noland, Sylvia Arow, Vivian Morris, Mary Virginia Burton Murdoch, Cindy Scheibel, Marty Noland, his local sister-in-law, Sallie Walker, his local brothers-in-law, Wayne Morris and Doug Murdoch, and his many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Boys & Girls Club of Oak Ridge at bgcor.org/ or 102 S. Jefferson Circle, Oak Ridge, TN 37830.
The family will receive friends 2-4 pm Sunday, August 20, 2023, at Weatherford Mortuary. Funeral services will follow at 4 pm with Rev. Ginny Ireland officiating. A private family graveside service will be held at Anderson Memorial Gardens. Online condolences may be left at weatherfordmortuary.com.