Former Whiteville City Schools Superintendent Samuel Cameron Stell Sr., 89, died at his home in Whiteville, Sept. 14 after a brief illness.
Born Aug. 18, 1925 in Raleigh, Sam grew up in Tarboro where he began his love of baseball. After high school, Sam served his country during World War II by joining the U.S. Coast Guard, serving two years on the U.S.S. Mills in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres.
After the war, Sam returned to North Carolina where he majored in history and lettered in both football and baseball at East Carolina University. Sam married Vera H. Stell, and spent summers in numerous locations playing professional baseball for the St. Louis Browns farm teams.
His professional career included teaching at Duke University, Atlantic Christian College, as well as high schools in Winston-Salem, Farmville and Ayden. His love for teaching history and his coaching of high school basketball endeared him to scores of students who continued to invite him to all of their high school reunions.
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Sam also worked at the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, was associate superintendent of the Robeson County Schools and superintendent of Whiteville City Schools where he retired.
Subsequently, Sam lived in Greenville before moving to Emerald Isle where he began his involvement in local government, first as mayor of Emerald Isle, and later as chairman of the Carteret County Commissioners.
Following the death of his wife, Vera, Sam later married Fredrica Turner Stell of Whiteville, and returned to live his last 16 years with her in Whiteville.
Known for his kind and gentle spirit, Sam also had a keen sense of humor and loved learning. An avid reader, Sam loved music, nature, history and travel. He was a God-fearing, Christian man who remained involved with the Presbyterian Church.
Always gracious, caring and generous, Sam was easy to be around and loved by many.
Sam is survived by his wife, Fredrica; his son, Cameron Stell Jr.; his daughter, Janet Grant (Ronnie); one sister, Margie Rogers; one grandson, Nolan Grant; and his stepchildren – Bill Turner (Elizabeth), Richard Turner (Susanna), Jean Turner, Craig Turner (Chris), Andy Turner, Michele Turner Murphy (Dan), and a number of nieces and nephews.
A graveside service will be held in Tarboro Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 2 p.m. in Greenwood Cemetery officiated by the Rev. Ben Kane, pastor, Tarboro Presbyterian Church. A memorial service and celebration of life for this noble and well-respected Southern gentleman will be held Saturday, Sept. 27 at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Whiteville with Rev. Josh Bower officiating..
Contributions in Sam’s honor may be made to Lower Cape Fear Hospice or to the First Presbyterian Church of Whiteville.
McKenzie Mortuary Service