Richard “Rick” Sample

MIDLAND - Richard “Rick” Sample died Aug. 28, 2016, at the age of 66 years. He is survived by his loving wife, Mary Sample, his son Patrick Sample of Midland, daughter and son-in-law Aimee and Hank Reyes and their children of San Antonio, his son and daughter-in-law Joshua and Allison Sample of Dallas, his granddaughter Julia, daughter of Josh and Allison, who knew him as Pop, and his soon-to-be-born granddaughter, daughter of Aimee and Hank. He is also survived by his mother Joyce Sample of Sherman, his brother David Sample, and two sisters Kay Fuhrman and Lisa Cross; his brothers and sisters-in-law, Kenneth and Carolyn Pribyla, Jim and Carol Newman, Michael Hutcheson and Virginia Pribyla, Bill and Rita Lashlee, David Pribyla of Lenorah, and Karl and Nancy Horst, and his many nieces and nephews who he loved very much. He was preceded in death by his father Verline Sample of Sherman and his mother and father-in-law Raymond and Tillie Pribyla of Tarzan, who thought of him as one of their own. He was born in Okmulgee, OK on Jan. 31, 1950. He graduated from Texas Tech University in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science in physical education and received his Masters of education from Sul Ross State University in 1987. He married his best friend and soulmate Mary Ellen Pribyla on Jan. 28, 1973. The couple has three children, Patrick and the twins Aimee and Joshua. He was an amazing coach and mentor to many children and fellow coaches in Midland. He began his coaching and teaching career at San Jacinto Junior High and after nine years he moved to Midland High School where he coached boys’ basketball and football for three years. He then returned to San Jacinto Junior High as the athletic director for the next 16 years. He spent the last ten years of his career as the Midland High girls golf coach. Rick, Mary and their children also loved to spend time in the mountains of Ruidoso, NM, where they enjoyed most of their holidays and summers. He also will be missed by his precious dog Tucker who he loved like one of his children. He attended church at St. Ann’s Catholic Church where he converted to Catholicism. Known as a kind and gentle man who had a smile that could light up any room, he was an avid sports fan who especially loved the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Tech athletics and the Texas Rangers. He also loved coaching and watching his three children in all sports while they were growing up. He also was one of few referees that coaches and fans appreciated to see officiate their games. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Coach Rick Sample Memorial Scholarship sent to MISD Education Foundation, PO Box 73, Midland, TX 79702. The family wanted to thank Compass Hospice, Angels Senior Care, and all the staff at Desert Gardens Nursing Center for their loving care in his final days. A funeral mass was Aug. 31 at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Midland. Visitation was Aug. 30 at Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home in Midland with a rosary. Arrangements were under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Midland. Online condolences may be made at

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