James Rea (Sam) Yarnall, age 80, son of Rea and Jewel (Cantrell) Yarnall was born March 11, 1939, in Sacramento, Calif. He passed peacefully Jan. 22, 2020, in Springfield, Mo.

Sam married Edna Oxley in 1958. They moved to Springfield, Mo., where Sam worked at the Royal McBee typewriter factory at night and attended Southwest Missouri State College during the day. They had two children, Kenton Rea and Travis John (T.J.).

He was always impressed with Edna’s skills of singing and playing the piano. They attended numerous Pentecostal and Assembly of God churches throughout the years together. He attended Faith Fellowship Church at Bucyrus, where he became a Christian. At home, Sam kept his television set tuned to some Evangelical TV program most of the time.

Sam was preceded in death by his parents: and his wife, Edna.

He is survived by his sons: Kenton Yarnall of St. Louis, Mo., and T.J. Yarnall of Houston, Mo.; grandchildren: Veronica Yarnall with her son, Cyrus Henry, of Lakeland, Fla., Desiree Yarnall of St. Louis, Mo., and Cheri Yarnall and her two daughters, Calista and Shelby Young of St. Louis, Mo.; three brothers, Garth Yarnall, Dr. Gary Yarnall and Charlie Yarnall; several nieces and nephews and other family members and friends made through the years.

Sam certainly loved his family clan and would always show visitors his latest pictures of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Back in 1956 while he was a junior at Houston High school, James Rea Yarnall, decided to let everybody at school know that he was assigning himself a new name. He said, “From now on, I will be known as SAM Yarnall.” During those high school years, Sam did such a convincing job of his own personal salesmanship, that all the people in school bought it.

Sam functioned well in Houston High School. He especially enjoyed playing football. In his later years he was an avid golfer and fisherman. He enjoyed paddling Jon boats and fishing up and down Piney River, he even won a few boat paddling contests with a friend, Mr. Dablemont. Sam also caught tons of large and small mouth bass.

With his Dad, Rea Yarnall, Sam completed hundreds of hours during more than 40 years together hunting quail. He and Rea were good shooters of small game: quail, rabbits and squirrels.

One of Sam’s favorite hobbies was gardening. In his later years in Houston, he enjoyed raising and giving away lots and lots of vegetables to all his friends and family.

Sam’s advanced hobbies were centered around collecting antique fishing lures, designing and tying small fishing flies that he created and tied almost professionally. His fishing flies were used in lots of rivers and lakes in and around Missouri and Arkansas, especially at the Montauk State Park. Sam caught and photographed numerous “lunker-sized-trout” during recent years. One of his favorite things was to go to Montauk on opening day to hear the horn blow.

Sam spent dozens of years as the Coordinator and/or Director of large clothing factories located in various Latin American countries. He helped design the operational procedures and actual factory line outputs for numerous men’s and women’s clothing. Edna and Sam lived in lots of different places throughout Honduras, Guatemala and Haiti.

Sam will be missed. And we will miss his handsome, friendly, face when he would smile and shout out at others as he revved up the motor of his old pickup truck. He would just smile as he listened to his created music and ooga horn coming from his lovely, cool, ol’ truck.

“We will miss you, “James Rea SAM Yarnall!”

Memorials may be made to Providence Cemetery. Online condolences may be expressed at

Visitation is 1 to 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, at Evans Funeral Home with services beginning at 2 p.m.  in the chapel with Garth Yarnall officiating. Burial is in Providence Cemetery under the direction of Evans Funeral Home, Houston.


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