By Jodi Marze, Lifestyles Editor
The Picayune Item
Ken and Gerry Samples were recently awarded a plaque from Miss. Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves, Senators Angela Hill and Tony Smith and Representative Mark Formby in recognition of the 40 years of business and civic dedication in Picayune.
The couple own Samples Western Auto located at 301 West Canal Street, which they purchased from H.M. Schrock in 1972.
The Samples were commended for providing quality merchandise while also serving their community.
They have four children who they have raised leading by example. They have always supported schools, civic groups and local church organizations.
“We were raised that way and taught our children to do the same,” said Gerry Read Samples.
While running their full-time business, Ken Samples started the Touchdown Club for Picayune Memorial High School and Gerry Samples founded the Pride of the Tide Dance Team, along with Gail Mitchell of the Civic Woman’s Club of Picayune. Gerry Samples also founded the first preschool at First Baptist Church on Goodyear Boulevard with Stella Wiley and Jane Lewis. Ken Samples served as President of the Chamber of Commerce and as Director of First National Bank.
“We are honored to have people think enough of us to present us with this plaque,” said Gerry Samples. “We are family and community oriented; our employees are an extension of our family. That is how we have held things together so long. I think our customers feel the closeness when they come into our store.”