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Samuel Maurice Litton
  • In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to:
  • Saint Peter's Episcopal Church
    65 Rock Ridge Road
    Callaway, VA 24067
  • In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to:
  • Ferrum College
    215 Ferrum Mountain Road
    Ferrum, VA 24088
  • In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to:
  • Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center
    300 South Main Street
    Rocky Mount, VA 24151

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“Sam was a good man and will be missed. Rest in peace, friend. ”
1 of 22 | Posted by: Lawrence Causey - Troutville, VA

“I met Sam 30+ years ago at our hunting club in Bath Co. VA. I so enjoyed listening to his stories when we would come back from a hunt, not about...Read More »
2 of 22 | Posted by: Chris Trent - Greensboro, NC

“My heart is broken at the news of my beautiful classmate, Sammy's passing away, June 6th; my condolences to all the family, and may I say that I feel...Read More »
3 of 22 | Posted by: Patricia Poindexter - Salem, VA

“Joan, just seeing Sam's obituary. I am so sorry for your loss. You and Sam were always so caring and friendly. He lived a fruitful life and always...Read More »
4 of 22 | Posted by: Renae McBride - Friend

“Joan,Sean and Jason so sorry to hear of your loss, I know your memories will bring you comfort. ”
5 of 22 | Posted by: Connie Slusher - Altavista, VA

“My hear goes out to you as you mourn the passing of Sam, one of my favorite profs who shared his calling of birds. God bless to you all! ”
6 of 22 | Posted by: John luciano - Lafayette, LA

“I am so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you all. ”
7 of 22 | Posted by: Heather Tweed - St. Petersburg, FL

“Dear Joan and sons, I am forever grateful to have known Sam. He was a dear man and a source of strength , kindness, constancy,and firmness to Graham...Read More »
8 of 22 | Posted by: Lewellyn Byrd - ferrum, VA

“Dear Joan I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to you and your sons. I was sadden to hear of Sam's passing. He was a great friend to so...Read More »
9 of 22 | Posted by: Zoe Stennette - Roanoke, VA

U.S. Navy Corpsman Ensignia
10 of 22 | Posted by: Another Marine - Summerville, SC

A U.S. Navy Corpsman serving with a U.S. Marine unit in combat in Vietnam would earn these awards. “Whenever I become aware that another Marine has answered his last muster, I am reminded by words in our Marines' Hymn that tells us, the streets of...Read More »
11 of 22 | Posted by: Another Marine - Summerville, SC

“Joan, Sean, and JasonI'm very sorrow for your loss. Sam was absolutely one of the wisest and genuinely kindest people I have ever known. He always...Read More »
12 of 22 | Posted by: Brian Kreider - Roanoke, VA

“I first met Sam Litton when his oldest son Sean,Decided to start his own company in Charleston. I was there when he named it the Peninsula Company. ...Read More »
13 of 22 | Posted by: Tanner Amerson - Mt Pleasant, SC

“Joan, I am so sorry to hear of Sam's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.Carla Brooks ”
14 of 22 | Posted by: Carla Brooks - Moneta, VA

“Joan and sons,Please accept my condolences at your great loss. Sam was always kind and helpful.I wish you comfort at this difficult time, in the...Read More »
15 of 22 | Posted by: Rathin Basu - Ferrum, VA - Friend

“We are so very sorry for your loss. Our condolences to you Joan and your family. ”
16 of 22 | Posted by: Jackie and Frank Davis - VA

“Joan and sons, I was so sorry to hear of the passing of Sam.Sam was so kind and patient. I will always remember him teaching me to ski.My thoughts...Read More »
17 of 22 | Posted by: Joan Carroll - Salem, VA - Friend

“Joan and family, I was so sorry to hear of the passing of Sam. His obituary was written up so nice.Sam was kind and so patient. I will always...Read More »
18 of 22 | Posted by: Joan Carroll - Salem, VA - Friend

“I was so sad to see of Mr. Litton's passing. He taught me Biology my Freshman year at Ferrum College and even though I was a really poor student, he...Read More »
19 of 22 | Posted by: Amanda DeHaven - Roanoke, VA

“I am saddened to learn of Sam's passing. His bright smile and enthusiasm for life made him a pleasure to be around. Always enjoyed sharing a travel...Read More »
20 of 22 | Posted by: Judy Crook - Ferrum, VA - Friend

“Joan and sons, I was so saddened to learn of Sam's illness just a few days ago. He was such a kind man and I know you are heart broken. I hold you...Read More »
21 of 22 | Posted by: Leslie Lambert

“Sam was a wonderful person. He had a great influence on our Community. He was my customer, my friend, and my neighbor. I will miss him.. ”
22 of 22 | Posted by: vanessa carter - Rocky Mount, VA


Samuel M. Litton, 80, passed away after a brief illness in Mt. Pleasant, SC, on June 6, 2020.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel H. and Mary Wray Litton. He is survived by his wife, Joan H. Litton (Moneta, VA) and sons, Sean Litton (Mt. Pleasant, SC) and Jason Litton (Charleston, SC).
Sam grew up in Salem, VA, where he developed a love of the outdoors, played high school football and graduated from Andrew Lewis High School. He earned his B.S. degree from Elon College, and soon after served as a corpsman in the U.S. Navy. As a medic, he was attached to the U.S. Marines in Vietnam.
Following his military service, Sam earned his M.S. in biology from Appalachian State University, where he met Joan. They were married in Medellin, Columbia, in 1972. It was in South America that Sam and Joan discovered their mutual passions for travel and outdoor activities. Later, Sam completed post-graduate work and research at the University of Virginia.
After returning to the United States, Sam was a professor in the Biology Department at Ferrum College. There, he taught hundreds of young people to appreciate animals, birds and ocean life. An encouraging and patient teacher, Sam welcomed them into his home. He forged lasting relationships with many of these students.
Sam's students loved traveling with him on field trips, whether it was to the surrounding Virginia mountains, the Carolina coast, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. They learned the value of the natural world through these transformative experiences. His sons often accompanied him as well.
Sam taught his sons the same respect for the outdoors. They traveled all over the United States and Canada camping, hiking, canoeing, fishing and hunting. Sam and Joan enjoyed snow skiing with their sons in Virginia, Colorado, Idaho and, most recently, France.
Following his teaching career, Sam and Joan lived on Smith Mountain Lake, VA, where he remained an avid outdoorsman and worked in real estate. He was active in the local community, serving as president of both the Ferrum Lions Club and the Rocky Mount Rotary Club. He was honored by the Rotary Club as a Paul Harris Fellow.
Sam was always a teacher, as well a curious student. His reverence for the natural world was evident in the small moments … teaching a child to fish, pointing out an obscure bird to his sons, or finding a rare seashell. His family is comforted by the fact that Sam has gone to "where the birds fly straight and the fish are always biting."
Due to current restrictions, the family will have a private memorial service. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Saint Peter's Episcopal Church, 65 Rock Ridge Road, Callaway, VA 24067, Ferrum College, 215 Ferrum Mountain Road, Ferrum, VA 24088 or Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center, 300 South Main Street, Rocky Mount, VA 24151.