Sampson, Gordon and Vivian (Johnson)

(Gordon Sampson)

Bio Photo

Gordon Sampson family

Left to right: Donna Joanne Bartenbach (daughter), Vivian Sampson, Gordon Sampson and Richard Sampson (son).

Gordon Sampson was born 16 Nov 1919 in Decorah. His parents were LeRoy and Selma (Rognas) Sampson. His father was born in Pleasant Twp. and his mother in Glenwood Twp. They were married 10 May 1917 by Rev. O. Glesne at the Decorah Lutheran Church.

Gordon was the "middle one" of 3 brothers. His brothers were Roger Leland and Lyle Durwin. Gordon was baptized 4 Jan 1920 and confirmed 3 Jun 1934 at the Decorah Lutheran Church.

Gordon was educated in the Decorah Public Schools, graduated from Decorah High School in 1937. He worked part-time during high school at the Decorah Posten in the mail room and press room. From 1937-41 he worked at the Graham Dept. Store in Decorah.

On 10 Oct 1941 Gordon enlisted in the Navy. From Dec 1941-Jun 1942 he attended Aviation Machinist Mate School, Navy Pier, Chicago. He was stationed at the Naval Air Station, Pearl Harbor, HI from Jun 1942-Dec 1944. When his group left San Francisco they were designated for whatever carrier happened to be in Pearl Harbor. When they arrived all the carriers were at sea for the Battle of Midway. So he was assigned to the Naval Air Station on Ford Island in the middle of Pearl Harbor to work in the engine overhaul shops. His barracks were just up the shore from "Battleship Row"; about a 1/4 mile from where the Arizona Memorial is now located. From Dec 1944-Oct 1945 Gordon was stationed at the Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, FL. He was discharged as a Chief Aviation Machinist Mate on 11 Oct 1945.

Gordon married Vivian Olga Johnson of Waukegan, IL on 22 Mar 1945 at Jacksonville. Vivian was born 12 Dec 1922 and was the daughter of John Adrian and Gladys (Pullin) Johnson of Waukegan. Gordon and Vivian have 2 children: Richard Gordon of Naperville, IL and Donna Joanne Bartenbach of Gurnee, IL.

After the war Gordon worked at the Coast-to-Coast Store in Decorah prior to relocating to Waukegan in 1947.

He was employed at the Naval Supply Depot, Great Lakes for 18 years. In 1965-1974 he transferred to the Electronics Supply Office also at Great Lakes, IL. In 1974 Gordon transferred to the Ship’s Parts Control Center at Mechanicsburg, PA where he retired in 1975.

Gordon and Vivian moved back to Waukegan in 1975. From 1975-1985 he worked at the Ace Hardware Store #1 in Waukegan. This was the original store of the Ace Hardware Chain.

In 1992 Gordon and Vivian built a house in Leesburg, FL. They spend their winters in Florida and their summers in Gurnee, IL.

Gordon was active in the Naval Reserve at the Naval Air Station, Glenview, IL from 1950-54. He was attached to fighter squadron VF-726 as flight line chief. He also was active in the Swedish Glee Club and sang in the chorus for several years in Waukegan. Gordon and Vivian have enjoyed traveling from coast to coast, square dancing, round and ballroom dancing, golfing, bowling and outdoor sports.

Gordon’s great grandparents were Peter (Peder) Sampson of Voss, Norway. Peter married Sigrid Gittlesdtr. Norheim and immigrated to America in 1849. He was one of the first Norwegian settlers in Decorah. He operated a shoe store in what now is the Brown Builders building and once made shoes with wooden pegs.

Gordon's father, LeRoy, was a photographer in Decorah for many years. He operated the Sampson Photo Art Shop next door to the Winneshiek Hotel and specialized in photo finishing. Before color photography was developed he did some hand-tinting of special pictures. Some still exist today.

Sampson, Jean Shirley (Crawford)

(Jean Shirley Sampson)

Bio Photo

Jean S. and Roger L. Sampson at Granddaughter Christa's wedding May 22, 1993

Jean Shirley Sampson was born in Frankville on 7 Aug 1921. She is the daughter of Lynn Barlow Crawford and Ruth M. (Marston) Crawford. Her father was born 27 Jul 1890 in Frankville and her mother was born 29 Dec 1894 in Alta, IA. They were married 30 Nov 1915 in Earlham,


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this page was last updated on Monday, 29 March 2021