Sammie Edward Leeper was born on December 9, 1932. He was blessed with God fearing parents; Rev. Willie Lee and Estella Meeks Leeper who, by example, taught Christian values, integrity and ingenuity that resulted in a solid and caring family environment. His parents were highly respected among friends and neighbors in “Meeks Settlement”. They taught him “a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.”
Being raised as a preacher’s kid and the eighth of ten; he confessed his faith in Christ at a tender age. Sammie grew up to be a handsome and intelligent young man. He united with Pleasant Grove Baptist Church where he served faithfully as a trustee until his health began to fail.
On August 2, 1952, Sammie sacredly pledged to love, honor and cherish his precious wife, Zeola Hunter in a permanent relationship that would last for over 60 years. Although they never had any children of their own; his father laid a great foundation as to how to raise a family. Together Sammie and Zeola were father and mother to many in the community. At their home one could find an abundance of love, laughter, discipline and food.
Sammie, started a successful logging business with his youngest brother Frankie back in the early 50’s. They later split, yet remaining partners and assisting one another from time to time. The Leeper’s were considered giants in the logging industry creating numerous jobs and teaching “young men” how to be men.
Sammie was a father to all. He would offer words of encouragement if he felt the person was in need. He gave to help others by feeding them, loving his neighbors, and providing shelter. He not only “talked the talk”, he “walked the walk.” He was a gifted guitar player. He took some lessons in Arkadelphia, spending countless hours and days plucking away at his guitar striving for perfection.
He was the founder of the famous blues band the Antoine Community Rockers. The Rockers were known for their down home and smooth tone. They performed as far as Texarkana to Memphis. They brought great joy and entertainment to many in the surrounding area. He was an outdoorsman who appreciated all that nature provided and was known for raising chickens.
Jesus called Sammie to join the ranks of the chosen on Friday, August 8, 2014. He will be sorely missed in the community but his memory will live on in the hearts of his loved ones and friends. He was preceded in transition by his doting parents, Rev. and Mrs. Willie Lee Leeper; six brothers, Frankie Leeper, Londell Leeper, Henry Leeper, Willie Leeper, Freddie Leeper, Vernon Leeper and two sisters, Tennie Faye Brooks and Mattie Mae Leeper. The message left upon the hearts and lives of those he touched is “I fought a good fight and I finished my course.”
Memories will live with his wife of 62 years, Zeola; his beloved sister, Esther (John) Hunter of Delight; Betty Hunter whom he loved and cherished as a daughter; special nieces, Diana Leeper, Lois Hunter-Wesson, Diane Young and Maude Rogers; sisters-in-law, Willie Jean Johnson, Elnora Leeper, Margaret Burton and Charlene Leeper; brothers-in-law, Willie A. (Minnie Sue) Hunter and Parnell Hunter; his godson Donnell “Doon Bug” Williams, Jr., and an abundance of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and the Antoine community.
Visitation will be held on Friday, August 15, 2014 in the funeral home 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. with family hour 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
A service celebrating the life of Mr. Leeper will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 16, 2014 at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church with Rev. Rufus R. Hatley officiating. Burial in Pleasant Grove Cemetery.