Posted on: October 21, 2020
George Sample did not have an easy life growing up. The youngest of seven children, he lost both his parents at a young age. George was raised by his sister and her husband during the hard time of the Great Depression. “It had a tremendous impact on his life,” says Mary Garza, his daughter. “He felt it was important to help others as best he could, to get them whatever they needed to reach their goals in life."
He felt it was important to help others as best he could, to get them whatever they needed to reach their goals in life.
George had his own goals, graduating from the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy in 1952. He worked as a pharmacist in Columbia until he returned to his hometown of Saluda in 1964, becoming a partner in People’s Drug Company. Doctor George, as he was known to his many customers, served his community for sixty years until he sold the pharmacy in 2012. He continued to work part-time until 2013 when he officially retired.
During his lifetime, George received many memorabilia related to pharmacy. After his passing in October 2019, his family began sifting through his collection of mortars and pestles and other items given to him by family and friends through the years. “My father never threw anything away,” Mary recalls, “We knew exactly what he would have wanted to do with these items.”
After George’s grandchildren had an opportunity to select items as remembrances of their grandfather, Mary donated the remaining mortars and pestles, his pharmacy textbooks, and a bronze sculpture of a pharmacist to the College of Pharmacy Museum, housed on the first floor of the College of Pharmacy building in the Coker Life Sciences. The museum houses a vast collection of more than 2,000 artifacts ranging from bottles, prescription labels and books. “Some of the mortars and pestles were actually used,” Mary says, “but many were decorative. He had them placed throughout the house.”
We often don’t think as individuals that one little thing will make a difference, but he knew it would.
George had always been known for his devotion to community, especially for the Boys Farm in Newberry, a home for boys experiencing difficult family situations. In his many efforts to help others, George had endowed a scholarship at the College of Pharmacy several years ago. “One of the stipulations for the scholarship was that the recipient be an orphan or have lost one parent,” Mary says. “He always wanted to pay it forward.”
George felt so strongly about giving back that he donated his body to the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Gift of Body program. “My dad always said ‘you can make a difference,’” says Mary. “We often don’t think as individuals that one little thing will make a difference, but he knew it would.”