Samuel Alexander Mars, Jr.
Born August 24, 1928
Son of the late Sam A. Mars, Sr. and Ethel M. Mars.
He was born in Middlesboro; Graduated from Baylor Military Academy, Chattanooga, TN. He attended the University of Tennessee where he was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity and Lincoln Memorial University where he held an honorary Doctorates Degree.
He married Suella (Sue) Ausmus on March 18, 1950. After attending college he worked briefly with his father in his wholesale dry goods business and in 1953 he purchased a small Gulf Oil distributorship which he owned and operated for 45 years building it into a large successful regional operation. While in the oil business, Sam also explored other business opportunities, several of which were with his close childhood friend, J. Roy Shoffner, who remained a close lifelong friend and business partner, and that family relationship continues still today.
After exiting the oil business in 1997 Sam ventured into several other business which his sons continue to manage continuing his legacy.
Throughout his life, Sam was a visionary as well as a community and civic leader. He served as president of the Chamber of Commerce, president of the Kiwanis Club, and the Country Club. He was a member of the Methodist Church for 78 years. He also held numerous positions within his church and was instrumental in unifying of the Covenant Methodist Church. He served on the board of Commercial Bank and on the local board of Community Trust Bank. He was also active with the Boy Scouts and numerous other organizations during his life. Following in his father’s footsteps Sam joined the LMU Board of Trustees in 1973 and was elected as chairman of the executive committee from 1973 until 2014 when his failing health forced his resignation from that position. Probably his proudest achievement was his service there at LMU and his close friends and fellow trustees, Pete DeBusk and Gary Burchett, helped to guide the school to where it is today, a level 6 university. The trio became known as the “Three Amigos.” Sam was the longest serving trustee in the history of the school.
Sam was a devoted, loving husband, father and grandfather who loved and cared deeply for his family. In addition to his parents, Sam was preceded in death by his daughter, Suzanne Mars Lambdin. He is survived by his wife, Sue of 67 years; Two sons, Sam and wife Debbie, and Steve; and a host of grandchildren and great-grandchildren; a sister, Jane Perkins of Asheville, NC and several nieces and a nephew. Sam also leave behind special friends, Pete DeBusk, Gary Burchett, J.C. and Nadeen Meredith, Richard and GeorgeAnn Tamer, Don Childers, Dr. Meredith and Helen Evans, his professional staff Chidsey Grace, Preston Lake, Peggie Howard along with numerous former employees through the years and finally his faithful lab, Suzie. A special thanks to all the employees of the Middlesboro Nursing & Rehabilitation Facility.
Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at the Covenant United Methodist Church in Middlesboro, Kentucky, with Rev. George Strunk officiating. Special comments will be made by Gary Burchett and Pete DeBusk. Music will be provided by the Covenant United Methodist Church Choir, Cindy Whitt and Barbara McCune. Entombment will follow in the Green Hills Memorial Gardens Mausoleum. Pallbearers will be Jason Lambdin, Chauncey Beeler, Brad Mars, Alex Mars, Andy Mars, Jordan Hill, Stuart McCullough. Honorary Pallbearers will be The LMU Board of Trustees, Pete DeBusk, Gary Burchett, J.C. Meredith.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at the Green Hills Funeral Home, in Middlesboro, Kentucky.
In lieu of flowers the family request that memorial contributions be made to Lincoln Memorial University. Green Hills Funeral Home, Middlesboro, is in charge of all arrangements.