Dr. Sam was born July 26, 1928 in Fort Worth, Texas. He graduated from UT Southwestern Medical School in 1951 and began his medical practice as a family physician in Irving in 1952. He later joined the Navy and became a flight surgeon. After honorable discharge as a Lt. Commander, he returned to family practice in Irving. Later Dr. Sam began a residency in otolaryngology at the Dallas Veterans Affairs Hospital and upon completion, returned to Irving as an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist in 1961. He was certified by the Board of Otolaryngology and Fellow of the Academy of Otolaryngology in 1963 and Fellow of the American College of Surgery in 1965. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Sam was an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at the UT Southwestern Medical School, and taught ear surgery at the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas from 1961 to 2000.
Dr. Sam was a founding member of the Irving Community Hospital (now Baylor Hospital -Irving), and served as President of the Medical and Dental Staff in 1969. In 1971 he served as President of the Irving Surgical Society. Dr. Sam was Honorary Surgeon General for the State of Texas in April 2004. He and his young family were founding members of the Central Church of Christ (now the Plymouth Park Church of Christ). He retired from the practice of medicine in 2000 to pursue activities he did not have time to enjoy previously, although he continued to assist in surgeries with his former associates thru 2003.
Dr. Sam was introduced to the second love of his life, Charlene, by the day surgery nurses at Baylor-Irving Hospital who played “match-maker” and introduced them when Charlene was working as an RN in the day surgery after retiring as nurse anesthetist. They were married in 1994 and enjoyed many years together at their church activities, traveling, and enjoying time with their families. Dr. Sam’s most happy moments were with his family, playing golf, singing in the church choir, and serving God. Memberships included: AMA, TMA, and Dallas County Medical Association. He served on the Board of Our Children’s House in Irving and the Irving Interfaith Clinic. At the time of his passing, Dr. Sam was a current member of (and past-President of) the Plymouth Park Church of Christ Advisory Board. Dr. Sam was a member of the Irving Symphony League and the Irving Community Theater Guild.
Dr. Sam is survived by his wife Charlene Huggins (of Irving, Texas); son James Huggins and wife Mary (of Cocoa, Florida); daughter Susan Stephenson and husband Ben (of Plano, Texas); son John Huggins, DDS and wife Renee (of Grapevine, Texas); son Jerry Huggins (of Justin, Texas) and his former wife Tammy Horner (of Hewitt, Texas); son Jeffrey Huggins and wife Rhonda (of Grapevine, Texas). Grandchildren Jennifer and husband Ruben Diaz; Matthew Huggins; Ashley and husband Nick Landis; Samantha and husband Colby Petersen; Courtney Huggins and Paul Huggins; Christopher Huggins, DPT and wife Samantha; Cory Huggins and wife Laci; Cara Huggins; Claire Barfield and husband Beau; and Connor Posey. Dr. Sam will be missed by his great grandchildren Isaac and Naomi Diaz; Seaton and Madison Huggins; and Truett Huggins. Sharing in this loss are Charlene’s sons Steven Miles and wife Shelly (of Eugene, Oregon); Daniel Miles and wife Kathy (of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania); Drew Miles and wife Heidi (of Silverton, Oregon) and four grandchildren, Melissa, Allison, Eli and Travis. The family of Dr. Sam gratefully acknowledges the prayers and support of their church families, the skilled nursing provided by Baylor-Irving ICU and the compassionate care provided by Faith Presbyterian Hospice.
Visitation was at Donnelly’s Colonial Funeral Home (Irving, Texas) on Wednesday, June 27 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Funeral service was at the Plymouth Park Church of Christ (Irving, Texas) on Thursday, June 28 at 1:00 p.m. The family had a private graveside interment service the morning of June 28 at Oak Grove Memorial Gardens. Officiating at the funeral was John Ketchersid, Dr. Paul Magee and Pastor Dale Patterson. Pallbearers included Daniel Miles, Nick Landis, James Huggins, Dr. John Huggins, Jerry Huggins, Jeffrey Huggins, Susan Stephenson and Ben Stephenson. Honorary Pallbearers were Dr. Christopher Huggins, Cory Huggins, William Huggins and Monte Huggins. Dr. Frank Theilen, Dr. Neil Williams and Dr. Paul Magee eulogized Dr. Sam.
Donations may be made to the Plymouth Park Church of Christ (1710 West Airport Freeway, Irving, Texas 75062) or the Baylor Irving Interfaith Clinic, c/o Baylor-Irving Healthcare Foundation (1302 Lane Street, Suite 100, Irving, Texas 75061).