Samuel Burns Grissom

The Shawnee News-Star

Samuel Burns Grissom a long-time resident of the Prairie Valley area, a business owner, a teacher, and a farmer and rancher was ushered into his eternal home on Dec. 20, 2020, at the age of 86 years.

He was born on July 14, 1934, in Purcell, Oklahoma, to Roy and Lehella (Butler) Grissom. Named after his uncle District Judge Sam Hooker, he was the youngest of three sons. He grew up in Econtuchka and graduated from Prairie Valley High School in 1952. After he graduated from Connors State College, in Warner, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma A&M University in Stillwater, he was drafted into the U.S. army services where he served his country for two years; some of his time was in Korea.

Sam met the love of his life, Joi Snyder, on a blind date at OBU. They were married one year later Dec. 26, 1959, at Pleasant Home Baptist Church with Fairview’s Pastor, Clyde Frisby, ministering the service.

Sam was the Agricultural Education teacher at Earlsboro for 6 years. During that time, they welcomed their three beautiful children, Vic, Keith, and Hollie. On Aug. 1, 1965, Sam and Joi purchased the John Deere dealership in Prague, which eventually grew into six different locations. For 53 years, they grew their family and business. Their children were married and blessed Sam and Joi with six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Both Sam and Joi consider the employees and customers of the John Deere business their family. The loyalty of the employees and customers was the foundation for what made Sam’s dream such a success.

Sam started Blackjack Angus Farms in 1973 with a show calf for the boys. He grew the farm from 40 acres to a larger farming and ranching operation that he loved and was proud of.

Sam was a lifelong member of the Fairview Baptist Church where he was ordained as a Deacon in 1970. He was blessed to have the opportunity to teach the college age students and serve on numerous committees where he appreciated the close fellowship with members and pastors at Fairview Baptist.

Sam’s biggest passions were his family, farm, Angus cattle, John Deere business, and traveling with Joi. Two of his favorite places to visit were Alaska and Switzerland. He also enjoyed serving on the Vision Bank Board of Directors. He received the Honorary State Farmer Degree of the Oklahoma FFA Association and was inducted into the Oklahoma Angus Hall of Fame. He was a member of the Pottawatomie County Equalization and Excise Board from 1987-88

Sam is preceded in death by his parents Roy and Lehella Grissom, his father and mother-in-law, Charles and Inez Snyder, and his precious daughter Hollie Grissom.

Those left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 61 years, Joi Dell Snyder Grissom of the home and their two sons Vic Grissom and his wife Jayne of Prague; Keith Grissom and his wife Janet of Seminole; six loving grandchildren and their spouses, Miranda and Darin Winchester, Tyler and Katie Grissom, Stefanie Cooper, Amber and Keith McFerran, Jared and Candace Grissom, Clint and Carmen Grissom and the joy of his life his eight great-grandsons and his one very special great-granddaughter. He is also survived by his brothers, Roy Grissom Jr. and his wife Bettye of Prague; Les Grissom of Raytown, Missouri, along with several nieces and nephews, family and friends. Many will miss him until we join him in Heaven. At this time, a private family only service will be held. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made in honor of Sam to the Grissom Family Agricultural Scholarship Fund which has been established at Vision Bank.

Services are under the direction of Parks Brothers Funeral Service of Prague. An online guestbook is available at

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