Leon Hughes Sample, a devoted husband, father, grandad, brother, uncle and friend, died on July 2 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was 77.

He led a full and active life until an unexpected diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in late June 2017. He was a longtime resident of Alexandria, Va., and spent summers at the family home on Martha’s Vineyard.

Leon was born in 1940 to Edith and Luke Sample in Memphis, Tenn. In the 1950s he and his sister Sandy moved with their stepbrother Jim Taylor to the northern Virginia area, where they all attended Falls Church High School. While receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in commerce at the University of Virginia, he was active in Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, the Virginia Gentlemen, Glee Club, Cavalier Daily, Delta Sigma Pi and intramural track. In 1965, he went through Officer’s Candidate School at Fort Sill, Okla. and was stationed at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, Calif.

After serving in the Army, he joined Blue Cross Blue Shield in Washington, D.C. He served as contracts manager and later, underwriter. During early years at BCBS, he participated in several skiing trips, including one to Switzerland that included hospitalization for a fractured leg. Retiring from BCBS in 1997, he turned full attention to building his Bottleneck Wine Cards business. He spent time visiting wineries across the country, attending wine trade shows, and meeting new people in the wine industry.

He married Jeannine Hiers in 1974 and was an excellent father to David, Ned and Heather. He especially enjoyed being a Cub Scout leader and promoting both church youth activities and school sports participation. Rotary membership and living on one of George Washington’s five farms brought Leon into local community participation. An active runner since high school, he participated in many races throughout his life, including numerous Chilmark Road Races and George Washington Parkway Races in Va. He had just won the George Washington Parkway race for his age group in April 2017, and ran the Oak Bluffs race in May 2017.

His love of sailing, learned on the Chesapeake Bay, transferred to Martha’s Vineyard and sailing on Tisbury Great Pond and the Virgin Islands. Summers were spent with the family. He relished sailing on the pond, working on the boats, having dinners on the front porch, and playing cards with the family in the evening. With tireless energy, he cared for the summer house, maintained the property and worked on the tree house for the grandchildren.

An active member of Washington Farm UMC for 43 years, he contributed his time by serving on the administrative board, trustees, finance committee, and choir, and participating in Christmas tree sales.

Leon is survived by his loving wife, Jeannine Hiers Sample; son David Sample and his wife, Nadine, of Leesburg, Va.; son Ned Sample of Orange, Va.; daughter, Heather Sample Wilson and her husband, Pat, of Alexandria, Va.; brother, Curt Cram and his wife, Diane, of Tehachapi, Calif.; four grandchildren, Sarah, Scott and Sean Sample of Leesburg, Va. and Brett Wilson of Alexandria, Va.; nephew Tom Cornbrooks and his wife, Julie, of Springfield, Va.; nephews Jimmy Taylor of Alpharetta, Ga. and Stephen Taylor of Fort Smith, Ark.; niece Virginia Taylor of Fort Smith, Ark.; nephew Bryce Poe and his wife, Heather, of Granby, Colo.; and brother in law, Maury Hiers and wife, Charlene, of Waltham. He was preceded in death by his sister, Sandra Oglevee.

A memorial service will be held on August 5 at 11 a.m. at Washington Farm United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Va. Interment will take place in Chilmark.

Memorial gifts may be sent to Washington Farm United Methodist Church or Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.