Onslow County announces death of community leader Sam Bright


Sam Bright shows a cabbage at the Farmers Market near Big Lots along Western Boulevard in Jacksonville, Thursday May 5, 2016. (Photo by John Althouse / The Daily News via Jack Bright)

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Onslow County’s chairman of the board of commissioners announced the death of community leader and facilitator Sam Bright, who passed away on Monday.

Sam Bright died from COVID-19, said Jack Bright, chairman of the board of commissioners and Sam Bright’s cousin. Jack Bright released a statement Tuesday:

“My dear cousin, Sam Bright, went to be the Lord on Monday, January 25, 2021. Sam was truly an icon in the Jacksonville and Onslow community. He was my cousin first, but more importantly, he was a dear friend to many and was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need.

On behalf of the Onslow Board of Commissioners and Onslow County, we mourn the passing of Sam, and issue our sincere condolences to his family, his many friends, and those touched by his actions.

Sam was passionate about this community; he spent many hours volunteering for the USO, Museum of the Marine, Crime Stoppers, Rotary Senior Citizens Dinner and New River Clean-Up, Veterans Administration, and many others too numerous to mention. He was a recipient of the 2016 Golden Rule Award for Volunteer Group of the Year.

Sam was your man if you needed BBQ, fried chicken, fried fish, shrimp, hushpuppies, or Funnel Cakes.

Sam was the owner of Sam’s Quality Furniture. He employed many individuals, who couldn’t get hired elsewhere, and helped them get back on their feet. In 2018, Sam lost his business to a fire that destroyed the building. Sam lost a part of himself that day; he had been in business since 1971 and built the company from scratch into a successful antique furniture and appliance store. As a result of the fire, most of his community awards, plaques, trophies, and appreciation certificates were destroyed.

Sam will always be remembered for the smile on his face and lending a hand to those in need. This community was fortunate to have Sam and his dedicated passion for pitching in and help his fellow man without asking for payback or recognition. I know I am not alone when I say I will miss Sam tremendously; he was a one-of-a-kind patriot and staple in our community.”

A community celebration of the life of Sam Bright will occur at a future date.

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