William Lee "Bishop" Samford



William Lee “Bishop” Samford, 88, of Center, Texas, passed away on February 17, 2018 in Center. He was born on May 3, 1929 in Center to Clarence Mae Samford and Polly Ford Samford. A graveside service will be held at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at Oaklawn Memorial Park with Rev. Karen Jones officiating. A visitation will be held prior to the service from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at Mangum Funeral Home. 
As a teenager he worked at the Rio Movie Theater selling popcorn for Mr. George Smith. After graduation from Center High School, he worked several years with his family’s business, Samford’s Grocery and Tourist Courts. After moving to Nederland in the 1950’s, he worked for Goodrich Rubber and Chemical Company as a plant manager until his retirement. 
He and his wife, Janell returned to Center in the 1980’s where they settled on the family farm. Throughout his life, he enjoyed ranching and tending his cattle, hayfields and tree farm.
He was an avid cat-fisherman, spending much time on the Sabine River and then later, making yearly trips to South Texas and the Rio Grande area to fish with his brother, Ben and old friends. 
He was a life-long member of the local Masonic Lodge and First United Methodist Church.
William is preceded in death by his parents; wife of 62 years, Janell Shofner Samford; brothers and sisters-in-law, Hugh and Lamerle Fleming, Prentice and Jenell Shofner, Bobbie Shofner and Darrell Shofner; niece, Toni Alford and her son, Cody Alford.
He is survived by daughter and son-in-law, Barbara and Jerry Pinkston; grandsons, Jordan Pinkston and Ryan and Kristen Pinkston; great-grandsons, Greyson and Garrett Pinkston, all of Center; sister-in-law, Bette Samford of Center; brother and sister-in-law, Jarrell and Tommie Shofner of Jasper; nieces and nephews, C.A. Samford, Jerry Fleming, Jeb Shofner, Nathan Shofner, Johnny Shofner, Prentice Shofner, Jr., Penny Todd Mary Sims, John Shofner, Jenny Holt, Billy Shofner, and Glenn Shofner; as well as a host of great nieces and great nephews. 
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the First United Methodist Church in Center, Texas. 
To send condolences or to sign an online register, please visit

Roughriders Sports

Family Features

Loading Family Features Content Widget
Loading Family Features Article