Samuel E. Aycock, 69 of Morganton, NC died Tuesday, October 25, 2016. Sam was born on December 28, 1946 in Smithfield, Johnston County, NC and was the son of the late Ernest Oscar Aycock and Sadie Massey Aycock Lyon.
Sam received his undergraduate education at Davidson College, where he was inducted into “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges,” as well as the Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership fraternity and the Pi Kappa Alpha social fraternity. A member of the Class of 1969, Sam was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army upon his graduation.
Sam later attended law school at the University of North Carolina. During that time, he worked as a research assistant at the North Carolina Institute of Government, where he helped develop a courtroom manual used by District Court prosecutors that is still in use throughout North Carolina.
Sam began practicing law in Morganton in 1972. He was a partner in the Simpson Aycock, P.A. firm until September of 2000, at which time he became a partner at Starnes, Aycock, Haire, Hogan, Saunders & Rigsbee, PLLC. Sam was a member and Past President of the Burke County Bar Association and of the 25th District Bar, as well as a member of the North Carolina Bar Association. He was a certified Superior Court Mediator, and conducted over 1,600 mediated settlement conferences.
Sam also served as Treasurer of the Litigation Council of the North Carolina State Bar, and was appointed by the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court to the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the State Judicial Council. Sam was a member of the North Carolina Academy of Superior Court Mediators, and was one of approximately 800 members of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals.
Sam served as legal counsel for both the Burke County Board of Education and Western Piedmont Community College.
Sam was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Morganton, where he served as a Member of the Session (Elder), as Chairman of the Stewardship Committee, and sang in the Choir.
He was a member and former director of the Morganton Rotary club, and was a past member of the Morganton Jaycees and Lions Club.
He was also a member of the City of Morganton Planning and Zoning Commission. He served on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity and was a past member of the Board of Directors of The Good Samaritan Clinic of Burke County, Phoenix Group Homes, Inc., and Options, Inc.
Sam played bassoon in the Western Piedmont Symphony Orchestra in Hickory from 1982 to 1997, and also served on the Symphony’s Board of Directors. He was a member, director, and former secretary of Mimosa Hills Golf and Country Club, and was a member of the Knob Mountain Motorcycle Chapter of BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, as well as the BMW Riders Association and the International Fellowship of Motorcycling Rotarians.
Sam was an accomplished skier, a fine golfer, and a horseback riding enthusiast.
Sam is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife of 47 years, Laura Ray Aycock; sons, David Woodall Aycock and wife, Angie Harris Aycock of Hickory, NC, and Samuel Tyler Aycock and wife, Lacey Alexandra Rush of Winston-Salem, NC, grandchildren, Ava Catherine Aycock and Robert Rush Aycock; and brother, Thomas Lester Aycock and wife Melissa Paine Aycock of Bluffton, SC.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, October 29, 2016 at First Presbyterian Church in Morganton with Rev. Michael Bailey officiating. The family will receive friends in the fellowship hall following the service.
Memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 100 Silver Creek Rd., Morganton, NC 28655 or Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690.
Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.sossomanfh.com.
Published in The News & Observer on Nov. 2, 2016