RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Family members and loved ones are remembering a community activist and war veteran who passed away.
You may have seen Thomas “Uncle Sam” Sammons dressed in red, white and blue at events throughout the city of Richmond.
Today, Sammons, 91, was laid to rest.
8news spoke with Sammons’ daughter Donna Sammons and Sammons’ son Dale Sammons.
“You feel empty, but then you feel good because you know where he’s at,” said Dale Sammons.
The Virginia War Memorial posted on Facebook, and called Sammons a ‘tradition, icon and unwavering patriot.’
As a Korean War veteran, Sammons volunteered at the War Memorial and attended events all over Richmond.
“He liked being out in the community. He liked being with people and in all kinds of different things. It wasn’t just Uncle Sam. It could be anything,” Donna Sammons said.
Thomas Sammons in his trademark attire. (Photos: Donna Sammons)
Sammons didn’t shy away from showing how much he loved his country. According to his family, he asked them to dress in red, white and blue at his funeral today. There were red, white and blue flowers and American flags.
“Growing up, he always took us to air shows. We would see the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds and all that, but it kind of just grew after 9-11,” Donna Sammons said.
Donna Sammons said her father started getting requests to come to parades after a Halloween event that year in 2021.
“He went down there dressed up in all red, white and blue and this is October right after 9/11,” Donna Sammons said. “People kept telling me to enter him in the contest. So, we did and he won. After that people were calling the house, wanting him to be in their parades.”
However, he was so much more.
“He’s more than just Uncle Sam,” Donna Sammons said. “He coached my Little League softball team and my brother’s Little League baseball team.”
Sammons said her father was always there for their family and also supported the community.
Although it was a sad day for friends and family, Dale Sammons called it ‘a celebration of life.’
His father was just about to celebrate 70 years with his wife.