Wilford “Sam” Gregory, 83, passed away on Sept. 17, 2021, in Paducah, after a lengthy and heroic battle with an extremely aggressive form of leukemia.

Sam was born in Eddyville on Oct. 17, 1937, to the late Riley Gregory and Reba O’Bryan Gregory. He was a graduate of Paducah Tilghman High School, where he starred on the basketball team and his legendary jump shots earned the nickname, “Downtown.” He built a successful career selling cars for Allan Rhodes Ford before ultimately retiring to spend more time with his family.

Sam truly thrived in retirement. Most days you could find him playing golf, listening to all types of music, watching the Kentucky Wildcats play basketball and adoring every animal that crossed his path. He loved making people smile, was full of jokes and never met a stranger. He didn’t spend much money, but when he did it was on “good food” and greeting cards. He loved his life, his family, and his coffee with lots of cream.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Carolyn Travis Gregory; daughter, LaDonna Umstead, of Benton; son, Chad Gregory, of Anderson, South Carolina; granddaughter, Sloane Cavitt Logue (David) of Nashville, Tennessee; three sisters: Dorothy Gregory (Archie) of Calvert City, Carolyn Gregory Marcum (Bill) of Murray, and Diane Gregory Pulley (James) of Decatur, Illinois; and two brothers, Bill Gregory and Gary Gregory, both of Paducah.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Ruby Gregory and Barbara Gregory; brothers, James Gregory and Earl Gregory; and beloved pets, Star, Lucas, Misty, Jeff, Hunter, Freddie and Leah. Per Sam’s request, there will not be a formal funeral service. Instead, his immediate family will hold a celebration of life in October with all of his favorite foods as a time for joyful remembrance.

In lieu of flowers or monetary donations, we ask that you please consider donating items to the Marshall County Humane Society in his honor. A list of much needed supplies can be found on their website: https://www.humanesocietyofmarshallcounty.org/.

On his behalf, the family would like to sincerely thank all of the wonderful caregivers at Vanderbilt Cancer Center and Mercy Health who have attended to him over the last six years. He truly loved each and every one of you. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” — Proverbs 12:22

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