Samuel Dunton Tankard III


Mr. Samuel Dunton Tankard III, of Virginia Beach, passed away Feb. 20, 2021, after a brief illness. He was born in Hickory, N.C., July 9, 1941, and is predeceased by his parents, Samuel D. Tankard Jr. and Myrtle Bell Tankard; his sisters, Elizabeth Tankard Neal and Mary Kee Tankard White; and his wife, Virginia Goff Tankard. He is survived by his nephew and nieces, William K. Neal III and Susan Neal Price ,of Franktown, Betsy Neal McCray, of Richmond,  Kee Schuth Marshall, of Charlotte, N.C., and Melanie H. Rankin, of Raleigh, N.C.

Sam grew up in Franktown on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, graduated from Northampton High School, and always looked forward to his high school reunions. He attended Washington and Lee University and even though his studies were cut short due to illness, Sam fully participated in life, never slowing down. He settled in Virginia Beach where he was employed by Norfolk Botanical Gardens and was an active member of Haygood United Methodist Church and the Lions Club.  Sam enjoyed a good book, eating out, and going to the movies. He loved all sports and was the guy you wanted on your trivial pursuit team.
Sam relied on family for help, but in the old adage of “it takes a village,” his village included many friends in Virginia Beach. Sam’s neighbors on Wakefield Drive and the members of Haygood UMC lovingly looked out for him for many, many years. He will be remembered as friendly, having never met a stranger, and was always interested in others. Jenro’s Diner welcomed him almost daily with the nickname “Sam I Am.” The family wishes to express a deep and sincere gratitude to Christine, his caregiver and companion, whom Sam truly loved. Through her and her family, Sam was never without someone who loved and cared for him dearly. They also wish to thank Suzette and her family for providing such a compassionate and loving home for Sam in his final days.

A private graveside service will be planned at a later date. Donations may be made in his memory to Haygood United Methodist Church, 4713 Haygood Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23455, or Franktown United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 130, Franktown, VA 23354.

Family and friends may sign the guest book at

Arrangements were made by Holland Funeral Home in Nassawadox.
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