CW4 (Ret.) Samuel Lawrence Atcherley Jr, age 85, of Vass, passed away on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at Saint Joseph of the Pines.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, January 21, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. at Cypress Presbyterian Church with Pastor Richard Rodda officiating with Full Military Honors to follow. The body will be available for viewing one hour prior to the service at the church. The family will receive friends immediately following the service in the fellowship hall.

Mr. Atcherley was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1932. Sam’s family can be traced to the last Hawaiian Royal Family before Hawaii became a state and a democracy. As a young boy of nine years old he experienced an event that he never forgot. On the early morning of December 7, 1941, he and his classmates were on their way to mass when they heard a thundering roar coming from the sky. As they looked up they saw Japanese planes flying overhead heading toward Pearl Harbor. The nuns quickly rushed the children into a nearby building to protect them from flying debris. In 1952 Sam was drafted into the U.S. Army. He had a distinguished 26 year career serving with the 82nd Airborne Division and 8th Special Forces. Sam earned his Jump Master wings while serving with the 82nd Airborne Division. He retired in 1978 as a Chief Warrant Officer W-4.

Sam was very active within the Woodlake community often providing music for special event and calling bingo every Friday. Sam was a member of the local Lions Club and often assisted in the preparation of food baskets delivered to local families.

He is survived by his son, Lawrence William Atcherley of Deltona Florida; granddaughter, Elizabeth Anne Hernandez-Pacheco and husband Audencio also of Delton, Florida; great-grandson, Kainoa Audencio Hernandez Atcherley of Florida; step-daughter, Nancy S. Sisler of Vass, N.C; half brother, Donald A. McNabb of Tampa, Florida and cousin, Sheila Okin of Kamuela, Hawaii.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel Lawrence and Ida Yowell Atcherley.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Samuel L. Atcherley, Jr. to Wounded Warriors Project, P O Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8517 or visit

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Mr. Atcherley’s family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers at Sandhills Sentinel.

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