Sam Simpson

Born and reared in Wichita Falls, Texas, Sam made his way to Abilene to attended Hardin-Simmons University in the fall of 1962.  After receiving a BBA degree from HSU and working several years in the accounting  field, his search for a career that more nearly challenged  his abilities and satisfied his interest in design lead him to Texas Tech University to complete a BA degree in interior design.

After returning in 1976 to Abilene and working several years in his interior design career, association with clients, JoAnn and John Hamil, led Sam to yet another rewarding avenue and career in the funeral business.  These experiences have proven to be very fulfilling and satisfy his interest in helping others, especially during very difficult times in their lives. 

This path ultimately afforded Sam the opportunity to continue serving families with Karla and Robert Hamil and their staff at The Hamil Family Funeral Home in Abilene.     

Among the many blessing Sam has enjoyed throughout life are his wonderful, loving son, Chad and his wife, Lora, and two precious granddaughters, Alysse and Malerie, as well as numerous other family members and cherished friends.           


James L. Ritter born and raised in Plainview, Texas. Married to Janie, they have one son, two grandsons and one great granddaughter; all live here in Abilene. A Baptist pastor full time for 42 years and now as a bi-vocational minister.







Gary is a familiar face to Abilene and the Big Country.  Following his retirement, the long time television sportscaster joined the Hamil staff in 2008.  Gary referred to his role as visitation attendant, "The most fulfilling and self-rewarding job I've ever had."  

Gary grew up in San Angelo, and did television sports in Amarillo, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Abilene.  Over the years, Gary was involved in many civic and community events in Abilene.  

He was former board member of Pastoral Care and Counseling and served on the Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee.  Gary attended First Baptist Church.

In 2017, Gary moved to Mountain Home, Arkansas, near the southern Ozark Mountains.



Leroy Mason was born in Plainview, Texas in 1938.  He moved in the fall of 1946 and graduated Abilene High School in the spring of 1956.  After serving in the United States Marine Corps, he worked for the Texas Highway Department.  Later he began a career in the retail business having worked for Kinney Shoe Corporation until his retirement in 1988.  After a brief period, he began another career in the funeral business working for Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home until he retired in 2003.

He worked part-time for Robert and Karla at The Hamil Family Funeral Home until officially retiring in 2017.