Samuel “Sam” Leland Elliott

Memorial services for Samuel “Sam” Leland Elliott, 77, Lawrence will be held at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, December 23, 2015 at First Christian Church. He passed away Sunday, December 20, 2015 at Stormont-Vail Regional Hospital in Topeka.

Sam was born September 12, 1938 in Salina, the son of Walter Wendell and Frances Leora (Jones) Elliott.

He was a member and Elder of the First Christian Church. Past member and President of Kansas Association of Broadcasters and former mayor of Ulysses. Broadcasting was in his blood, as his parents were both broadcasters in his early years. He played the first Rock-n-Roll in southwestern Kansas on KGNO radio. He was the owner of KULY, a radio station in Ulysses. Sam was a former professor in the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas. He was owner and editor of The Flint Hills Independent newspaper in Eskridge. At one time, he had a daily talk show “Let’s Talk” on WIBW-AM. He was currently employed at General Dynamics.

He married Marita L. Leonard Prisock on January 15, 1983 in Wichita. She survives of the home.

Sam and Marita enjoyed living on Lake Wabaunsee for many years.

Other survivors include daughters, Sara (Christopher) Sanders, Garden City, twin daughters, Lori (Bill) Clifton, Las Vegas, NM and Lisa (Russell) Killion, Dodge City, stepdaughters, Lisa (Phillip) Leyva, Olathe and Vicki (Ed) Sweeten, Blythewood SC; stepson, Jess (Adrian) Prisock, Athens, GA; eleven grandchildren: Libby Sanders, Trevor (McKenna) Killion, Lela Killion, Nick Killion, Alissa Leyva, Dominique Leyva, Gabrielle Leyva, Edwin (Leah) Sweeten, Wesley (Katelyn) Sweeten, Wayne Sweeten, Christina Sweeten; three great grandchildren; brother, Mark (Nina) Elliott, Bolingbrook, IL; and four nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Wendell.

The family will greet friends from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 22nd at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.

Memorial contributions may be made in his name to First Christian Church Benevolent Fund and may be sent in care of the mortuary.

14 Condolences

  1. Sheena Small on December 21, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    I worked with Sam at gdit. I will miss him dearly. I loved him like he was my grandfather. For a short period of time we sat next to each other. He always had some life savers for me. We would discuss our family’s and sports. I can not say how sorry I am for your loss. Please feel free to reach out if you need anything. My number is 785-330-3525.

  2. Harry & Peggy Fry on December 21, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Sam was such a big part of our lives when we moved to Ulysses in 1963. He and Harry shared many a fun time together broadcasting High School sporting events – also were motorcycle riding buddies. We have remained friends for all these years and we will dearly miss his & Marita’s visits and his annual Christmas letter. Our deepest thoughts & prayers go out to Marita & his girls & families. Love to all!

  3. Mike Jones on December 21, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Was great to have met and known Sam. Even though I only knew him for about 4-5 years he would talk to you like he’d known you for ever. At work on down times we would talk about cars and how he would cruise his Harley all over or tease each other over KU and K-State games. Will miss his sense of humor at work, he always had a great one liners! RIP Sam Elliot you will be missed and remembered.

  4. Rex Burkhardt on December 22, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Sam was one of my favorite professors in the KU radio-tv-film modules in the early 1970’s. He was genuinely interested in the progress & learning of his students. Sam will be remembered and respected.

  5. Shirl Mac on December 22, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Please allow me to offer my sincere condolences for your loss. We can look forward to a time when death will be no more, and no resident will say “I’m sick”, Rev. 21: 3, 4, and Isaiah 33:24. Be assured that you will see “Sam” again, this is a promise stated at: John 5:28,29. When I need comfort I look to God’s word in the Bible, or I visit and search for: comfort. There are so many encouraging scriptures that will help during your time of grief. Again, I am truly sorry for your loss.

    Shirley from Dallas, TX

  6. Ann Glinka on December 22, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    My prayers go out to you at this time. I knew he was ill, but I was praying he could recover…I knew him such a short time but felt like I knew him for years…He was much loved and appreciated, and will be greatly missed. Ann

  7. Max Utsler on December 22, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Sam took the lessons from his professional broadcasting background and applied them to his teaching at KU. He helped professionalize KJHK-fm and turn it into a strong student laboratory as well as a community asset. I greatly appreciate all he did for the School of Journalism and our students. I also want to thank Marita for all that she did to help the school. They made quite a team.

  8. Don Luallen on December 22, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    I knew sam from hight school days in Dodge City. Sam would be the
    late night DJ on KGNO, and we would come up and have a great time
    playing music and talking on the air. Sam was a great friend.
    My best to his family

  9. Rita Stoppel Nelson on December 23, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Sam was one of my favorite professors at KU. When I came back in the fall of 1980 after being out for seven years he made me feel right at home even though I knew no one. I had several classes with him and always enjoyed learning under him. I will never forget him opening his home to his radio operations class for what our “Open Bottle” final. My condolences to his family. A great loss.

  10. Warner Lewis on December 23, 2015 at 10:46 am

    what a special person Sam was…..I loved learning and working with him. And what a great sense of humor. He was one of the good guys in the broadcasting business that made it fun. My best to Marita and the entire family.

  11. Janet Reznicek on December 24, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Sam will be greatly missed on the elder board at FCC. Thankfully he had the wisdom to bring Marita onto the board also! He used his gift of writing to compose many of the weekly devotions for the congregation, and this fall he had organized sessions to help future FCC leaders to get to know their church better. Thank you, Sam!

  12. Adrian Prisock on December 31, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    I met Sam in 1986 when I started dating Jess, his and Marita’s stepson and my future husband of 28 years. I’ve always said that I owe my meeting Jess to Sam and Marita and their incredible love and generosity. When Jess was getting ready to go to grad school he was deciding between KU and a university in Oregon. Sam and Marita very generously offered him free room and board so he could go to KU (as long as he got a job, which he did). Then when I met Jess at KU, they opened their arms to me as well, on Sunday lunches, Thanksgiving and Christmas. And from then on I’ve loved them dearly and have enjoyed every moment we’ve spent together all these years. So it’s with great sadness, but also with great love and thankfulness, that I say goodbye to Sammy,

  13. Padraic McFreen on January 23, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    I was a student of Professor Sam Elliot. He and I mixed like oil and water. His pure idea about broadcasting didn’t leave much room for minority students and he devised a scheme to have me removed and my broadcasting career disrupted. That had a lasting impact on my life. As he didn’t want other minority students getting any ideas of professional independence. However, if he had been different—more welcoming of diversity—I likely would never have invented the Smart Technology and Communication Networks In 1998, that I shared with Lucent Technologies in 2000— later partnered with SBC and Steve Jobs (Apple). Sam Elliot’s disposition caused me to work harder than anyone else. His myopic views resulted in my becoming a billionaire several times over. Enjoy the ride Sam—“It’s radio to me”…after all.

  14. Dave Simpson on September 8, 2020 at 2:24 am

    Sam gave me my first job in broadcasting. I graduated from Oklahoma State and after a series of events I found myself living in Ulysses. Sam was a genuine hoot! He ran a very fun place to work and befriended me during my stay there. Through the years we would see each other at the National Association of Broadcasters annual meeting and he made it feel like old home week. I am saddened at learning of his passing, and will always remember him most fondly.

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