In 1957, Sam bought his first Caterpillar D-4 and that was the beginning of Gurney Bros. Construction of North Springfield, Vermont.
In June 1957, he married Beverly Anne Prouty-Lee in Springfield, Vermont.
On July 6, 1991, he married Jane (Frothingham) Harding at his home in Weathersfield, Vermont.
Sam was an avid naturalist with a vast knowledge of everything outdoors. He shared his knowledge as a gift with anyone who would listen.
He was a devoted family man who wanted his family to be together and enjoyed all family gatherings, large and small.
He is survived by his wife, Jane Harding Gurney; one son, Paul G. Gurney of Brandon, Vermont; one daughter, Kim G. Jones of Wallingford, Vermont; two stepsons, John G. Harding and Michael H. Harding, both of Boulder, Colorado; one brother, John J. Gurney of Douglas, Arizona; six sisters, Barbara L. Newport of Windsor, Vermont, Joy Harvey of Saranac Lake, New York, Caroline Staubach of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Nancy Moore of Chester, Vermont, Laura Messier of St. Johnsbury, Vermont and Harriet Abel of Southampton, Massachusetts; four grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was predeceased by his parents; two brothers, Donald I. Gurney Sr. and David Gurney; and one sister, Priscilla Whitcomb.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 17, at the Weathersfield Center Church in Weathersfield, Vermont. Reverend Susan Church will officiate.
Burial will follow at the Plain Cemetery in Perkinsville, Vermont.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the Ascutney Mountain Audubon Society, P.O. Box 191, Springfield, VT 05156.
Davis Memorial Chapel in Springfield, Vermont is assisting with arrangements.