Sam Champion’s father, Lt. Col. James H. Champion, died last night – sad news for those who feel like Good Morning America weatherman Sam Champion is part of our daily lives.
Good Morning America senior executive producer Jim Murphy sent an email to staff today about Sam Champion’s dad passing away, saying:
“After a life of service to his country and his family, Lt. Col. James H. Champion, U.S. Marine Corps (retired), passed away last night in Houston, Texas. He was better known to us as Sam Champion’s dad. Sam, his sister Teresa and his mom, Sylvia, were all together with the Lt. Col. at the end.”
GMA viewers were alarmed when they found out that Sam Champion would be off for the week due to a family emergency.
Champion will take the week to mourn the loss of his father, with Murphy noting, “Sam tells me his tight knit military family is strong and hanging together to face their time of grief. Please give your thoughts and prayers to Sam and his family.”
Lt. Col. Champion was born in December 26, 1934, in Paducah, Kentucky; he enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1953 and following his discharge, he attended Peabody Teachers College in Nashville, graduating in 1958.
Champion returned to active duty in 1962 and was deployed to the Republic of Vietnam in 1968 and 1969. Lt. Champion’s later assignments included the Naval War College, command of a Marine Infantry Battalion, 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade Operations Officer in Okinawa, and Headquarters Marine Corps. Champion retired in 1981.
ABC’s Good Morning America website says that donations in memoriam can be made to:
MD Anderson Cancer Center (RE: Lt. Col. J. H. Champion)
PO Box 4486, Houston, TX 77210
or at the Virginia Autism Project website.