Sam Provenza

Published 10:19 am Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sam Provenza, 94, Greenville native, one of the greatest generation, loving father, grandfather, community servant and advocate for our military veterans died on March 21, 2017 in Oxford.

The oldest of eight children, Sam was the first generation in his family born in the United States of America to immigrant parents from Sicily, Vincent Provenza and Camille Portera Provenza. Sam was a successful businessman and community and state volunteer. In addition to proudly serving in World War II in the United States Army Air Corps as a flight engineer on a B-17 bomber, Sam was appointed by five governors to serve on the Board of Directors for the Veterans Home Purchase Board for 32 years. Other areas of his service include being the Mississippi State Director for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for fifteen years and coordinated the first St. Jude Radio-thon, Washington County Red Cross, Washington County Economic Development District, Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Planters Bank & Trust Board, and President of the Mississippi Soft Drink Bottlers Association. Sam was co-owner with his twin brother, John, of the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Greenville. Most recently, Sam was an active participant in Oxford Memory Makers.

Mr. Provenza was preceded in death by his wife, Mildred, six siblings and is survived by his three daughters, Mille Smith of Oxford, Marcy Turpen (Charles) of Piperton, Tennessee and Margaret Burke of Memphis, Tennessee. He also leaves behind seven grandchildren, Bo Smith (Natalie), Carter Smith (Ann Marie), Collins Smith, Drs. William Hester (Jenna), Hart Burke, Mille Burke, Katie Burke; and three great-grandsons, his brother Tony Provenza (Ellie) and many nieces and nephews.

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Visitation will be held from 6-7 p.m., followed by a Rosary at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 23, at Waller Funeral Home, Oxford. His Funeral Mass will be Friday, March 24 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Greenville. Burial will follow the Mass in the Greenville Cemetery.

Donations to a charity of your choice or one of his favorites: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1905;

Memory Makers of Oxford, Respite Day Services of Oxford, Inc., 311 Heritage Drive, Oxford, MS 38655; St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church Building Fund, 416 South 5th Street, Oxford, MS 38655 or St. Joseph Catholic Church, 412 Main Street, Greenville, MS 38701.

For additional information or to sign an online guestbook, visit or call 662-234-7971.