(WBIR) The proprietor of Blackberry Farm died in a skiing accident late Thursday in Colorado.
The resort announced the death of Sam Beall, 39, in a press release on Friday morning.
“The Beall family and the Blackberry Farm team are understandably shocked by this heartbreaking news about the man they loved dearly as a son, brother, father, friend and host,” Blackberry Farm said in a release. “They welcome the thoughts and prayers of all those whose lives were touched by Sam’s hospitable nature, visionary leadership and adventurous spirit.”
Beall had taken over running the farm from his mother Kreis Beall. According to the Blackberry Farm website, Sam Beall had furthered the business by evolving the Farmstead, the Wellhouse (an on-site spa and health center), expansion of retail program, the creation of two new restaurants and numerous accolades from various media outlets and other honors.
Beall leaves behind a wife and five children.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, March 1st at 1:00 p.m. at the Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church in Knoxville. The family will receive friends beginning at 11:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, gifts in Sam Beall's memory may be sent to the Blackberry Farm Foundation or made online at blackberryfarm.com/foundation/give.
In an interview with WBIR, Joseph Lenn, former executive chef at Blackberry Farm, remembered Beall's infectious personality.
"His happiness and love for life," says Lenn. "You just couldn't help but want to live life to the fullest like he did."
Lenn also acknowledged Beall's giving spirit and the high standards and culture he brought to his family farm.
"What I hope is that this wonderful legacy of Southern hospitality lives on at Blackberry Farm and that's how people remember him every time they go there, because that's just how he was."
Lenn's wife Kathryn Powell-Lenn grew up with the Beall family. She says Sam Beall was a devoted father and husband.
"There's no doubt in my mind how much he loved his children and he loved his wife. I was always so impressed that he could do it so well and give 110% for them. My heart really hurts for them right now."
PREVIOUS: Your Stories on Blackberry Farm
Friends and others from the culinary community sent their condolences to Beall's family on Friday.
“Sam Beall was a caring young man and one of our state's most creative businessmen. He led a hotel company that has become known around the world for its quality," Sen. Lamar Alexander said in a statement. "He and the Beall family have been close friends of our family for many, many years. We are shocked by the news and extend our heartfelt sympathies to his family and to all of those on the Blackberry Farm team.”
"Our deepest heartfelt sympathies go out to the entire family who lost a remarkable husband, father and businessman," said Bryan Daniels, Blount Partnership president/CEO. "His leadership, guidance and vision of one of America’s greatest hidden treasures that epitomized Southern hospitality will be missed.”
Just heard about Sam Beall of @blackberryfrm passing at 39. Gone too soon. RIP. Very sad Blackberry is a special place partly because of him— Dave Ramsey (@DaveRamsey) February 26, 2016
A representative of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra said the organization was "shocked" at Beall's death.
"Sam has been visionary in creating and shaping the warm and welcoming (not to mention delicious) experience of visitors to Blackberry Farm, putting East Tennessee on the map," the statement issued by Rachel Dellinger reads. "He is a Knoxville treasure, a true arts supporter, and will be missed dearly. We send our sincere condolences to his family during this time."
Said David Butler, executive director of the Knoxville Museum of Art: "The entire Knoxville Museum of Art family is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Blackberry Farm proprietor Sam Beall. Sam was a great friend of the KMA and he will be greatly missed. We extend heartfelt condolences to his family and everyone connected with Blackberry Farm."
Knox Mason owner Matt Gallaher said he owed much of his career to Blackberry Farm, and, by extension, Sam Beall.
"He clearly had a great vision for hospitality and you know, what it means to East Tennessee in the 21st century," he said. "It's a big loss, but the standards he set and culture he created at Blackberry, those will live on."
Sending our deepest sympathies and much love to the family of Sam Beall and everyone at @blackberryfrm today.— Condé Nast Traveler (@CNTraveler) February 26, 2016
This is absolutely terrible news. Sam was a great man, father, and avid supporter of cycling. RIP Sam Beall. https://t.co/AkOVDBuDl7— Lance Armstrong (@lancearmstrong) February 26, 2016