Samantha Elisabeth Porter entered the world on March 10, 1995. She was born at Scott Air Force Base in Belleville, Illinois and lived there with her family for only a few months before moving to Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii. Samantha’s (Sam’s) dad was in the United States Air Force which meant a lot of travel. Although a long distance from the rest of her family, Sam had her parents and two older brothers, Wes and Shane, to teach her the love of family.
When Sam was 3 years old she and her family moved to Ramstein Air Base in Germany where they lived or 4 ½ years. When Sam was 4 years old, she attended an authentic German kindergarten for one year before starting an Americanized kindergarten at Kaiserslautern Elementary School in Volgeweh, Germany. Living in Germany made for a lot of travel adventures not only in Germany, but in eleven other countries as well. Half way through her second grade school year, Sam moved with her family back to Odon, Indiana where she became a student at North Daviess Elementary School. She quickly adjusted to her new classmates and became a part of the class of 2013.
Sam immediately got involved in community activities as she joined 4-H and started playing softball. Sixth grade was a particularly big year for Sam as she joined band, playing her mom’s clarinet, and became a cheerleader. Sam wanted to take gymnastics to help her with her tumbling skills for cheerleading and she had the best toe-touch and jumps around. When Sam was a freshman she played sports year-round. She ran cross country in the fall and ran track in the spring while still playing softball in the youth league, along with cheerleading and band activities all year long. When Sam was a sophomore she could no longer play youth league softball and decided to play on the high school softball team rather than to run track. That still kept her going non-stop with practices, games, and meets of some kind.
Junior year was quite a year. As if she didn’t already have an incredibly busy schedule, Sam decided she wanted to work that fall at a corn maze where she helped guide children who wanted to ride horses. She also got her wisdom teeth cut out during Christmas break, broke her foot when landing a jump while cheering at a basketball game, made homecoming court and wore a beautiful pink cast with her formal as she gracefully made her way onto the basketball court on the arm of her escort. The highlight, though, was when she was chosen for the prom court.
The summer between her junior and senior year, although her schedule was already packed with cheerleading, cross country, and marching band practices, Sam decided she wanted to get a job as a corn detassler and got herself up and out the door around 4:00 every morning, picking up other workers along her way. When she got home she would get a snack and get right to her practices, often not getting home until late in the evening.
At the beginning of her senior year, Sam received a concussion during a cheerleading practice when one of the girls she was lifting stepped down onto her head and knocked her to the floor. She tried desperately to not let it slow her down, but she still had to refrain from practices until she was cleared. Sam was just beaming all the time with the glow of being a senior. She absolutely loved being a role model for the little girls who would come to the football games to watch her cheer. She was on top of the world at the football senior night as she had waited for so long to participate in the parade of seniors. What made it even better was that night was also the football cheer clinic where she came out with the rest of the cheerleaders along with a large crowd of little girls they had taught to do cheers. What nobody knew was that would be the last night we would get to see Sam’s beautiful face or hear her sweet voice and little giggle. It was on her way home from the football game that evening that Sam was involved in a car wreck as she swerved, trying to avoid hitting a cat that ran out into the road, lost control of her car and hit a pole. There was a lady who witnessed the wreck and said Sam’s car was surrounded with an incredible glow and as she went out to see Sam in her car she could see a little angel on Sam’s shoulder.
On September 28, 2012 Sam was called to Heaven, but anyone who knows Sam, who was touched by her compassion, her generosity, her laughter, and her smile, knows that Sam is not gone; her spirit lives on in all that is beautiful. Her spirit can be witnessed all throughout nature. It can be felt in the wind, seen in a rainbow, and heard in the ringing of wind chimes.