Samantha Amidala Joy Lanphear
April 1, 2010-February 25, 2019
Samantha Lanphear, 8, of Greeley slipped peacefully into the arms of Jesus on February 25, at home. The miracle baby was born April 1, 2010 in Greeley, CO to Luke and Richelle (Ryan) Lanphear. She was born with Congenital CMV, causing lifelong complications. Sami was unable to walk, but loved going on adventures with her family and friends.
Sami traveled more in her short life than many adults. She enjoyed trips to the Pacific Northwest, Canada, North Carolina and Florida, among other places. She swam with dolphins on her Make-a-Wish trip and loved falling asleep on ferry rides. Her trusty Mickey figurine went everywhere with her and she could often be seen turning him to make sure he could see everything she was seeing. Sami loved a good road trip, visits to museums and libraries, and her beloved ocean.
Sami had the very best brothers and sisters in the whole wide world and she loved snuggling and playing with them. She also had many friends and was often at the park across the street from her home surrounded by other children. She was never tired of chasing them around the playground in her wheelchair and could be counted on to “watch me, Sami” as often as she was asked. Sami and her family were blessed beyond measure by the people Sami’s illness brought into their world: other children with disabilities, their amazing families, therapists and most especially Sami’s nurses and doctors. So many people loved Sami and she loved them right back.
Sami was not able to talk, but she communicated her love and her sass perfectly. She was very particular about her routine and her favorite shows. She was an expert at letting someone know when the wrong show was playing. Sami loved to read books and especially enjoyed coloring and painting. She was very proud of her artwork and showed it off whenever possible. Sami’s favorite way to wind down her day was to cuddle in her beloved daddy’s lap, surrounded by her family, to watch her shows. She had quite a sense of humor and was very ornery, often yelling at her mommy just to get tickles and loves, and interrupt whatever Mommy was trying to do.
Sami taught us all so much about strength, courage, living in the moment, joy and unconditional love.
She is survived by her parents, Luke and Richelle Lanphear, brother Jeremiah Lanphear, sisters Dagny (Ben) Welch, Hannah Lanphear, and Abigail Lanphear; grandmother Judith Ryan, grandparents Linda and Wes Bass, many aunts, uncles and cousins and so many beloved friends. We want to especially recognize Brittany VanBenschoten, without whom we have no idea how we would have managed the last few years, and Sami’s doctor extraordinaire, Chris Moore, who fought alongside us for every inch of Sami’s amazing life.
Sami’s ashes will be scattered in Puget Sound, off the deck of one of her beloved ferries. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to “Sami’s Ferry Fund” in care of Adamson Life Celebration Home, 2000 47th Avenue, Greeley, CO 80634.
Life Celebration Memorial will be held at 12 pm, Saturday, March 2, 2019, at First Church of the Nazarene, 2515 W 16th Street in Greeley. Everyone is invited. Please feel free to wear a Mickey shirt or red, Sami’s favorite color.