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Please read our Guestbook and leave a message - a funny story about Samantha, a nice memory of Samantha or anything Samantha!

"While the family may not remember me, I was a park ranger at Carlsbad Caverns when Samantha was a baby, and have fond memories of watching her crawl around. (My girlfriend Melissa England and I were coworkers and neighbors to the family. We used to go to the pool at White City, among other things.) I just found this site today, and wanted to leave a message. I have a 10 year old girl who is similar to Samantha in a lot of ways, and can tell you that from now on, a little bit of Sam will live on every time I look at my little girl. While we can never understand why some things happen in this life, I truly believe that all things work for good to those who love God. This is a nice website and a wonderful idea. I wish you all the best of everything."

- Larry Johnson - 3/03/15
"Seems like I'm a bit late writing on this, but it's worth it. From the time we were little girls all the way up until the Friday I last saw her Sam never failed to brighten a room. 2 years later and I still think about Sam every single day. There is always one thing that sparks the memory of her no matter where I am. The thing that I think of the most is I distinctly remember is that when we were young, Sam wore this choker necklace everywhere we went. It had beads on it and she had gotten it from the beach. Sam was/is a beautiful girl who I looked up to. I hope one day I can make as big of an impact on so many peoples lives as she did. Rest in Peace Samantha."

- Allie Hott - 10/14/14
"Since we were kids in Sunday school Sam has been a ray of light. She was the silver lining to every cloud. I can still remember our youth group trip to Ocean City. They put the 4 "responsible" girls in a room together and we ended up coughing our lungs up on the balcony because styrofoam catches fire when microwaved, that was a fun. Then the hotel desk called and Sam answered. She could not stop giggling! They had gotten complaints and wanted to speak to the adult in the room SO SHE HANDS THE PHONE TO ME!..."here, you sound like an adult talk to them" all the while she is on the bed losing it. I thought she was going to hit the floor laughing so hard. We all lost it after I hung up the phone and assured the clerk the girls would quiet down :) I have so many good memories with Sam none which will ever be forgotten. Happy Birthday Sam."

- Tiffany Divelbliss - 6/23/13
"This website is a true act of God. It is as beautiful as you are. We met Sam when she was in sixth grade. You touched my daughter's life in a way I cannot explain. Whether it be in the car giggling, during club volleyball season with Coach Kim, those were the days, on the high school volleyball court staring each other down with a smile, or on the tennis courts, you definitely had Mollie's number, you were always a fierce competitor and fierce friend. Friend first. I think you and Mollie enjoyed chatting between sets in tennis more than playing against each other!! And no matter where we were, what team you were on, or Mollie, you ALWAYS found time to give her a big hug, huge smile and speak to her in a loving way...that does not come along too often. You ALWAYS made a point to speak and hug us, her parents which speaks volumes!! And for that we were blessed. Our family gained so much knowing you and that cannot be taken away. You are deeply missed but forever in our hearts."

- Susan and Bob Johnson - 3/07/13
"I heard what a wonderful young lady she was and am so sorry the world lost such a great young lady. Loved the video, especially her sayings. My thoughts and prayers to her friends and family."

- Tammy Tagg - 1/11/13
"I met Sam freshman year, she was in my Foundations of Tech Class with Mr. Hayter. She was so funny and cheerful. She was the person to go to for advice. She had so many friends and was by far the prettiest girl in Williamsport without a doubt. Sam was always trying to make a change, she was against all the hate and drama. Seeing all the classmates and friends cry and seeing how hard it was for them, made me question how the family was doing, losing such a beautiful angel on her special night, with a special boy had to been the hardest thing for a family to face. You'll forever be in our hearts, Sam."

- Courtney Breeden - 12/28/12
"Whether it was talking to Sam in AP psych, hitting around on the tennis courts or just hanging out, one thing was always constant, Sam was always smiling. Not a day goes by that I don't think back on these wonderful memories and realize how blessed I was to be able to call and still call Samantha one of my best friends. Sam didn't have a normal impact on the lives of who she met but rather one that cannot be explained but only felt. Never had I met someone that was so nice, pretty, inspirational, and caring as Sam. No matter the problems, all she ever wanted was to be there and be able to help. Everyday I feel Sam watching down and guiding me to live my life the way she always preached it--happily and to the fullest. Samantha was truly one of a kind, and has affected so many lives. We all love you Sam, and look forward to the day when we get to see you again."

- Stephen Flessner - 12/28/12
"I grew up with a media perception of the popular girl: she is a very pretty girl, stupid and only popular for her money or for her looks. Sam embodied a more realistic form of popularity. She was well-liked. She was friendly. I remember always thinking that she was an exception to the pretty-girl stereotype. I remember describing her to my mom as "a popular girl who is actually nice!" All of my memories of her are fond, but one in particular always brings a smile to my face. I had a case of the hiccups while waiting in line in the bathroom. Sam, ever the friendly, helpful person, grinned and told me that she could get rid of them. She challenged me, saying "I bet you can't hiccup anymore." I waited for the hiccups to return, but they didn't. Sam, with her contagious smile and kindness, had somehow cured me of my hiccups--and of my perception of high school stereotypes."

- Samantha Van Slyke - 12/28/12
"I remember when Sam would come to our house and spend the night with Bethany Henson. I remember going to the volleyball games and watching them play. I do miss those fun times. Sam will surely be missed. I often think about these times and become saddened. The world has lost such a wonderful girl. The family will always be in my thoughts and prayers."

- Terry Carbaugh - 12/27/12
"I never had the privilege of knowing Samantha. However, while working on the story for Sports Illustrated it became clear to me that she had a profound impact on those around her. Everyone I interviewed spoke of her in glowing terms, from coaches to baseball players to other parents. What came through the loudest was how warm and accepting she was. Her father told me how she spoke of so many different people as "my best friend." When he told her that you couldn't have more than one, she asked a simple question: Why not? The boys on the baseball team spoke of her energy, how she was always the first at games, cheering the loudest. Other told me about how good she was at volleyball - how it was like she had "springs in her legs," and how she made practices so much fun, deploying her evil eye and joking about her cracking ankle. Clearly, this was a young woman bursting with life. I have no doubt she will continue to inspire others."

- Chris Ballard - 12/4/12
"An article in Sports Illustrated titled "Winning For Sam" just brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing Samantha's wonderful life with me today."

- Sean Marshall - 12/1/12
"Sam.. I could say a thousand things about her. She was one of my best friends and always will be. We first met in YMCA volleyball for coach Mike Nix. We started playing club ball together and we vowed that we would try to stay on the same team together year after year because we were such a great team. We made so many memories over the years. Playing club ball in the winter was my favorite time of the year. Especially when we got older, and were able to drive ourselves to practice which was an hour away. It was the highlight of my week. We would drive in her little red car with the volleyball antenna and sing as loud as we possibly could. Sam would never judge me and I knew I could tell her anything. I know that even though Sam can't physically be here with us right now, that she will forever be in my heart. Sam gave THE best advice and I love that I knew her so well, that I can still hear her giving me advice. Another great memory.. Deep Creek! White water rafting.. what a blast. Sam had to sit in the middle of the boat holding her finger in the air because she had stitches from dropping a weight on her finger. So it was our job to protect her from flying out of the boat (even though she would have giggled the entire time). Sammy had such a wonderful impact on my life and I could never thank her enough. Another great memory I had with Sam was that we both played for two different high schools.. two of which had a great record. We would always get so competitive and trash talk a little here and there out of love but in the end.. we were cheering each other on. And in my mind, I could never ask for a better friend. Thank you, Samantha."

- Brynne Kirsch - 10/29/12
"Samantha was truly a one of a kind type of person. With a smile that lit up every room she entered and a laugh that was absolutely contagious, you couldn't help but love her. Sam was the epitome of beauty, radiating inside and out even on her gloomiest of days. She never failed to bring a smile to my face whenever we would interact, be it a greeting in the hallway or a full on conversation during our weightlifting class. We shared so many laughs that I will never forget. I remember the countless times that we would whisper (or pretend to whisper) about Brendon during weightlifting just to see the reaction on his face. That creepy eye and crazy walk she would do in the locker room always brought a smile to my face, and somehow she still looked gorgeous when she did that. Thinking of all the times when Sam and LJ shut the lights off in the locker room to scare the living crap out of me still bring a smile to my face. I can't write every memory I have been blessed to share with Sam because I'd be writing for hours, but one other day sticks out in my mind. As she was walking up the steps in our Biotechnology class, she just randomly screamed "SQUIRREL!!!" in reference to the movie Up. Sam was such a bright and beautiful person that I am so immensely blessed to have been able to be such close friends with. I will forever cherish the memories I made with her. She is a true inspiration. I looked up to her in her time here on earth, and I still look up to her now. She was such a wonderful example of how a person SHOULD be - so pure, so full of joy, so optimistic, so extraordinary, so genuinely real, and so sweet. There aren't enough kind words in the world to describe Sam. When Sam left this world, she took a piece of my heart, the community's heart, her family's heart, and her friends' heart with her - pieces we will never get back. Every single day, I miss her, so painfully much. Sam was the kind of friend that I really never thought that I deserved to have. I never understood how someone so beautiful and popular could be such an amazing friend to so many people, but Sam was just that - an amazing friend. Always there. Always. Sam is still there for me, for us. Though not physically, she is still there, watching over all of us every second of every day. I love you, Sam. I miss you so much. Keep watching over us, beautiful girl."

- Morgan Williams - 10/24/12
"Sam was truly an inspiration to me. Every day last school year I'd walk down to the gym fourth mod looking straight at her laughing and smiling. I'd never see a frown on that girl. I could be coming to gym in the worst mood or the greatest mood and to see her huge smile would always enlighten my mood. I always wondered how a smile always stayed on her face every day but just seeing hers automatically put one on my face. I'll always picture her sitting on that chair every day and I'll use that as my motivation to always be happy. That's one of the greatest memories I picture any day I need support."

- Taylor Gibney - 10/23/12
"I remember Sami playing for me at the Y. She was a superb athlete but a bit raw in volleyball. That however did not stop her drive and determination. If you asked her to try something, her response was always either "yes coach" or "ok coach" and at times "umm, how do I do that coach" but she always gave 110% and never quit. She was doing underhand serves and really wanted to try her overhand. I showed her ONCE and from that point on she was like a sponge, just soaking up info and trying (and succeeding) to get better. She always had a positive attitude and it rubbed off on her teammates. She exuded some kind of energy because anyone who was near her on the court seemed to instantly get better. The best part of Sami, despite all I've said, was her modesty. She may have known she was good, but you would never hear her SAY it...her actions SPOKE volumes!! Gone WAY too soon, but not forgotten."

- Mike Nix - 10/06/12
"I had the honor of recruiting Sam to come and play volleyball here at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. I had seen her play at the Baltimore Qualifier in the spring of 2011 and I loved what I saw. After email contact with her club coach, I received a phone number and so it began. I truly loved every conversation I had with Sam. She was always so positive and energetic...she had the ability to instantly put me in a better mood. She spoke highly of her senior year, tie-dying with the team, etc. Her positive energy was unending and I was so very excited at the possibility of having the opportunity to coach Sam for four years. Sam came and visited in early September of 2011 and her connection to the team and campus was strong. I fell in love with her personality and became even more excited. I knew she was a great volleyball player but it was her demeanor that 'sealed the deal' for me. I knew I wanted her on our team. Sam applied early decision and unfortunately the finances didn't work out. It was a very emotional 'good bye' over the phone. In December of 2011, my last call with Sam, I remember telling her that I believed all things happen for a reason and that God had other plans for her. I also told her that if I ever got the chance to coach against her that I'd appreciate it if she'd ease up a bit. Through tears over the phone I could feel her slight smile as she responded, "I'll see what I can do." Here we are now--1 year later. You would love this team Sam and know even though you weren't even going to be with us, I will ALWAYS consider you a member of this freshmen class. In my heart and mind, you will always be a Saint. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life, if even for a brief time. It was a pleasure and honor and Jonna and Brian--thank you for the opportunity to meet all of you in person. All of you will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers."

- Shelly Roiger - 09/11/12
"I only knew Sam for a short while, but I will never forget the time that I spent with her. Sam was so excited to be spending time at St. Lawrence that it made me even happier to be showing her around. She brought a smile to everyone's face that she met during her overnight visit with me. I really felt like Sam wasn't a recruit, but she was already a part of our team. Even though she wasn't able to come to St. Lawrence University this fall, I still consider Sam as a Saint."

- Jenna Street - 09/09/12
"Sam has always had a special place in my heart and always will. Being her oldest female cousin we were so close. One of the many memories I have of Sam was the year we went to the beach with my mom, my twins, Jonna, and her. We were there for a short 3 days but it was a fantastic 3 days. I remember laying on the beach with her getting a tan talking about life and her future and what all it held. She would always tell me that she looked up to me that I was a wonderful mother and an amazing woman. I remember telling her that day to keep her head focused in school and worry about boys later. She would laugh and say yea right! While we were down there we all went to the water park. I remember acting like a child and being silly with her.We would race down the water slides to see who would get to the end first. There was one night there we called it "girls night out," her and I ventured out alone from our moms and my boys and decided to play miniature golf. Needless to say I tried to cheat to beat her and she still beat me. After that we enjoyed some ice cream and headed back to the condo. It was so much fun just laughing and being silly with her. She was such a great person inside and out. She would always know what to say to make my day turn from gloomy to sunny. I remember when I asked her to be a bridesmaid in my wedding. She was so ecstatic - she couldn't wait to pick out her dress. Samantha will always be a part of my life; she was a ray of sunshine that would light up the room. She will greatly be missed."

- Cristina Welch - 09/08/12
"Samantha was the sweetest girl I've ever met, and the true definition of what a friend should be. She was always there for me and was willing to help me with anything. When I lost one of my good friends from Smithsburg, Mitchell, the first name I saw light up on my phone was Samantha Kelly. Every minute spent with her was spent with a smile on my face. Going snowboarding with her is a memory I think of every day. She was so excited to learn and eager, even when she would stumble. She was a true natural at it. Whether it was playing volleyball with her and Jack, going on an adventure in my Jeep, her showing me how to drive a stick shift, or just chatting, being with her was a true blessing."

- Matt Deal - 09/08/12
"Sam was an inspiration. I have always looked up to her since the first day I met her at HCC's volleyball camp in 2007. She was always a person I could look up to and tell her anything. I will miss our catching up talks when she would spend the night and we would stay up until 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning just talking. I will always remember drivers ed together and all the laughs we had. I loved every single hug she gave me after every game we played against each other, and her smile. Her smile is what I think of everyday that makes everything a little bit easier."

- Danielle Harbaugh - 08/21/12
"I had just met Sam this past year in my Biotech class. She was the funniest girl I have ever met. She always had a smile on her face. I remember when Sam, Casee and I put water bottles on our heads and wrapped our hair around them to make us look like a Who from The Grinch - LOL. She was simply an angel. She looked stunning at prom and she had an impact on everyone! We all love and miss you Sam."

- Kelsey Hutzell - 08/11/12
"For only knowing Samantha for a short time she was an amazing person. I'm never going to forget her smile. She was always a nice friendly person. She welcomed me to the school."

- Theresa Slusher - 08/10/12
"A beautiful person inside and out!"

- Susan Moser - 08/10/12
"I recall the first time I met Samantha in May 2009. My son Brad, was celebrating his 14th birthday and we surprised him with tickets to an Orioles/Tigers game in Baltimore. I told him to invite a friend. Expecting Brock Heiston, Ryan Butts or another one of his Pony League buddies I was surprised when he asked if "Sam" could come. I thought, who in the world is "Sam"? I had no idea when we pulled up in front of "Sam's" house that Friday evening just how much of an impact "Sam" would have on our family. She came bouncing down the driveway, dressed in orange and black and shouted the greeting that I came to look forward to so much for the next several years, "HEY"!! Samantha became such an important part of our family, whether it was stopping by for dinner, "boy could she eat for such a skinny little thing" or helping me out with yard work. We enjoyed so much watching Samantha on the volleyball court deliver one of her crushing outside hitter kills. Our family will always have such fond memories of the years we were fortunate enough to share with Samantha. She truly is an ANGEL!!"

- Greg Spickler - 08/10/12
"My favorite memory of Samantha was the last away tennis match that we had as seniors. It was the weekday before prom. The whole team was in a good mood because for the most part Brunswick was an easy team to beat (not Sam's girl!), school was almost over, and it was a nice day out. While warming up we talked about everything from prom queens to the fact that both our fathers work for the National Park Service. We talked about how pretty our prom dresses were and how excited we were for the weekend. She was my warm-up partner all year, but this honestly was the best conversation we had ever had. I honestly regret the fact that we didn't do it more often. She played on the court beside me and finished way before I did (and won!) and then sat with a few people from the team to cheer me on. My match ended up being over 3 hours long and after fatigue sets in, having your teammates there cheering really does help. When I finally finished she started a cheer for the whole team's win once we all were on the bus. It was a really fun time. We talked a little bit on the bus, but that was really our last interaction...You were so beautiful. I love reading your tweets because they are all so positive! I don't know anyone else who is that happy all the time-just like the reverend said at your funeral, 'We all remember the days when the moon was blue.' I think about you a lot, but we will all see you again someday :) Until then, watch over everyone who loves you in Williamsport! I can't wait to get my tee-shirts and bracelets from your Waffle House fundraiser. I'm wearing the one from BJ's Custom creations as I type. My thoughts and prayers are with your family and friends, always. Rest easy, team captain, we will never forget you."

- Jessica Mies - 08/10/12
"I didn't know Samantha but from everything I have seen and read about her she was a very beautiful young lady on the inside and out. A lot of my friends knew her and talk very well of her so I know from just talking to them she was a wonderful person even without meeting her."

- Steve Greathead - 08/09/12
"I never had the privilege of knowing you, but I know that Hannah, Justin, Greg, Peggy, and Carie loved you so much and miss you every day...and that's all I need to know about you to be able to say you were an incredible and beautiful light in this world."

- Rhonda Williams - 08/09/12
"Becoming close friends with Sam in high school wasn't just a normal thing - it was special. I say this because we knew exactly how each other felt that day just by the expressions on our faces. When I would be in a bad mood, she knew that, and she would know exactly what to say to put a smile on my face. Being her friend was something truly amazing. In fact one of my happiest days in high school was the day she told me she was going to Frostburg with me. The smile that I had on my face made her chuckle because of how excited I was. One of my last conversations with her included how I was going to watch all her volleyball games there, and how much of an awesome time we would have together. Even though she won't be there physically, I know she will be with me by my side every step of the way. From seeing and talking to her everyday to seeing an empty seat in class was something I'll never forget, it truly left a hole in my heart as well as the class of 2012's that won't ever seem to heal everytime I think of her. We love and miss you Sam!!"

- Jordan Palladino - 08/09/12
"Sam was one of my best friends. She was always someone who I knew I could talk to about anything and she wouldn't judge me. I have many amazing memories with Sam but a few stick out in my mind. I picked her up at her house so she could help me pick out my homecoming dress, we went to at least three places and couldn't find a thing. Regardless of how hideous the dress was Sam told me it looked amazing on me, that's just how Sam was, she was supportive and kind every second of every day. And how could I forget her insanely high placed belly button, I can't tell you how many times the whole volleyball team would stop and interrupt practice to compare belly buttons with Sam. Losing Sam has been one of the hardest things I've ever faced. I'm just glad I have amazing memories that I can look back on. Even though Sam and I won't be able to do the things we talked about doing after high school, she will still remain in my heart for as long as I live. Love you Sam!"

- Katie Seese - 08/09/12
"This was certainly a beautiful memorial for Samantha. She was such a beautiful and vibrant young lady and she is going to be sorely missed. Keep her memory alive, I am sure that is what she would want. Stay successful keeping her memory alive and her memorial successful. All my Love to the Family you are certainly in my thoughts and prayers. I will pray for the success of your memorial fund."

- Mildred Smith - 08/09/12
"I really wish I could have gotten to know you. You were a gorgeous girl and had a beautiful smile. When I think of you I see a smile on your face that could make anyone's day better. Your Williamsport High family misses and loves you alot."

- Erika Sweitzer - 08/09/12
"I first met Sam when i entered 6th grade. She & I rode the same bus to middle school. & everyday we sat together talking about volleyball, school, drama, boys, anything in the world. Then in high school our friendship got SO much stronger. I got to cheer her on when she played varsity volleyball. I remember eating chips & salsa almost every Friday before a home football game, talking, laughing, smiling. Losing Sam has not only taken a toll on me, but as the community as a whole. She was one of my closest friends, & i will hold onto to our memories forever."

- Madison Depew - 08/09/12
"Samantha and I were born a few months apart in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Our dads worked together and our moms bonded over their newborn babies. Over the years Samantha and I spent together, we became bonded like sisters. Whether we were racing our brothers on roller blades, making a fort with Jack, or just eating pie together at Perkins for girl time- Samantha became a big part of my life. When Samantha and Jack were visiting Keith and were available for a visit, I would drop everything to see her. Losing Samantha has been the hardest thing in my life, but I know that even though she can't be my maid of honor now, she can be with me in spirit and in memories. Her smile changes lives and this memorial page and scholarship fund, are exactly the way she would have wanted to change lives."

- Megan Niewold - 08/09/12
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