CANTON -- Samantha Marie Curtis (Sami), 18, of Brewer Road, was surrounded by family when she peacefully passed away on Thursday May 18, while under the loving care of her mother, Karen, and Hospice.
Sami was born November 11, 1998, to Ellis J. Curtis, Jr.(Jim) and the late Terri A. Sgroi Curtis, who passed away in 2002. Arrangements are entrusted to the Lawrence Funeral Home in Canton.
Sami was a 2016 graduate of Hugh C. Williams High School in Canton, where she was class co-president and a member of the National Honor Society. She was a four-year member of the girls’ basketball and soccer teams and participated in track as a senior.
Sami’s love for agriculture and teaching was evidenced by her extensive involvement in FFA at both the local and state levels. She also loved taking classes with Mrs. Wright and intended to pursue a degree in agricultural education at Cornell University.
She held an internship at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Ag Studies Program working with St. Lawrence County high school seniors. Though she was unable to attend Cornell, Sami continued her education at SUNY Potsdam in the fall of 2016.
One of Sami’s greatest passions in life was her love for horses. In addition to spending countless hours riding her own horses, Sami trained therapy horses while she was receiving treatment in Vermont and was briefly employed at Honey Dew Acres.
Sami also loved everything outdoors. She loved to hunt with her dad and brothers, fish with Uncle Duane and Uncle Alan and spend time at the sugar bush with Grandpa Ellis and Francis Hatch.
Sami was actively involved in the community. For 15 years she participated in the Edward I. Moses Walk/Run for Life and served on the board of the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund since she was 13. Following her diagnosis, Sami held the “Help Sami Kick Cancer” event at Honey Dew Acres, which helped to raise over $60,000 for cancer patients in St. Lawrence County.
In 2016, Sami was presented with the NYS Senate Liberty Medal, the highest honor the Senate can bestow upon on individual, for her valor and selflessness. She also received recognition from Gov. Andrew Cuomo for raising in excess of $100,000 for the SLC Cancer Fund in memory of her mother. On May 9, 2017, the Senate again recognized her with the New York State Woman of Distinction award for her “profile in courage and a source of inspiration to the people of the North Country and the Empire State.”
Those who had the privilege of knowing Sami will always remember her unbridled passion for all that she did andher devotion to kindness, fairness, friendship and family.
She had a larger than life personality, a smile that would warm your heart and a laugh that came from her toes.
Sami is survived by her parents, Jim and Karen Curtis, her sister, Ashley Knight; brothers, EJ Curtis III, Chris and Andrew Knight all of Canton; her grandparents, Charles Sgroi of Canastota, Helen Scott Curtis of South Colton, Gerald and Shirley Hourihan of Canton; many aunts, uncles and cousins, who she thought of as siblings. Samantha was especially close with her Aunt Kate, who thought of Sami as her own.
Besides her birth mother, Sami was predeceased by her grandparents, Ada Sgroi of Canastota and Ellis Curtis, Sr. of South Colton.
At Sami’s request there will be no calling hours.
A celebration of her life will be held at Canton Central School High School gymnasium 99 State St. Canton on Sunday, May 21 from 4 to 7 p.m.
A Christian mass will be held at St. Mary’s Church Court St. Canton on Monday, May 22 at 11 a.m. with Rev. Douglas J. Lucia celebrating.
A private burial will follow at the Evergreen Cemetery in Canton.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to express an act of kindness and remembrance please kindly consider making a donation to “Help Sami Kick Cancer” c/o The St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund,PO Box 291, Canton NY 13617; The Evergreen Cemetery, 256 Potter Road, Canton NY 13617; or Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley, 6805 US Highway 11, Potsdam NY 13676. Please specify “Sami” in the memo.
Condolences may be shared with the family by visiting www.lawrencefuneralhome.org.