Samantha Howard was an outgoing, energetic girl, who liked sports and had a real sense of humor.

Sam, an incoming seventh grader at Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School, died along with her parents and sister in a car accident while vacationing in Kootenay National Park, British Columbia, Canada. She was 11.

Sam was born on November 27, 1999 in Palo Alto. Her aunt, Cindy Howard remembers the doula who attended Sam’s birth saying that she “had never seen a baby who could communicate so much at such a young age.”

Sam seemed to have inherited her father’s wicked sense of humor, said another aunt, Kim Saxe. She understood sophisticated humor that went over the heads of most children.

Sam had just acted in a summer camp play and played volleyball last year as a sixth grader at JLS.

Samantha is survived by her grandparents, Ron Howard, of Palo Alto and Jose and Natalia Dias of Turlock; aunts and uncles Kim and Tim Saxe of Los Altos, David Howard, of Menlo Park, John and Cindy Howard of Palo Alto, John and Teresa Dias of Turlock; Mary and Eric Horvitz and Natalia and Jim Moore; and cousins Andrew Saxe, of Palo Alto, Amanda, Laurel, and Gwen Howard, of Palo Alto, Carlo Dias and his girlfriend Samantha, Nicholas Dias, Carla and Andrea Francisco, Zachary Horvitz, Lana and Leah Moore, and Taylor Dias.

115 thoughts on “Sam

  1. We are so sad to hear about such young lives lost. Your friends in class will miss you. Hope god is there with you along with your family. God bless

  2. Sam,
    What a peppy girl, so helpful and happy all the time.
    Sandra loved to do project in class with you. You were an amazing girl.

    We all will miss you SO much

    With our deepest love
    Patricia, Philippe, Adrien and Sandra

  3. Sam & Tatiana were on 6th grade volleyball together:) I loved cheering for the girls & can remember calling out Sam’s name many times for great plays. We are just heartbroken to learn about the accident. Much love during this time to their families.

  4. In 6th grade, each kid gets a group and three or four 8th grade counselors for “Panther Camp”; basically an introduction to JLS. I was lucky enough to get Sam as one of my campers. I was devastated by the news. She was a beautiful girl and just an amazing person.

  5. Having known Sam since preschool, she will always have a special place in my heart. She was the nicest, sweetest person I’ve known. She and her family were so helpful and very dear to me and my family. We are devastated by the tragedy and shocked and heartbroken. We send love to their family.

  6. Sam you were and amazing friend and an amazing person so happy and full of energy i wish i could make you come back i will miss you and you will always be in my heart RIP

  7. You are the sweetest and most thoughtful girl I can think of. Thank you for playing with our boys and being a wonderful friend to Leo at JLS. I have admired your family for all the energy and involvement in the community and looked forward to our family being in the same school. We will truly miss our dear next door neighbor.

  8. Dear Sam,
    I am going to miss you so much!
    You were the sweetest girl I’ve ever met.
    I wish you were still around.
    I can’t believe you are gone but you will always be in our hearts.

  9. Sam,
    I love you so much and I still remember the time when you invited me to your house to play with your car, when I first went to El Carmelo. You were so friendly to me and I loved it when you smiled. Your family was so warm and inviting, I will never forget you. <3 Rest in peace.
    Julia Zhou

  10. When I heard about the accident I was devastated, Sam was such an amazing girl, I remember meeting her one summer, and I was so happy that she was going to El Carmelo too when school started.

    I will miss her so so much, along with the rest of her family- Ana-Maria, Robert, and Nica.

  11. wow. i realy wish i had taken the time to get to know you. So many people loved you. no one will forget you, we will always miss you and your family

  12. Hey Sam,

    You were an amazing friend and awesome person. You cheer up when someone was very sad. When we heard about this, we felt terrible and didn’t know what say or do about this. We well miss you and remember you as a very kind respectful person.

  13. We are all so very sad. We are in shock and feel tears in our heart and they are flowing out of our eyes and its hard to stop. We remember you from CMT, and from PASA and we are praying for you and your whole family. My daughter Nirel says, “Sam was a wonderful person, bubbly, nice and always said hi to me. She had a way of making me feel that I was her favorite person even if I saw her for just a little while.” My daughter Natania says, “Sam was really a nice person and was nice to me when I first started out at PASA, and didn’t know anybody. Sam made me feel welcomed and I am thankful for that.” Our prayers are with you all and you will really be missed.

  14. oh my god i cant believe it. She was the most nicest and happiest friend i knew. I loved her so much. Im going to miss eating lunch with her everyday next year :'( Thank you SO much for everything Sam. You will always be remembered <3

  15. I wish I knew her better. She was so kind and helpful to the JLS community and everyone loved her. This is unbelievable and we will always miss you.

  16. Sam, you were always so full of fun and always had a positive something to say about everyone. We will miss you.

    Maddie, Shannon, Michael and Justin

  17. This accident has changed my life. Sam was just wonderful. She is one of the nicest girls I have ever met. Who could have ever thought that this would have happened to you and your family. You will never be forgotten Sam.

  18. Sam,
    You were such a kind, caring, and beautiful girl. You had so much potential, so much strength and so much love for your sister and your family. Something I got to experience briefly for the times I had the pleasure to babysit you and your sister. I wish I had got to have know you better. You will be missed dearly. Rest in peace.

  19. Sam,
    I remember the first time I met you, you were so happy and cheerful, and you always wore a smile on your face. Ever since that day, you’ve made me smile, too.
    At volleyball tournaments, I remember you were referee for us, and you told your coach all about me.
    At lunch, you made us laugh endlessly.
    I’m very glad that I met you.
    We will miss you, but you will stay in our hearts forever. ♥

  20. Dear Sam,
    God takes people for a reason and I never know why. Especially you. I love your jumpy attitude and your high voice! I will miss your tight hugs that will squeeze me until I plead you to stop! R.I.P. Sam I will never forget you and rest in heaven forever. I will be praying for you forever and always. We all miss you Sam. It’s a nightmare. And too be honest, I still think I’m dreaming.

  21. This is such a heart breaking news! Siddharth was your classmate since kindergarten all the way until 6th and he is very sad and heartbroken. Hope god is there with you and your family. We all will miss you really.
    Deepest Love,
    Srinivasan, Shanti, Siddharth, Shruti

  22. Sam, my panther camper, I’m going to miss you so much. You’re peppy and happy attitude always put a smile on my face. Know that you really made an impact on my life. You will always be missed.


  23. Dear Sam,
    I am so glad I met you. Whenever something bad happened, you were always there to cheer me up. You’re so energetic and funny. RIP

  24. Were sad to hear about what happened. Our prayers and thoughts will always be with you. We will all miss you.

  25. We are so incredibly sad to lose Sam and her family- Madeleine and Sophie loved playing softball with Sam on the Knights in Spring 2009 and we all enjoyed getting to know Robert and Ana- Maria as well. Our thoughts are with you all in heaven~
    With incredible sympathy to your families,
    Joy, Jeff, Andrew, Madeleine and Sophie

  26. To the one young lady who took the time to tie our sons shoes in Kindergarten.
    Whenever we think of you, we will always remember the kindness. Your kindess will be surely be missed!
    Thank you

  27. Sam,
    Our son, Nicolas, went through Pre-School Family with you. You were one of the few girls that he befriended and spent time with outside of class. He still remembers attending a birthday party at your house where your family did magic tricks and at one point you “disappeared” by hiding in one of the kitchen cabinets. He was very lucky to have had a chance to be your friend.

  28. Sam,
    II will always remember when you tought me how to fold a burrito… I miss you so much and I was so lucky to have been able to have met you, even if it was just one year. Dearest love to the family and I will never ever forgett you, Sam. Rest in Peace. Love, Sandra

    Love forever,

  29. Sam♥
    i still remeber the day i met you in betcha
    you always had such a warm smile and you wer so sweet
    i remeber how everyday i would see ou biking home
    i cant beilive your gone
    …our such an amazing person and even though i only knew you for one year you had a great impact on my life
    you showed me how to look at eevrything optimisticly and ill miss you so much
    you were the sixth grader that i was the closet with because you wer so sweet and the last time i saw you at hoover park you told me the funiest joke<3
    i miss you so much and i cant beilive this happened to you
    i hope someday we will be together again and i wish you could see how much we all miss you
    rest in peace <3

  30. Sam brought many things to our classroom last year. As so many of you have said already, I think her smile — her joy of life was the greatest gift she gave. As one of her teachers, I saw how much she enjoyed being with everyone. Whenever I glanced Sam’s way, I would be able to see the most positive thing about the situation. Usually she was smiling, and she was always enjoying her time with us.

    To each of you:
    However much, or little time you spent with Sam, you gave her great joy. I saw it happen many times when you may not have known yourself that you had made her smile.

    Chris Kuszmaul

  31. Sam,
    you where like my little sister to me and you thought of me as a older brother from another mother. I really wish there was a way you and your family where still here with us in Palo Alto. We will all really miss you. You and your family did so much for us and never wanted anything in return. I will miss our 4×4 wheeling days. I’m so sorry. The one good part is that all of your family went to god together leaving no one alone to grieve about the happenings. I’LL MISS YOU…

  32. I was one of Sam’s teachers at a theatre program earlier this summer. I only knew her for three short weeks, but I have no shortage of good things to say about her. She really was an amazing girl – vibrant, intelligent, and kind. She wowed all of her teachers with her maturity and dependability, but I was even more impressed with her positive, can-do attitude. Sam approached every situation with a smile, and working with her was always a joy. It’s absolutely devastating for a young lady with so much potential to have her life cut short like this. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this tragedy.

  33. I was Samantha’s 6th grade counselor at JLS. I came to know her quite well through the BeTCha service club. Samantha was a very dear child to me. She attended every meeting, and if she couldn’t attend a meeting she would come by and tell me. I was impressed with her responsible behavior as a member of this community service club. Samantha was passionate and idealistic. She came up with many ideas for service to others. I was so touched by her kind nature. When jobs were delegated she volunteered and always came through for the group, the other students and me. She was one of the few students who would come bounding into my office every now and then just to say, “Hi.” She felt like we had a special bond because of our common last names. I will miss her so much. The world is emptier without her in it. ( Linda Howard, Sam’s 6th grade school counselor)

  34. Sam,
    When I saw the email I thot no way.
    It aint possible. Then i find this site.
    Its dedicated to u. (and ur fam)
    U always were smiling.
    I wish i could only say, “See Yah”

  35. Sammy was such a nice outgoing person who was always so nice to me! It was so sad that this amazing person had to go so quickly. I cannot believe that a few months ago, she was teaching me how to fold a burrito, laughing, talking, singing……. Sam – I wish you were still here. Our thoughts and prayers go with you always.

  36. I had the joy and honor of two generations of amazing Howard girls in my 6th grade class; Sam as my student and Ana-Maria as a devoted volunteer. Sam was so charming, gracious and bright, with a huge heart like her Mom. You could always count on Sam for a funny quip, a dazzling smile, an infectious laugh and a helping hand. She was a wonderful friend to everyone and was blessed with great friends in return. We will cherish our memories of Sam and be thankful for the all too brief time we had with her. My heartfelt sympathy to her family and friends.

  37. Dear Sammy,

    I miss you very much. Thank you for all the wonderful experiences you gave to me, like your crushing hugs and contagious laughter. 🙂 ILY. I hope to see you again, and may you and your family be with God. R.I.P. Smiles! 🙂 🙂 🙂


  38. Sam was a very hyper, nice, sweet person. I know I had just recently met her, but she meant a lot to me. I remember the first day I met her, it was at CTC. I didn’t really know her but she had invited me to sit with her at lunch anyway. Even though I had barely even known her, she was super nice and sweet to me. We had become very good friends in those few weeks of camp. I was really looking forward to going to school with her, and was devastated when I found out that she and her family had passed away. She is an amazing person and I will truly miss her.

    With Love,

  39. Samantha –

    I’ve only met you twice, yet despite such few encounters I’ve remembered you clearly. It is not easy to forget such a happy, bright, cheerful spirit such as you.

    Samantha, you and your family were a priceless blessing to this world, with your hard-working attitudes, kind smiles, and seemingly endless energy. You will be missed by all. May God bless you and your family, and may you all rest in peace.

    Thank you for everything, Samantha, especially for being my younger sister’s closest friend.


  40. i have known you for such little time but in that time you were always so nice, caring, and always knew how to lighten someone else’s day

  41. Dear Sammy,

    I miss you so much! You were a really good friend of mine and made me speechless with your hugs, smiles, humor, and laughter. ILY! R.I.P. I hope to see you again. God bless your family and you, Samantha. I am so sad :(:(:(:(. You always cheered me up whenever I was upset. And gave me lots of hugs. May God be with you. You were my best friend.


  42. Too sad for words, and such a shock; though I read the email 36 hrs ago, just now oriented enough to be able to leave this note. In addition to the loss for the family closest to them, this is a huge loss for the community. Don’t know what else I can say except that they are in our thoughts.

  43. Sam,
    You were one of the helpful and spirited friends I have had in my entire life. Sam, you made everyone feel special in our own way, and none of us will ever forget that joyful feeling we have whenever we are around you. This tragic event will not break the bond between us, and it never will. You will be missed by all you know and all that know you. You are not physically there, but you will always be right there with the rest of us, in our hearts. Sam, you were an amazing, kind, confident, loving, special, resplendent, sprightly, one-of-a-kind friend. From being Panther Camp buddies to Wheel friends, I hope our bond never breaks. I miss you already, and I am so sad that you were only able to do your “magic” on this world for that short a period of time.
    We will always remember and think of you Sam.

    -Alice Zhang

  44. Sam played softball with our daughter Rowan last spring, and we are shocked and saddened by her and her family’s deaths! Rowan cried when we told her about their tragic deaths. My husband Elgin remembers how excited Sam got whenever their team was winning, and that she often asked him the score. We remember sitting and talking with them during the team pizza party. I know they are together with God now, and we wish their family members peace and comfort.


    Liz, Elgin, and Rowan Lee

  45. Dearest Sam,

    I never knew you, but our paths have crossed several times. We both went to JLS, performed in CMT productions, and played for Palo Alto Volleyball Club for the 2010-2011 season. I have no doubt that you were one of the people that contributed to making each of those places/organizations a better place. And I thank you for making my experiences that much better.

    As former JLS Student Body President, I can say our school will miss such a peppy and bright student. As a CMT CIT, I can say the theatre will miss such an amazing actress. As a former PAVBC member, I can say that every potential school and volleyball club team will miss such an amazing athlete.

    I wish you every happiness on your journey.


  46. Sam,

    I remember when we first met in volleyball. you were always
    encouraging and cheered people on. You were an awesome
    friend and i cant believe something so horrible has happened
    to you and your family. I will miss you,your hugs, and great sense
    of humor. We will always remember you. R.I.P.
    Love, Audrey

  47. I am so sorry to hear about this loss – the whole family, it is truly a very unfortunate accident. My thoughts and prayers go out to their friends and family as well as the other person driving the vehicle that caused this tragedy. No words can even begin to explain how he must be feeling…and to have to live with something like this the rest of his life. I have read the write ups on this website and I just want to say whoever put this site up did a great job – very nice that people get to read about the family and post their condolences. Again, I am truly sorry for everyone this tragedy effected and my thoughts and prayers are with everyone at this time

  48. I was lucky enough to meet Sam during spring softball this year. She was an amazing person, almost never to be seen without a smile on her face. She brightened up our whole team with her happiness and positive attitude. I remember Sam skipping between softball and volleyball games in a rush, but she always had enough time to give me a hug. I don’t think I’ll ever meet a girl as sweet and kind as Sammy.

    I send my love to all of the Howard family
    Rest in Peace


  49. With the start of volleball season last fall, I was impressed with our 6th grade girls. The team was good and Samantha played an important role in their success. Sam was fun to watch whether on the court playing or on the bench cheering on the team. Sam had an infectious spark that made the fans enjoy each match and then eagerly look forward to the next match. This same spark was evident when Sam volunteered to work in the Student Store. She became a vital member of our Store crew. Sam was very businesslike and enjoyed serving our student customers. She especially liked giving an added treat to those who made a purchase. Sam was a treat herself for those who worked with her and to those who encountered her at the Store window. I had hoped that Sam would be the lead person at the Store during her 7th grade year, she was that great a member or our crew. Sam’s name is on a plaque as part of the 2010 crew, and so will always be a part of the JLS Store
    Sam will be greatly missed but will hold a special place in my memory forever
    Mel Froli

  50. With the start of volleball season last fall, I was impressed with our 6th grade girls. The team was good and Samantha played an important role in their success. Sam was fun to watch whether on the court playing or on the bench cheering on the team. Sam had an infectious spark that made the fans enjoy each match and then eagerly look forward to the next match. This same spark was evident when Sam volunteered to work in the Student Store. She became a vital member of our Store crew. Sam was very businesslike and enjoyed serving our student customers. She especially liked giving an added treat to those who made a purchase. Sam was a treat herself for those who worked with her and to those who encountered her at the Store window. I had hoped that Sam would be the lead person at the Store during her 7th grade year, she was that great a member or our crew. Sam’s name is on a plaque as part of the 2010 crew, and so will always be a part of the JLS Store
    Sam will be greatly missed but will hold a special place in my memory forever
    Mel Froli

  51. Sam-
    I was a sixth grader last year as well at JLS, and I saw you, but we never met in person, but your death is still very tragic for me. I’m sorry about your death; and i should think that all of us are.

    We will remember you forever,

  52. I was one of Sam’s Leadership Team members at her core sight in her theater camp this summer. Even though I only knew her for a short 2 1/2 weeks I remember meeting her and hanging out with her like it was only yesterday. I remember when the other leadership team members (Simone, Chloe, and Meredith) and I led the morning warm-ups I always saw her smiling face and her energetic and outgoing attitude, even though it was 8:30 in the morning. I will miss her dearly and will never forget how wonderful Sam was with her fabulous smile and wonderful lovingness towards helping other people. It is sad that she had to leave this world earlier then she should of. I will always miss her.

    • I remeber when a few of us came early and Sam asked if we could do the morning warm-ups.
      She was the most kind person I have EVER met

  53. I was one of Sam’s Leadership Team members at a theater camp this summer. Though the time I knew her was short, she was incredibly vibrant and so full of life. She was optimistic about everything and had a fantastic can do attitude especially about the things that other students found too challenging to pursue. Every time I saw her she was smiling and in shop in the afternoon, she would always come up to me and ask if I needed help with anything. While I was cutting styrofoam, she would come up to me and ask me how she could work for CTC when she was older. She was always incredibly determined and always persevered to do her best. She served as a phenomenal role model to all the younger students and I remember thinking that she would make a wonderful Leadership Team member. Her bright, smiling face will never be forgotten and I will miss her dearly.

  54. I am so sorry and shocked that this happened, I wish I could see you next year at school. I will miss your awesome personality, humor and your family. It is too bad that I only knew you and your family for only one year.We will really miss you!! I will remember you forever.

  55. I remember meeting Samantha for the first time, she was so super nice and her mom was so helpful at JLS. I’m so glad I got to chat with Samantha for a whole year and have learned a lot from her. She was very special every time we met around JLS we would alway say ‘hi’ with a big smile. I will miss you Samantha and I know that she will be deeply missed by everyone.

  56. Sam will forever live in our hearts. She may be gone but I will always remember her as the first girl my son had a crush on, the first girl he tried to ask out and the first girl he ever gave a flower to, (in fifth grade no less). She will never be forgoten and neither will her family.

    We love you and we will miss you!!!!

  57. omg… i cant beleive your gone Sam. I remember the first time i met you. You were so full of energy and i promised i would remember you for a long time and i intend to keep that promise. I will miss you so much. If i had a time machine i would keep you and your family frome getting into that car. You were a one of a kind girl and no one will forget that. WE LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU!!!!!

  58. Hi Sam,

    I remember so many wonderful things about you. I remember the first day I met you and your family. We were outside biking. I remember how happy you always looked. When we biked home together, you would always make me smile or laugh at least once on the ride home. I have not forgotten the times we went to the school dances too. You were considerate enough to let me borrow a dollar to buy a soda. You were a good doctor. After falling off my bike, you helped clean my cuts and scrapes. You even had band-aids in your backpack! I cannot begin to think of all the kind things you have done for me over the years. You were an awesome friend. I cannot even start to comprehend your tragic death. I wish I could see you again.

    Your friend,

  59. ~Sam~

    You were probably the most outgoing, and funniest person I met in 6th grade. There are so many wonderful memories about being with you. I will never forget the times you would always make me laugh when I wasn’t feeling that well. Everyone knows you for being so funny and creative too!!! You make everybody feel good about themselves in their own very special way. Although your gone, you will never leave our hearts. From the student body election to chatting in the breezeways, to performing in the drama performance, we have had such a great time together. None of that will ever be forgotten. I LOVE YOU~

  60. This is unbelievable to me and probably everybody. A person like you who always had a smile on your face would convince god to let you go to heaven. I wanted to meet you one more time before I left the US. But the best gift you gave to me before I left was your big smiles. You were such a responsible, trustful,helpful,kind, and cheerful friend to me.

    Juki <3

  61. Sam,
    Although we didn’t know each other too well and you always called me by my sister’s name by accident I will never forget your warm smile and bubbly personality. I went to El Carmelo with you and whenever I saw you you were smiling. You brightened everyones lives and I will miss you soooooooooooooo much. I hope I get to see you again! Rest in peace <3
    love always,

  62. Dear Sam,

    This is such sad and tragic news that I can’t get over the fact that this has happened. You are always full of brightening spirit that is so wonderful. At those volleyball games I was in, you would always cheer the loudest for our team and make us feel important. Also, I love those bear hugs of yours that were reassuring and loving and the occasional “Hi”s to me in the hallways that lighten up my day and make me smile.
    I remember in music when sometimes I didn’t pass check off and you would always say “It’s ok” and that I will pass next time. You gave me encouragement and support…. you cared for me. It showed that you are a caring person and I am deeply grateful for all you have done for me.
    Sam, I miss you so much. I’m super glad that I got to meet you and be friends with you. I will never ever forget you and you will always be missed.

  63. Dear Sam,
    You were always very nice to me and a great friend, and I will always remember you. I’ll miss you so much!

  64. Sam,
    Even though i didn’t know you very you i still had you for P.E and every time i saw you had a smile on your face. You are nice, funny, and an outgoing girl. We will always have you in our hearts. Will miss you sam!!!

  65. Sam,
    Even thought i didn’t know you that well i still had you for P.E and ever time i saw you, you had a smile on your face. Your a sweet, nice, funny, and an outgoing girl. We will all miss you. You will always be in our hearts sam.

  66. After Sam and her family’s death, there is a hole in my heart that will never be filled. I’ve known Sam since I was 3 years old, and up into her family’s tragic accident our families have been close friends. Over the years our friendship stayed strong even though we went to different schools and didn’t get to see each other as often as we liked. But still, every time we were together it was special and memorable, because of Sam’s optimistic, polite and humorous attitude. She was so fun to be around – she had a wicked sense of humor, just like her dad, Robert. Sam was also so generous and kind – every summer, her mom Ana-Maria hosted 10 kids at her house (including Sam and Nica) and we did what was called AMT. (Ana-Maria Theatre) Ana-Maria and us kids would write a play and Ana-Maria would direct it. Sam was so helpful to her mom, and would take the tasks and parts that weren’t as desirable as the others. She was always so flexible. Sam was a great role model for everyone.
    Sam and her family’s death has hit me so hard. It makes me feel so empty. Sometimes it helps to not think of her death, but her life, and how wonderful but short it was. She and her family touched so many people and it is devastating to see them go. I send all my love and condolences to the family. I know Sam will be a beautiful angel in heaven. Rest in peace.
    Always loving you forever,

  67. hey sam the last time i saw was when u gave me an awesome tour of jls i could tell that u were very popular because every body knew u u r awesome
    ~jade RIP

  68. Dear Sam,

    You were such a great person and I remember so many great things about you. You always had a smile on your face. You would make everyone laugh and make everyone happy. When my mom told me about the accident I didn’t believe her. But it was true, and I didn’t know how to deal with it. I sat in a chair thinking of all the best moments I’ve had with you. My parents and I were super sad. It was hard to keep a happy face for the next few days. We will all miss you.

    Your friend,

  69. I only met Sam H. once on July 8, 2011 at Alain Sandraz’s 12 birthday party, and I was looking forward to seeing her again. When I heard of her death I was devestated and so was Alain. He really liked her. He always compared her to me since we have the same names. She was really nice person.

  70. Sam,

    A Memory … It was only a month ago. The Friday morning, the day after the last day of school. A loud knock on our door. You called out for Leo. In a split-second, all my boys streamed into the street barefoot. You, Nica, and the boys were out running and cavorting in the street, celebrating a glorious summer day … Sam, you were my window to the youthful energy and optimism that we chase as grown-ups.

    Good bye, Sam. Good bye, Nica. Good bye, Ana-Maria. Good bye, Robert. Our family will miss you all dearly. May your next adventure together be a happy one and last forever.

  71. Sam,

    Although I didn’t know you that well, I am very sad. When I first saw this I didn’t want to believe it! I know God will take everyone sometime, but it is cruel that he had to take you while you are still young. You will always be remembered in my heart Sam!


  72. I’ve know sam since kindergarten. At JLS, she always had an cheery, upbeat attitude that made you feel happy. I will really miss you, Sam…

  73. Dear Sam…your bright shiny spirit will forever be in my heart. Thank you for being who you were, for giving me the pleasure of teaching you, and for bringing such joy to us all. You, your sister, and your parents will always be treasured and deeply missed. Love, “Miss Sangini”

  74. Sam- Your effervescent spirit and positive energy always put a smile on the faces of my girls. You were a rare gift. You will be deeply missed.

  75. I will miss you forever. You were a very energetic girl. You would dance out everybody in the dances and without holding back.
    You can make friends with anybody because of your personality. You were always looking forward to things and always having a good time. It would not be the same without you in JLS.

  76. Sam had such a vibrant and beautiful spirit!
    She seemed fearless and really embodied all of those great qualities that Ana-Maria and Robert set out for their family.
    Friendly. Funny. Courageous. Adventurous. Confident. Talented. Creative.
    Marcel was lucky to have had you as a classmate and we were all lucky to have met you. I still can’t believe you are gone.

  77. To Sam and her family,
    I very sorry the lost of Sam and her family, Sam a great person, she always smiled and was always ready to help, it real sad she had go so soon. I am sure that she went to haven, her and her whole family. I want to present my condolence to her family.

  78. I played on a softball team with Sam and she was the most spunky, happy girl ever. She had such good energy and was such a pleasure to be around. I am devastated by this. I will miss you, Sam!


  79. this is so sad.
    i never got to know you, sam, but you seemed like a really nice girl who always had a smile on her face.
    blessings to you and your family.


  80. Most People on the blog dont know who i am but I met Sam at a summer camp called CTC
    Sam was so funny, had a great Sense of humor, she was very sweet, and if i do say so my self she was kinda cute
    I just wish i could see her face just one more time
    Sadly i don’t have even a picture
    memorys are the only thing
    too many tears to talk about after hearing this news
    And just if people are wondering i am the so called Max who had the quote on quote “special friendship”
    life is so lonely
    I hope to see a lot of people at the cerimony on sunday to honor the life lost of this amazing girl

  81. Sam, you were such a great friend and meant so much to me. I still remember the times when we had lunch together. I can’t believe that you have moved on, but I will always remember you. Rest in peace. -Jessica

  82. Samantha, you will be missed greatly. You were a kind, energetic, and caring child. That was plainly evident as soon as I met you. I also appreciated everything you did in helping me last year with all the work we did for the school thru the BeTcha committee. You sacrificed so much time to help me with Not In Our Schools Week. I so much appreciated every thing you did to help your school and community. May you and your family rest in peace.

  83. Sam was always happy and smiling in my band class, she added a special “shine” to each day in band. i’m sad she’s gone and i’m sure the class is too. we will miss her. I can’t get it across my head that she is gone. this is so sad…

    🙁 Jesse L.

  84. Sam,
    You were my good buddy, my 4×4 friend, my hug-so-hard-it-hurts pal, my make me laugh when im feeling down companion and an overall great person to have around. I went to Jordan for 6th grade, so I never got to see you this year, but I remember you at El Carmelo in my class like it was yesterday.I will always remember you, and Im sure everyone else who knew you at JLS does too. Never will forget your smile!


  85. Sam, you have changed the lives of so many people with your personality and humor
    None of the people that knew you will ever be able to replace you in their hearts
    The world will always miss you Sam
    and life will never ever be the same without you
    As every one is devastated of your passing
    Rest in peace


  86. We miss you so so much, Sam. You were very special to me, and I will always remember the dance we did together for the Merengue. You were a great dance partner, a kind friend, and such a good person. I will carry your spirit in my heart forever.


  87. Sam you are the sweetest person I have ever meet. I still remember the first time I met you… and I will never forget that smile.

    – Dorian

  88. Sam,
    I will never forget the time when we had to make Betcha posters with Naveen, and we kept making colors in the cups of water. You kept making the funniest colors that probably most people would never think of. The best part was dumping all the colors into the Teacher’s bathroom and we almost stained the sink (Oops!). Let’s just say Mr.Arya wasn’t too happy about that (hehe). That was the best time ever. R.I.P. Sam I will miss you.

  89. Ever since I was 2 I have had the pleasure of being sam’s cousin. Since then we had always been doing crazy things together, from rapping to making awesome videos. I have one memory in particular that resonates with me, and it is impossible to think of without crying. About 2 years ago I was staying at the their house with my parents. On one of the visits one of the most mutually precious things between Sam, Nica, and I showed up. It was a huge box, large enough to fit all of us in it. After a long time debating over what to do with it, we hatched a mischievous plan. We cut a flap in the box and wrote on a sign we made next to it something along the lines of the happy puppet show, but on the other side of the sign we wrote secret communist weapons facility on the other. We got all the parents to sit around, all expecting a funny puppet show. As soon as they were all assembled we immediately flipped our sign over and started showering them with rubber bands. In the end we got in trouble because one unlucky rubber hit Ana-Maria in the face, ending our extravaganza. No matter the consequences, we had a great time.

    No post I could ever write could share all my wonderful experiences with Sam and Nica nor my love for them. They were friends I could always count on. I will always miss you guys!!!

  90. Sammy, you and Nica were the most amazing cousins anyone could ask for. I had so much fun with both of you and you guys always made me smile. I remember the day when we discovered that Sammy was exactly one head taller than Nica and I was exactly one head taller than Sammy. We stacked our heads on top of each other every time we saw each other from that point just to make sure we were all growing at the same rate. I remember summers when we’d walk or bike to each other’s houses and make fresh lemonade, or play games in your play house with your rope swing and captains wheel. I remember the time when Uncle Robert took us motorcycling. We went over to Stanford and strapped on enormous helmets that barely fit. Then, Uncle Robert showed us where the accelerator and breaks were and sent us off. I freaked out, and in the thrill of the moment, forgot how to break. I went hurtling towards a tree with you guys running after me, laughing and screaming. I found my wits just feet from the tree and you both ran up to me and gave me a hug.

    I’m going to miss your hugs, smiles, and laughs so much. You were the high-light to any family event. I’ll love you forever and ever. Keep smiling wherever you are, please. I love you <3.

  91. Dear Sam,
    You you are so nice,kind,caring,friendly,and you are great to be around.BETCHA was really fun to do with you.I will miss you a lot R.I.P

    Love TIaira

  92. I learned about this tragedy through my cousin. You were my cousin’s classmate. I’m so sorry to hear about this and how it could have happened to such a wonderful family. In truth I find that I don’t believe this even though we never met. I am saddened to read about this tragedy and may God bless you and your family forever.

  93. Sam
    You have been my best friend for a long time. Since we were only a few months old. You have been so kind to me and always had a smile on your face. I will miss all the fun times I have had with you. I will miss you a lot much.

  94. Honestly,
    I only built up enough courage to visit the website today. This tragic accident hit me and scarred me for so long that the easiest way for me to reminisce was to keep the details away from me. Sam was one of my best friends and I loved her SO much. she was in my classes for her first and last year of middle school. Although I knew her for only a year and I now wish with all my heart that I would’ve known her for longer, her last year was her most significant year. When I found out, I literally thought, “Why couldn’t have it been me instead?”. When it happened, I was in a three week sleep-away camp in Yosemite. My parents didn’t want to tell me until I returned home. I was in such a good mood that night until I heard that it makes me feel even worse. Me and my friends still start conversations like, “If I could see her ONE LAST TIME…” until puddles composed of tears flood the area. Thank you for your time, this makes me feel much better. We love and miss you SAMMY; God bless you and your family. <3 Shanaenae 🙂

  95. Sam,
    I remember hanging out with you during play practices for Blather Blarney and Balderdash. You were also in many of my CMT shows. Your mom helped in any way she could with school and you started to follow in her footsteps. You brought a certain brightness to the room that will never be forgotten. I’m missing seeing your face around school this year. Things just aren’t the same without you, but I must say you are in the most amazing place ever. And with your family too. May God bless everyone who is suffering from this loss and may Sam rest in peace.

  96. Sam,
    You were such an amazing person. It’s taken me a couple months to get the courage to write on this website, but I decided I should. I don’t know where to begin. You and your family were the most amazing people I have ever met! I’m still so heartbroken and will never forget you. You and your family’s memory will live on forever. Everyone misses you. I remember I first met you at your Dad’s and my step Dad’s company bbq. We played volleyball, hot lava monster, ate yummy food, and ran around until our feet were sore. We also went on the yacht during the winter for another company party and we played hide and go seek and danced to Justin Bieber and ran around and it was really fun:) I also remember when we went to a dinner and I didn’t know anyone and you introduced me and made me feel welcome. You were always good at including everyone and you made everyone feel as if they had a place. I still sometimes say to my friends, “If I could just talk to her once more and tell her how great of friend she was, the ache in my heart wouldn’t feel as big as it does..” Sam, You were truly one of the most amazing people I have ever met and you were such a wonderful person. I am truly truly sorry this happened to you and your family at such a young age. Your memory will live on, I absolutely promise you it will. God bless you

  97. Hi Sam. It’s been a year since you were taken from our world. I miss you. You were just this shining light in my world. I will never forget you, and I know you would’ve followed me and became a Panther Camp counselor this year. You would have made a great one. Even though I’m two years older, even I looked up to you.
    I just miss you so much.

  98. Sam,
    I only knew you for three weeks, but it was all worth it.
    I remember your heartwarming smiles and the silly jokes that you would tell.
    I only wish you could be here with us and spread that awesome happiness of yours. I miss you terribly and i know everyone else you knew does too.
    Rest in peace, Pallavi

  99. Sam its been over a year, I met you at ctc last year and i will never forget you its been too long. I finished intermidiate CTC and we had a great show If you were still her you would have loved it. Sam everyone misses you so much. RIP Sam


    • Sam… All of us, Jolie, Anjali, Gilli, Stav, Roni, and Max miss you terribly…Always remember that we love you even in heaven.


  100. Dear Sam,

    Happy 14th birthday ~ thinking of you tons. Our Thanksgiving baby ~ grateful for the time that we did have you. I’m sure you and Nica will take good care of Leyla.
    Much Love, Hugs, & Kisses
    Aunt Kim

  101. Sam:
    Happy belated 13th birthday. I’ve been so busy lately that sometimes you slip my mind, but recently, I’ve been thinking of you. Nowadays, all the gang (we still use the name you created) does is shop or gossip, which I enjoy, but it just isn’t the same. Even though we’ve changed and grown, I miss the days of our make-believe games and our dress-up adventures. I will be thinking of you during this holiday season, and at our annual white elephant party.
    Still missing you,

  102. Sam, I miss you so much! I just wish CTC would have lasted a little longer. I will never forget how many times you could light up a room with the slightest grin. I miss CTC and everyone there and I miss being there with you. I just wish you could come back to us. I haven’t gone to CTC because of this. It brings back to many memories. I hope you know that all of us miss you and want you back so dearly. It still haunts me everyday and I wish we were closer.

    Miss you,
    Pallavi <3

  103. Sam…
    I feel it so important to share how much I remember you and think of you. It is coming on two years since you and your beautiful family left this world, and yet you will NEVER be forgotten. How I recall, with the happiest smile, your mom, your sister, and you…And although I never met your dad, I was beyond moved by the description of who he was. We all love you. We all miss you. We all remember you.

  104. Sam was a great friend to me at El Carmelo. I miss her so much! In the past years, she might have slipped my mind, but lately, she has re-entered my mind for a reason I am unsure of. She would’ve recently celebrated her birthday, and it is so unfortunate that this occurred because she deserved to live to way beyond the age she passed away at. Sam was one of the sweetest people I have ever met, and so smart too. I remember doing the school play with her, the merengue for International Night, and hanging out at her house. We always used to hang out in the family’s camper… I remember the entire Howard family as a great group of people that always served their community. Although this terrible accident occurred years ago, it still is in my mind and I pray for her.

  105. Hey Sam.

    Its been such a long time since you went up to that special place in the sky and my heart breaks every time I think about you. You were such a special person and you never deserved this fate. You deserved to go to prom and college and get married. I was thinking about that 3 week CTC camp a few nights ago and I decided to write to you. Nobody has or ever will forget about you Sam because you cannot be replaced from our hearts. Ever. And for as long as I live, I will continue to miss you because even if I knew you for three weeks, you still were and are one of my close friends.

    Love and miss you,

  106. Sam would be entering 10th grade this coming Fall. I now teach at Paly, and so have had the bittersweet joy of again having many of her classmates as my students. Something made me come back to the website tonight — and I see it is exactly three years since the tragedy. I am glad to see many contributions made since I last visited.

  107. Wow its been a while but today the thought of you kinda just popped into my head.
    Crazy to think you’d be a junior right now cause the last memory I have of you is as a 6th grader. I know you’d still be as happy and kind of a person today as you were 5 years ago


  108. Wow… It’s almost 2016 and I’m still thinking about you. I’m a freshmen in high school now and I think you’d be a junior. I miss you and pray for you every single day.

    Lots of love,

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