Samantha Leeandra Strawn

Born on July 14, 1994

Departed on October 29, 2016

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Samantha Leeandra Strawn passed away unexpectedly at 22 years of age.

Though Samantha was young, she was very well read and quite accomplished. She was a graduate of Hendersonville High School’s Class of 2012. Samantha studied at Volunteer State Community College where she earned her Associate’s Degree in 2014. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts Degree in History with high distinction at Western Kentucky University in 2016. Samantha then continued her post-graduate studies at the University of South Carolina working toward a Master’s Degree in Human Resources. Samantha was deciding where to intern over the summer of 2017, and was entertaining offers from both Boeing and Textron.  She was excited at the prospect at working in the aviation industry.

Samantha loved history and the anthropological norms and values of societies throughout the course of time. She was especially fond of Eleanor Roosevelt and her contributions to the role of women in our American culture. She was also fascinated by eastern philosophy in its various forms, including the teachings of the Dalai Lama.  Samantha believed fully in all things being connected.

As a teenager, Samantha enjoyed Drama Club where she could bring her skills to the stage. Additionally, she enjoyed the graceful motions of various forms of dance, and took lessons in ballet, tap, and hip-hop. She also loved singing in the choir. A lover of books, music, and food, Samantha enjoyed the things the world had to offer.  Her musical tastes were incredibly eclectic as well.

While in college, she studied abroad in Peru and visited the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu. Her journey to Machu Picchu was a memorable one which left quite an impact on her. Each summer she’d travel with her family to visit the beaches of Florida. Her travels also took her from coast to coast, from the State of Washington to New York, and took her to the Bahamas and Canada. She was a well-traveled young woman.

She was a daddy’s girl who even had her very own voice ringtone on her father’s phone urgently prodding him to answer the phone. They had a very special father-daughter relationship which cannot be described accurately by mere words. Skilled in baking and crafts, Samantha loved to make things for others. She baked around the holidays and was entrusted with family recipes that only she perfected; namely, chocolate chess pie and pineapple upside down cake.

Samantha will live on in our memories as a very sweet, bright, caring, jubilant, bubbly, good girl who was always kind-hearted.  She had a shining smile and never met a stranger. Endlessly witty, she could always bring a smile to our faces. Our memories of her will continue to do just that. We will remember her love of sunflowers and the outdoors.  As we grieve her passing, we are reminded that this was her favorite time of year when she would get to wear her signature scarves and boots.

The world is her spiritual place.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Wanda and Buddy Naff, Teresa Witcher, and Garnet Strawn. Samantha leaves behind those she loved most in this world; especially her parents, Dan and Katie Strawn Sr.; mother, Terry Naff; brothers, Jacob Strawn, Daniel (Darimie) Strawn Jr.; nieces, Abbie Grace Strawn, Anna Marie Strawn; nephew, Daniel Strawn III; and many other extended family members; and countless treasured friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Samantha to the Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness at

The family will receive friends on Friday, November 4, 2016 from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. and a Celebration of Samantha’s Life will take place on Saturday, November 5, 2016 beginning at 11 a.m. All will be held at Hendersonville Funeral Home, 353 E. Main Street, Hendersonville, TN 37075. Interment will take place at a later date in Hendersonville Memory Gardens.

11 Comments to Samantha Leeandra Strawn

  1. Donna Esstman
    November 2, 2016 9:02 pm

    OHHH sweet Samantha you were a joy to know you will forever be missed !

  2. Colleen
    November 3, 2016 9:00 am

    May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind be always at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face;
    the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
    may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

    Until we meet again my sweet friend.

  3. Kerry Henson
    November 3, 2016 9:12 am

    Sweet girl, you were the brightest light in our family. Our lives are forever altered, but we will carry you with us in all that we do. The world is a better place for you having been a part of it.

  4. Debbie Johnston
    November 4, 2016 8:28 am

    Your infectious smile is something I will always remember about you! Heaven has received a beautiful angel.

  5. Pamela Thompson
    November 4, 2016 12:08 pm

    Sweet beautiful cousin in side and out, your impressions on our hearts and lives are there forever. There are no words now that would really express the treasure you are to everyone that you crossed paths with, but know you are loved and we were honored to have your precious and vibrant loving spirit in our lives, and only can say it was not long enough. I pray your peace and look forward to the day this family and friends reunites again with you and all those that have gone before you. I am praying for all of us still here that the Lord comforts us and brings the peace the savior can only bring. I love you all, and wish I could have been able to come. Pamela

  6. Destiny Paul
    November 4, 2016 1:34 pm

    I love you Sam.
    I will forever miss you and cherish our friendship.

  7. Don and Flo Jean Schlosser
    November 4, 2016 1:51 pm

    Dearest Samantha. You brought a light into our lives when you came here. That shining light will never leave us. We are heartbroken my dear.

  8. Lou Norton
    November 4, 2016 6:10 pm

    A beautiful soul…. a beautiful life…. a beautiful Angel. Gone too soon. So sorry .

  9. Skylar
    November 6, 2016 5:03 pm

    I’m so sorry for you Samantha. Everything about this is just…sad. I’m seeing how much we take for granted in life. We were closer long ago, but this is still very hard to comprehend. To her parents, not even people who experience this know what you are feeling, and for that I’m sorry. May you find peace in the people and things that surround you. You will heal, and so will Samantha.

  10. Keith M. Bell
    November 6, 2016 7:54 pm

    This picture of Samantha was taken in Peru, three miles above sea level at a spiritual place called the “Apachetas of Chivay”. In the local language of Quechua, Apachetas means “the source where the flow begins”. Seen as a sacred site, travelers would build cairns as an offering to Pachamama, the mother of Earth and Time. It is in this vein that I come to tell you about Samantha’s spirit, at least from my limited perspective.

    I spent four weeks with Samantha on this study abroad in Peru. We visited Lima, Cuzco, Arequipa, and a lot more. She was my student; I was her professor. But she taught me just as much as I taught her. She showed me patience in trying times and compassion when illness struck me. She was ebullient and intelligent, and her smile was infectious. I shall miss her presence in my life, but her spirit will live in my memories of our short time together.

    To those still grieving, I am so very sorry for your loss. I could not have been more shocked to learn of Samantha’s passing. You have my deepest condolences.

  11. Mike Lenz
    November 10, 2016 3:41 am

    Samantha was a beautiful soul and creative mind. I has her professor and friend while she attended Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tennessee. My greatest memory of her is as a deeply spiritual flame for peace and compassion in the world. I recall our many inspiring conversations about God, Oneness and being. The descriptions of her above could not be more accurate. She was both a peaceful and radiant light of love. I would like to share a beautiful poem that was among Samantha’s favorites and certainly captures the essence of who she was within:

    desiderata – by max ehrmann

    Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

    As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

    If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

    Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

    Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

    Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

    Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

    With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

    Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

    Max Ehrmann c.1920

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