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Mary Henderson Sample

Mary Henderson Sample

Mary Henderson Sample, 49, of Little Rock, passed away Sunday, September 5, 2010 in Little Rock, Arkansas. She is survived by her husband of 29 years, Stephen A. Sample and her children Carter S. Sample and his wife Becca, Sydney M. Sample, and Emily S. Sample. Mary was born on November 29, 1960 in Little Rock, Arkansas. She is also survived by her parents Francis M. (Bud) and Shirley Henderson and her sister Suzanne Geist and her brothers Stephen Henderson and Scott Henderson. Additionally, she was loved and will be missed by her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Dr. James S. (Sid) and Mary P. Sample and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Daniel and Leslie Sample.

Mary served the community in many ways. Mary loved children. She was Director of Early Childhood Development at St. Andrewâs Church in Little Rock. She and her husband led Home Ed, the homeschool group of greater Little Rock. She was a founder and director of the Homeschool Academy, serving hundreds of homeschool students in the greater Little Rock area. Mary assisted feeding the homeless in conjunction with From His Throne Ministries. She had previously been employed with youth ministries at Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock.

Mary was a graduate of Pine Bluff High School. She received her undergraduate in Speech Pathology from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Mary graduated from the University of Arkansas Little Rock, University of Arkansas Medical School with a Masterâs Degree in Speech, Language Pathology and Special Education.

Gifts in support of the Sample family and their ongoing expenses should be made to St. Andrewâs Church for âSample Family Fund.â

Gifts in thanksgiving for the life and ministry of Mary Sample should be made to St. Andrewâs Church for âSt. Andrewâs Early Childhood Development Fund.â

A visitation will be held at Saint Andrews Church on Thursday, September 9, 2010 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. A memorial service will be held at Saint Andrews Church on Friday, September 10th, at 10:30 a.m. St. Andrewâs is located at 8300 Kanis Road. Arrangements by Ruebel Funeral Home,

Condolence Book

"My wife Susie and I extend our condolences to the Sample family. I remember over 30 years ago when Mary and I had the same friends as young christians. Again, our prayers to all surviving family members"
Kenny Nony | Bryant, AR |

"Mary was a great spiritual mentor to me as well as many others. She was used by the Holy Spirit of God to help change many lives. She will be deeply missed. My wife and I will continue to pray that the Prince of Peace will give comfort to her family."
Steve Moon | Pine Bluff, AR |

"Steve, our family is grieving with you at Mary's sudden departure from this life. What an amazing godly lady! We count it a joy to have known her and look forward to a reunion in Heaven some day.

We are praying for YOU!"

Paul Kroger | Little Rock, AR |

"Mary has been an influential christian role model for many years. From the Bible studies at Dial Jr. High until the day she entered the presence of the Lord she loves so deeply, Mary served the kingdom with all her heart. Like Mary Magdalene at the tomb on that Sunday moring, I know Mary is clinging to Jesus with more joy than we can imagine. "
Raymond Gray | Little Rock, Ar |

"We, and our whole church, are praying for all of you. Mary is much loved and remembered-- from the times at HomeSchool Academy, to the Kick Off meetings, to the times in your living room just talking, to the times she'd pull over on the street to say how cute the kids looked while we were on a walk. Memory Eternal!"
Beth Hill | Little Rock, AR |

We have been holding you and your family up in prayer as you walk through this valley. I'm so sorry for your loss.
In prayer for you all,
Cindy Hansberry"

Cindy Hansberry | Maumelle, AR |

"Mary touched so many lives. She was a blessing in my life. I miss her already. My prayers are with the Sample Family. "
Kim Meldrum | Little Rck, AR |

"We are so very saddened at your loss...and are lifting you all up to the Lord each time He brings you to our minds."
Eric and Dana Spann and Family | Little Rock, AR |

"Mary was such a blessing to so many while on staff at Fellowship. Her emails about her family's ministry to the homeless brought many tears to my eyes. She brought such love and encouragement to so many, and will be greatly missed. My prayers are with the Sample family in their time of grief and loss. "
Libby Westcott | Little Rock, AR |

"Mary was a classmate and friend from Pine Bluff. We hung out and attended some Bible studies together. She also came to South Side Baptist some. I had reconnected via Facebook over the last year and loved her postings on her kids activities. She was so easy to like and want to be around. She was such a strong christian woman and will be missed. Our loss is Heaven's gain. I am praying that you use your faith in God to get through this very difficult time. She will be with you until you meet again one day. God bless all of you."
Kelly Lipe | Canton, GA |

"Mary was a blessing to so many and will be greatly missed. I am praying for God's comfort and strength for her sweet family."
Ramona Bennett | Little Rock, AR |


I can't begin to express how sorry I am for your great loss. My heart aches for you and your family.
I pray that you will have that peace that surpasses all understanding and that the Lord will walk you through this time.

Trena Lunsford

Trena Lunsford | Little Rock, AR |

"I can certainly relate to what you are going through. This is the same thing that happened to John. It is such a shock to everyone. As I said at John's funeral, "I guess, John had finished God's plans for him on earth and God took him home." It is hard for us to understand and deal with, but I have seen how faithful God has been to me and my children over the past 3 years.I know He will be close to all of you and will help you now and as you move forward in life.

I have such fond memories of Mary. I loved talking to her about Sydney and her adventures. She is so proud of you and for the unique way God gifted each of you.

I will be praying for God to give you strength and reveal to your hearts His special words of comfort.

With love,

Treva Sawatski "

Treva Sawatski | Little Rock, AR |

"Dear Steve and family ~ You have been constantly in our prayers since we learned of Mary's death. We are at a loss as to what written or spoken words would comfort best, but we remain confident that you are being sustained by the God of all comfort. Your leadership and influence in the homeschooling community have touched us for so long, and Mary's absence will be felt for years to come.

You will remain in our prayers as you face the incredibly difficult days ahead. We are so very thankful, though, that you have the precious hope of knowing that Mary is living in front of God's throne, and that you will see her again!

Our deepest sympathies,
The McCullough Family"

Keith & Karlyn McCullough and Family | Little Rock, AR |

"We know you miss her so much. Our hearts go out to the Sample family. You are in our prayers. "
Darrellyn Green and family | Little Rock, AR |

"We are very sorry for your loss. We met Mary through Home School Academy. She was very helpful and caring and really made a positive impact on the lives of many home schoolers."
Jean Howdeshell | N. Little Rock, AR |

"The Lord favored me when He scheduled me into Mary's life planner. For three paused hours, Mary and I bonded with a common goal (Homeschool). She became the compassionate teacher and I her student yearning to learn. Of all the schooling experiences to cross my path, that moment is and will be an everlasting memory. God dispatched His angel (Mary) concerning me and my homeschool blues, and she lifted me with words of encouragement above my finite thoughts to see His infinite plans. From that day on, I have been thankful and grateful for Mary, a beautiful Gift to many. The Hammond's family will forever surrender our love and prayers to your family. Penny Hammond"
Calvin & Penny Hammond | Benton, AR |

"Precious Sample Family,

To you all we offer our deepest sympathy. We are heartbroken for you all and commit to praying daily for your family as you go through the long, hard days ahead. We are so thankful you know Jesus and trust Him to be your all in all. Mary was a beautiful bright reflection of Jesus and we know there will be many up to this point and for years to come that will be giving testimony to her witness when we all get to heaven.

We love you,

Rodney and Clarissa Davidson and family"

Rodney and Clarissa Davidson | Little Rock, AR |


My family and I are praying for you and your family. I am so sorry to hear about Mary, my heart aches for you. We know she is with the Lord and you will see her again, thank God for the great hope we have as Christians.

May the comfort and strength of the Holy Spirit be with you.

Praying for you all,

Jerry Ross"

Jerry Ross | Conway, AR |

"Everything Mary did exemplified Christ. She was an out-of-the-box thinker who really understood what it means for the church to be the hands and feet of Jesus to others. Everything Mary did was about others and not about her. She touched countless lives with her strength, confidence, fun, humor, courage, wisdom, joy, comfort, and encouragement. In Mary's excellence of daily living she paid attention to everyone -- no one walked away from her presence feeling unloved. She crossed many barriers with her love for others -- cultural, economic, educational, emotional, geographic, and spiritual. It has been said that the only thing we can take to heaven with us is other people. Mary will have a great host of others whose lives have been touched by her in heaven. We are fortunate to be among those. Thank you, Stephen, Carter, Sydney, and Emily for sharing this great woman of God with us. We are all better people for having known her. God bless you."
Tongua and Grey Williams | Little Rock, AR |

"Dear Steve and family,

We were very sad to hear the news of Mary but know that she is celebrating with her Lord and Savior today. We lift all of you up to our Amazing Father in prayer...for comfort, peace, and strength.

Our deepest sympathy,
The Grigsby Family"

Dean and Roslyn Grigsby | Jacksonville , AR |

"We are weeping with you in your grief yet rejoicing for Mary...she now knows the Savior face to face. Mary impacted so many lives. I don't think we can know the impact she had until we see her again in heaven. We are praying for you. "
Richard, Kathie and Hope FitzRandolph | Little Rock, AR |

"Steve, you and your family are in my prayers. I can't even begin to imagine the great loss you are experiencing. I know that no words can really soothe the pain you are feeling at this time, but I pray that in the weeks and months ahead you will feel the presence of the Lord carrying you through this difficult time."
Trisha Young | Little Rock , AR |

"Dear Steve, Carter, Becca, Sydney and Emily, What a precious family you are...thank you for sharing your mom with all of us all these years. There were countless hours she spent making sure every homeschooler had a question answered, a homeless person had a meal, etc. She sacrificed so much YET her family was her passion, too. I heard about each of you many, many times. Her cup overflowed. We are remembering each one of you at this time....may you feel His Presence in a mighty way."
Lori Upson | Little Rock, AR |

"Mrs. Sample- I feel like I didn't know her well enough. I met her nearly two years ago and she was one of the nicest people I ever met in my life. She treated every child as if they were her own. And she helped everyone, every second of every day, she was very unselfish. When I was the first person at Academy we would often talk just me, and Emily, and Mrs. Sample,and it was something I really enjoyed. I felt like I could tell her anything and she wouldn't judge. In fact I did and she didn't. We all go through trials in this life and her family is facing a big trial now. They have lost a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a great friend. I always thought of Mrs. Mary as a family member I never had. I had not talked to her recently until Saturday and I am glad I was able to talk to her before she left this life, but I am sad I wasn't able to talk to her longer than I did. I know how bad I feel, the tears streaming down my face, and I know that her family must feel a whole lot worse. I know that I looked up to her as the kind of person I wanted to be. Everyone who knew her would probably wanted to have been like her. She was such a caring and kind woman. She was taken away from this world too abruptly and she will be sorrily missed by all that knew her. I send my condolences to the family and if they need anything please let me know.

Mr. Sample-Be strong for your children.

Emily-I know Emily is really upset she saw her mother die right in front of her, and that would tear anyone up. Emily If you need someone to talk to I will be there for you. I know all your friends will be.


John Cyrus Gilbreath | North Little Rock, AR |

"I want to offer my condolences in this time of grief. I went to church with her family, and High school with Mary. I remember how sweet she was. Mary was never afraid to share her faith in God with others. Your family and the Henderson family are in our prayers. "
Alan Wilson | Cordova , TN |

"Sample Family: I just want you to know that Mary touched my life so much over the years. We worked together at Fellowship for a long time and actually "shared" a job for a while. She was always such a positive, loving person. We haven't seen much of each other over the past few years, but I have thought of her often. I'm so thankful that I ran into her and Steve not to long ago at Chili's. I just keep thinking about the smile on God's face when He welcomed her through the pearly gates of heaven. How wonderful for her that she is sitting with him having a chat right now. I'm looking forward to the day that I can chat with her in Heaven. We will have fun reminiscing. You all are constantly in my prayers. May God give you the comfort and peace that can only come from him at this time. I love you all!

Belinda "Bee" Shelton"

Belinda Shelton | Little Rock, AR |

"Steve: We send our condolences for your loss. We admired the work Mary did at the Church and we will miss her and. She is in our prayers as are you and your family.

God Bless you and your children,

Diane and Porter"

Diane Wilder and Porter Briggs | Little Rock, AR |

"Steve and family,
My son Stephen, upon hearing of Mary's death, said "Mrs. Mary was my first principal!" All my children have loved calling Mary their Home School Academy Principal through the years. She LOVED those students and I have admired how patient she always was with them! Mary has been a faithful friend to so many...I am thankful to my Lord that I was one of those who call her friend.
We will continue to pray for God's comfort to surround you during this time.
Cheryl Williams & family"

Paul & Cheryl Williams | Little Rock, AR |

"To the Sample family, I want you to know how very much your family has meant to me, my family,and From His Throne Ministry. Our first contact wiht you all was Syd cioming down to Riverfrount--she lit up what ever area she was in. Through her I had the priviledge of meeting Mary. She left such a legacy to her world. Her love and compassion that she expressed everyday no matter what was going on in her life. I think of her and I will try to live the legacy that she left. She showed that no matter who you are dealing with a smile goes such a long way. Genuine love like she lived and showed is so rare but with a life like hers as an example it will spread and become seen more and more in our world. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to know Mary and her whole family. I send my love to you all and my prayers."
Laura Malat | Jacksonville, AR |

"Dear Steve & family,

I just don't know what to say. I am so saddened by the news. Steve, you and Mary have helped us so much as we have homeschooled our children. Thank you for the many times you took our phone calls with questions about homeschooling. You both made homeschooling easier by leading such a great organization as Home Ed. We have prayed and will continue to pray that the Lord will give you what you need through this most difficult time. Thank you for your service to my family. May our Sovereign God of all Peace, Comfort, & Hope be with you and your family. We love you. In Jesus Christ's precious name.

The Davidson Family"

Mike & Nancy Davidson & family | Alexander, AR |

"Steve and family. My thoughts and prayers are with you while you grieve and celebrate Mary's life. We were counselors together and she loved the Lord. Sounds like she made an impact to many people and will be greatly missed.
God Bless

Lynn Hensley Sullivan | West Hempstead, NY |

"My heart aches for your loss. I met Mary many years ago when we started homeschooling. My daughter and Sydney were in a homeschool theatre company together, and we were part of the Homeschool Academy. I have never met anyone with a more loving heart for people than Mary. I am so sorry I had not kept in touch since we moved from Little Rock in 2000. We are lifting you up in prayer, knowing that His plans are always perfect, praying for peace and comfort during this time. "
Andrea McCurdy | Springdale, AR |

"We knew Mary through many channels--She was our
granddaughter's mother-in-law (married to Carter), and she also was a close friend to our
daughter, Rita and husband Randy Looney, and our
son, Ken and wife Jan Sutterfield. It wss so
plain to see how everyone loved and respected
Mary in all associations. She will not only be
so missed by the many groups she touched and
served, but all of us in the family, immediate
and extended, will miss her kind, loving and
smiling countenance. Our few times of being
with her still leaves a great memory of a lady
who served God and those around her so well
and so faithfully.

We send our love to Stephen, Carter, Sydney
and Emily and all the Henderson and Sample
Keith and Mary Ann Suttefield


Keith and Mary Ann Sutterfield | Edmond, OK |

"Steve and Suzi,

I have not spoken to Mary in 30 or so years; we were campers and counselors at Brookhill together.
The one thing among many that I know is still true of her is that she SHINED. Mary shined with life and love for many, and from what I have read above, it appears that never changed. She truly touched lives. May you be wrapped in peace during this incredibly difficult time."

Stephanie Floyd Purifoy | Little Rock, AR |

"It is hard to have any words for you at this time. Your sorrow is unfathomable. You are constantly in our prayers.
Mary was the most supportive person I have ever had the blessing to know. She had a knack for making everyone feel like they were her best friend.
A great hole has been left in this life, and a joyous reunion in the next.
Nancy Wheeler"

Nancy Wheeler | Alexander, AR |

"Our hearts are heavy as we grieve with your precious family. We lift you up to the One who loves you most and hears your every cry.

Mary's sweet smile and joyful spirit will always be remembered. I was so encouraged just reading her bios. Many thanks to all you Samples for your tireless service to the home school community. May God hold you close during the coming days as you hold on tighter to Him.

In His name,
Kathy Bartholmey for all the Bartholmeys (Bob, Andrew, April, Jennifer & Peter)


Bob & Kathy Bartholmey | N. Little Rock, AR |

"Deat Steve and family: There are few words that we can say to you that will be of comfort to you, but we do want you to know that you and your family are in our constant prayers and thoughts during this very difficult time. Both of you are very much loved by your family and your community and church which we know are constant memories of how much Mary loved each and every one of you. God bless you.
With love to all. Connie and Jack Geist"

Connie and Jack Geist | Lincoln, , NE |

"Stephen and kids,
Know how profoundly sad we are over Mary's passing. We pray that you will all be comforted by the only One who can provide any comfort.
In Him,
Mark and Lisa"

Mark and Lisa Lovell | Elm Springs, AR |

"Mary was a wonderful leader and inspiration to others. She will be greatly missed. Your family is in our prayers."
Karen Mathis | Jacksonville, AR |

"Our hearts are heavy as we struggle to grasp the reality that Mary is no longer walking alongside us on the earth...memories flood our minds of so many shared times..Community Group..Child Care Ministry..Adventure Weeks..serving on staff together..FSM..retreats..mentoring my family..loving & encouraging our son thru high school and on and on and on... Steve, Carter, Becca, Sydney and Emily, may you be cocooned in the warmth of His abiding Love. Great is His faithfulness! Mike and Jann Webb"
Mike and Jann Webb | Little Rock, AR |

"Praying for your family during this time of loss.
~The Garrabrant Family (Homeschoolers)"

Will & Bonita Garrabrant | Hot Springs, AR |

"Steve, Carter, Sydney and Emily-Your family has been so much a part of my family for the past 10 or more years. Mary was a source of encouragement and advice for me for many years. About homeschooling, but also about family and life. I will continue to pray that God comforts and holds you close through this humanly impossible time. Know that she was greatly loved and will be greatly missed by many."
Deb Sadler | Little Rock, AR |

"Dear Steve and family,

I am praying often for you all -- that God will give you His supernatural comfort and His strength. I pray for you that He will make himself all the more real to you during this time of grief. Please lean on your friends to help as you bear this burden."

Mary Carol Pederson | Little Rock, AR |

"Dear Steve and family - I (Lita) had the pleasure of teaching at the Homeschool Co-op in Little Rock several years ago and many of our children attended when we were living in AR. We are so deeply saddened by this news and can't imagine how difficult this must be for all of you. Please know that you are in my prayers and that we, like you, will rejoice at seeing her again when the Lord takes us home. We will continue to lift each and every one of you up to the Lord in prayer daily.

Greg and Lita Bledsoe (with Lindsey, Taylor, Zoe, Sophie, Declan, and Molly Bledsoe)


Greg and Lita Bledsoe | Leesburg, VA |

"Our sincere prayers are with you as you grieve."
Teresa Gaikema | Little Rock, AR |

"Suzanne and Family,

We're so sorry for your loss. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

Jerry & Cheryl Krueger


Jerry & Cheryl Krueger | Lincoln, NE |

"We are praying for the entire Sample family. May God bless you with peace.
The O'Hearn family"

Dennis and Debi O'Hearn | Wellborn, FL |

"Mary loved to serve the Lord. Every time I had a question about an FSM event, Mary knew the answer.She was the glue that held many events together, she was awesome. I am so thankful to have known her and cherish the thought of seeing her in heaven.
Mary's joy will always be her family. Her love lives on through you.
with love, mary jenkins "

Mary Jenkins | Little Rock, AR |

"Dear Sample family,
Since coming to work for Mary at LRHSA, she has had an impact on my life that will never be forgotten. She was one special lady. Know that you are not grieving alone, and that your names are constantly being lifted to the throne.
God be with you all."

Lanette Stewart | Little Rock, AR |

"What an amazing servant and leader! Her example lives on to encourage us to Christ-likeness. She was a homeschool giant and will be greatly missed. "
Kris Bush | Paron, AR |

"Your family has been in our prayers ever since we received word of your loss. Mary has touched so many through countless hours of ministry. She will be sorely missed on earth, but certainly she was welcomed with gladness into her Savior's arms in heaven. May our God of peace and comfort uphold you through this season of great mourning.

Mike, Lisa, Jessica, and Joshua Lipe | Little Rock, AR |


Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Carter, Sydney, and Emily at this time. We are shocked and saddened at the sudden loss of Mary, who was such a wonderful, warm, and special light for us and so many the home school arena and at church, too. We have wonderful memories of spending time at the lake with your family back in 1995, and will always cherish the sharing, the laughter, and the spiritual investment you both made into the lives of our kids. What a godly legacy you both have left to them and to us!

May the God of all comfort wrap His Almighty arms around you now and hold you close through the difficult days ahead, and may He grant you the strength and endurance to continue Mary's legacy of touching everyone around you for the glory of Christ.

You all are in our hearts and our prayers.

With much love and sympathy,
Dale & Ronda Walters
Austyn Walters
Tim & Jarin Fontenoy "

Dale & Ronda Walters | Little Rock, AR |

"When we moved here 3 1/2 years ago Mary was one of the first homeschool contacts I had and she helped me get plugged in right away. She was always so happy and laid back, such wisdom about what was really important in life. Just loved knowing her."
Beth Moore | Maumelle, AR |

"We have been so sad since we heard about Mary's death. She was the queen of home schooling! She helped so many families and was loved by all. It was a pleasure to watch you two raise your children in our church family. We will continue to lift you up and ask God to comfort you through this. Our Love, The Faver's"
Jim & Carolyn Faver | Little Rock, AR |

"Mary was a true friend to me as a teenager in Pine Bluff. She provided acceptance and love at a time when I needed it most. She gave so freely of herself.
I did not keep up with her in college, and looking at her FB pages, she continued to grow in Christ and her servant-heart. It is evident that she was proud of her children as the gifts they are and fellow servants of christ.
My heart and prayers are with the Sample and Henderson families in the void that is left by the loss of her sweet spirit. Her memory and legacy will live on in the lives of all she touched.
May the Holy Spirit bring comfort and draw you close as if to even feel the comfort of her love to you even beyond death. We will see her again."

Linda Cummings West | Bentonville, AR |

"I am so thankful for Mary's friendship and that I had the privilege of witnessing her uncompromising devotion to her Savior, Jesus Christ. Her love for her family and her service to people is truly remarkable. She leaves a wonderful legacy and will be sorely missed by so many.
Our prayers for you, her precious family, will continue in the days ahead.
With love,
Pam Wold & family"

Pam Wold | Little Rock, AR |

"Dear Steve,
Your family (immediate and extended) has been in my constant prayers this week. My heart aches for you all. May God shower you with His peace that passes all understanding during this difficult time. I am blessed to have been acquainted with Mary through Home Ed.

With Deepest Sympathy,
Renee Ortmann "

Renee Ortmann & Family | Ferndale, AR |

"Stephen, Our hearts ache for you and your family. We want you to know that we love you guys! I was reminded of Psalm 30 which speaks to grief lasting for a night and joy coming in the morning. Janelle and I both pray that your night will be short and that morning will come quickly. Stand strong bro'! God bless and keep you! "
Rob and Janelle Hunt | Yukon, OK |

"Steve, Carter, Becca, Sydney, and Emily, you are all in my prayers and thoughts. I find myself at a loss for words but know that you are all loved. I love your family so very much and if there is anything I can do please let me know.

I am familiar with the grief of loosing a mother, I know the great Comforter will meet you in this time. I wish I could be there with you all to give a hug (as insignificant as it may seem).

Mary loved so well, with the love of Christ, that is evident by the way that I have seen her children love. I am honored to know you Samples and to have known Mary.

Grace & Peace that surpasses all understanding,

Brittany Priess | |

"Steve and family,

There are no words I can share to express my shock at hearing of your family's tragedy. One of my students, who described Mary as her "mentor," told me what happened. Our hearts and prayers go out to you.

The assurance that Mary is with the LORD is a great comfort, yet there is still grief for those family members left behind. Our prayer is that God will bring comfort to all of you. We especially pray for Emily. I can't even imagine how hard it must be to have been there.

Due to obligations here in Arkadelphia, we will be unable to attend either the visitation or the service. Please know that we are with you in spirit.

Let me pray for you now.

LORD of all comfort, I pray for the Sample family during this time of loss. I ask You to give them that peace that passes all understanding. While they receive comfort from knowing Mary is with You, they still grieve over the loss of their wife, mother, daughter or sister. You alone can bring the comfort and peace they need during this difficult time. Let them all have a special sense of Your presence. I ask these things in the wonderful Name of Jesus, Amen."

Fred & Beth Worth | Arkadelphia, AR |

"Mary was very special and one of our favorite people! She will be missed. We are praying for you.

David, Cheryl and Jesse Zoellner"

David, Cheryl and Jesse Zoellner | Little Rock, AR |

"Stephen, we are so sad to hear of Mary's passing - we remember the days long ago when we were in community group together - and though we've lost touch, we grieve for you and your family. We are so happy to see how many dear friends she had and what a witness for Christ her life was! God Bless, Lisa and Jim"
JI and Lisa Hagans | Little Rock, AR |

"Our hearts are hurting for your family in this time of great loss. We will continue to pray for you all. Mary was a true servant of our living Lord---she "ran the race Christ set before her, and finished the course";she was an inspiration to us all! May we all be like Mary and run the race Christ has for us until we enter HIS presence."
The Johnson Family | Benton, AR |

"Just wanted to say how sorry I was to hear of your loss. What a great testimony to your family when Leslie said "We know where she is." It is truly a comfort to know that our loved ones are in the presence of Jesus, experiencing everything of Heaven they have ever dreamed about. May God give you the peace that passes all understanding."
Lori Casleton | Bryant, AR |

"Dear Sample and Henderson Families:

My deepest sympathies are with your families. I went to PHBS with Mary and remember her as a very dear and lovely Christian person. May the God of Compassion hold you and give you all comfort and peace at this time.

Peace if Christ:
Michael Upson"

Michael Upson | Little Rock, AR |


Please know that you are not alone. There are many friends including myself that are praying for you and stand ready to support you and your family during this very difficult time.

Douglas Braswell"

Douglas Braswell | Little Rock, AR |

"Dear Stephen and Sample family,
We are new to Little Rock, as well as to Home Ed but it didn't take us long to discover how many lives Mary's life has touched. Please know that your family has been in our prayers since we heard the news. We give thanks to God for her faith in Christ Jesus, her love for all the saints and the hope laid up for her in heaven (Col. 1:3-5). "

George, Jennifer, Charis, Micah and Kara Lawson | Little Rock, AR |

"Steve, Carter and Becca, Sydney and Emily,

God has used your wonderful wife and mother to bless so many many people! Thank you for sharing her with so many. We praise Him for her love first for Him, then for you and then for everyone she came across. You could not meet Mary and not feel genuine love flow through her. She was one of the finest examples of the way we are to represent Christ as I've ever known and she inspires those who know her to follow her example.

She chose and raised her family well and we are praying for each of you in this most difficult time. We know, though, that you have the assurance that you will meet her again and will join her in face-to-face worship of our King.

We love you all so dearly,
The Simmons Family"

Toby and Penny Simmons | Little Rock |

"Steve, I remain unable to find words to express our deep sorrow over the loss Mary, and pray that the Lord will cover you and your family with comfort, peace and strength to walk through this valley in your life. Please know that You, Carter, Sydney and Emily will remain in our thoughts and prayers.

E. Alan and Shelly Harvill | Lakeland, TN |


Your family is in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. "

Curtis and Jennifer Carter | Benton, AR |

"Our oldest son Mitchell who is a freshman in college this year (OBU)...called to say how sad he was...and his words about Mary were..."I loved her." She made a difference in so many lives and will be missed dearly...We are praying for you Steve and your family during this difficult time to experience God's perfect peace and love."
Kevin & Tracy Kelley | Little Rock, AR |

"Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. Much love,"
Phipps Family | Little Rock, AR |

"Dear Steve, Carter and Becca, Sydney, and Emily,

Our hearts grieve with you and we will continue lifting you all up in prayer. Only God can give any comfort for such a time as this.

However, we can't think of Mary without a smile on our faces. She was such a wonderful witness to a hurting world of the deep love of Jesus. Our homeschool years have been blessed for many years by your and Mary's service to homeschoolers. Our loss is lessened by thinking of her being in the presence of the Lord she loves. We ask the Lord for His peace for all of you.

The Hetzel Family "

George and Dale Hetzel | Alexander, AR |

"Mary was one of the most kind and considerate people I've have ever had the honor to meet. She helped my family transition to a new homeschool group, and gave me the chance to teach at homeschool academy. Thank you Mary Sample for helping my family feel welcome and loved. I am praying for your family that God's peace and grace will keep you safe in His arms.


Lisa Thomas | Sherwood, AR |

"So sorry for your loss. I will be praying for you all."
Priscilla Bennett | Dewitt, AR |

"Dear Sample family

We were so sorry to hear of Mary's passing. You and she made Home Ed the great group it is. Mary gave me the courage teach Danny through high school and not to worry about the rules so much. You will probably never know the amount of people she had a positive impact on. Our thoughts and preyers are with you"

Denise Wagner | Benton, AR |

"We are so thankful for Mary's life and how God used her life to bless so many. We pray that you will feel our Savior's loving arms holding you tightly. May you feel God's perfect peace.
Tony and Mary Jane Riggan"

Tony and Mary Jane Riggan | Little Rock, AR |

I haven't talked to you, you're family since Carter was about 7, but please know the mighty impact both you, and especially Mary had on my life. You showed me a godly family, and what a true prayer warrior and how to fight spiritual battles is truly all about.

My heart and prayers are with you all."

Donna (Blackford) Young | Hot Springs, AR |

"Mary was one of our closest friends. Mary embodied the very definition of friendship. She stood by you through good times and bad and always believed in you. We will miss her smile, conversations,prayers and words of faith & encouragement. We were fortunate to spend time with Mary last February. We were glad at the moment our schedules worked and we were able to connect for a few hours face to face although we were living in 2 different states. However, we will forever now be grateful for that time together. She has been missed since the moment we received the news and will forever be missed in our lives. Sydney, Carter and Becca, Emily & Stephen we love you and are praying constantly for you! Mary was an amazing woman whose love for the Lord and others showed every day!"
Carla Towns | Raleigh , NC |

"Mary and I attended second grade together. Even at that young age, she was very kind, caring and empathetic towards everyone around her. Seeing the focus of her life's work and devotion is no surprise. I am so sorry to hear of her passing; what a loss. I wish all of you--her family, friends, students and many beneficiaries--much peace ahead."
Larry Blackwell | Plano, TX |

"Mary invested so very much into the lives of her family and into the lives of countless others. She will be missed by all. Sydney, Steve and family, you are in our thoughts and prayers and I pray that God will be near you always. "
The Currey Family (Mark, Kim, Caitlin, & the rest) | Little Rock, AR |

"Steve, Our memories of Mary go back over 30 years. We were blessed to have her involved in our lives, and our children's lives. I remember community group at your new house before we all started having kids. It was amazing then and the memories are real and tangle proof to me that God is real, on his throne and lord.

Your leadership in the home school movement is much appreciated. "

Nick and Dana Adams | Little Rock, AR |

"We just want you to know that our hearts and prayers are with your family in this time. Your entire family has touched so many lives involved in home schooling. When we 1st became interested in Home Schooling Mary invited us out and we spent time together trying to figure out a plan. She was an encourager and truly helped us take the first steps along a wonderful journey and answered our questions and many others we referred. She was so thankful for her blessings and loved her family dearly and shared that easily in her stories. She was a true inspiration and gave so much to others. We love you all and want you to know that she made a difference for Christ and used her talents well!
Bless God for giving us Mary.
Robert & Tonya Gambill


Robert and Tonya Gambill | NLR, AR |

"Suzie and Family - I was so saddened to hear of Mary's death. May all your sweet memories sustain you during this difficult time. Hugs & Prayers - Sheila"
Sheila Hill Cato | Hensley, AR |

"We pray that God would comfort your hearts in this time of sorrow."
Paul and Sandra Williams sr. | Jamestown, TN |

"Although I didn't know Mary well, she did influence and encourage me in the beginning of my homeschool journey in 2001. As I was about to begin homeschooling and was looking for a group, she encouraged me in a wonderful phone conversation. I happened to see her again at the Parent night at Homeschool Academy, where she was so kind to my eight year old son who will be attending for the first time. She seemed to have a way of making everyone feel so welcome. Your family will be in our prayers as you say goodbye to this special lady."
Juan and Shana Araujo | Mabelvale , AR |

"I've known Mary for 35+ years. We were in girl scouts together and friends throughout junior and senior high. We've shared in many bible studies, homework assignments, birthdays, and prayers together. Sharing her faith was not an option to her, it was a calling and she did it with sincerity, compassion, and grace. I can't add anything more about her than what has already been said. You all are in our prayers. "
Lisa and Russell Wilkins | Texarkana, TX |

"Mary was a member of the Zebra yearbook staff which I sponsored. She was such a bright spot in my life, and I am so saddened by the news of her death. I remember well Mary's strong Christian convictions and her gentle spirit. I still have an apron I was given when I helped serve the cake at her wedding. (I also remember the horrific thunderstorm during the wedding!) May God bring sweet memories to the minds of the family today, and may they know for sure that Mary impacted many lives. Heaven is sweeter today because Mary is there with her Lord."
Brenda Ball | Pine Bluff, AR |

"My prayers and heartfelt condolences to the Sample and Henderson families."
Pauline Young | Warrenton, MO |

"Steve, Carter, Becca, Sydney, and Emily,
Our family is stunned and saddened by your loss. Mary was a pivotal point in our homeschooling journey. When we made preparations to move to AR from VA, Mary gave us the confidence that we would find a sense of family within the LR Homeschool community. From that day forward, we have been fortunate to experience her sincere ongoing support during our time of homeschooling both of our children through high school. Her efforts, concern, and love for us gave us just what we needed to finish strong. She left a legacy that will be remembered forever. Thank you for sharing her with us. "

Jeanne and Dempsey Butler | Little Rock, AR |

"Dear Sample family, We have been thinking about all of you and praying for you day and night!! When I think about Mary and the 20 plus years I have known her, I cannot bring up one time she ever said anything negative about anyone!! She always left me with the most positive, encouraging feeling. I remember how she would always be there whether in home school or the Learning Center or FSM when the kids got older. She cared for my children and would put their needs first when they were at the church or school or anywhere. She truly loved people well!! She loved me and my family well!! She was beautiful, kind, caring, considerate, honest, generous, giving, and she was so much fun!!! She truly served the Lord, her family and countless others!! I will miss her very much, but look forward to seeing her again!! We love all of your precious family, and are so sad for your immeasurable loss!!! "
Shannon Pate | Little Rock, AR |

"Mrs. Sample will certainly be missed. I did not get to know her personally, but as a homeschooler the Samples have been a great encouragement. My family sends our condolences and offers prayers to God for your family."
Maggie Barry | Washington, AR |

"We met Mary at the Home School Academy about two years ago...Her sweet smile and sweet spirit was truly an expression of Christ's love. I thank our Dear Lord for allowing our path's to cross. Mary fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith...without a doubt she heard those amazing holy words we all want to hear from our Heavenly Father, "well done, good & faithful servant!"

We will continue to lift this dear family up in prayer, praying for peace that surpasses all understanding, comfort to ease your pain, and strength as you lean on Jesus to carry you safely through.
With Much Love and Respect,
TJ, Laura & Lauren Sivewright "

TJ, Laura & Lauren Sivewright | Alexander, AR |


Alice and I are deeply grieved for your loss. When we were in Little Rock, we considered you and Mary two of the best examples of Christ followers we have known. I'm sure the shock of her passing is difficult for you and your children. You will continue to be in our prayers.

I hope you are comforted by knowing that Mary now sees face to face what we all long for -- our loving Savior, Jesus Christ. May He continue to shower his blessings on you and your family.


Don and Alice Hinman | Broomfield, CO |

"Dear Steve and family,

Like so many others, we are a home school family that is successful because both you and Mary encouraged us and gave us confidence that we COULD DO IT! My children just loved "Miss Mary", who was not only their school principal but also their friend. When we moved up to FSM, Mary was always there with a cheerful smile and a quick answer. Always calm in the face of chaos, Mary was a lady I looked up to and wanted to be like. When I get to heaven, I will be.

You are in our thoughts and prayers. May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Anne for the whole Coletti crew,
Robert, Christian, Carinna, Caleb and Corban"

Anne Coletti | Little Rock, AR |

"We are so very sorry for you your loss and are thinking of you all often during this difficult time. We send thoughts and prayers and mostly love your way today. "
Lori Geist | Lincoln, NE |

"Dear Sample Family,

Your beautiful lives are such a testament to how your wife and mom dedicated herself to doing God's will. Everyone who met her felt like she was a good friend because she just poured love toward them. She was so unique, and your family is unique and blessed from all that she did for you, and for all the love that you all show to each other. I think of all the people I know, your mom was the most proud of her family.

Our family loves your family,
The Gladdens"

Lyn and Gregg Gladden | Little Rock, AR |

"Steve and family, Our thoughts and prayers are with you. It was a joy knowing Mary. May you rest in God's arms and be strengthened by His love. We rejoice with you knowing she is worshiping our Great Savior face to face. Love to you all, Mike and Patsy Mitchell"
Mike and Patsy Mitchell | Little Rock, AR |

"My sympathy is extended to your family."
Chuck Fuller | Pine Bluff, AR |

"I met Mary when I was homeschooling my children. When I asked Hayden if he remembered her today he said "yes, she was my first principal". What an impact she had on all the young lives that went thru the Homeschool Academy. She was a good friend who always had a smile on her face. She will be missed by everyone who knew her. Our prayers are with your family as you go thru this very sad time."
Dianna Fulmer | Bryant , AR |

"May the Lord your God be your comfort & strength @ this tragic time. If He can create universes He WILL be there for you all. Feel HIS love & find comfort in knowing that Mary is in His arms watching over with Him. She was a great inspiration to me as a new home school mom years back.
In His Love, MB Windom"

Mary Beth & James Windom | Bryant, AR |

"Condolences for your loss. The last time I remember seeing Mary was at Barnes and Noble. She was leading a grief support group. We paused to agree that we were both looking forward to seeing our loved ones again in heaven. Without a doubt, Mary will be with our Lord when it is time to welcome her loved ones!

We will never forget her loving smile. May God bless you with comfort and strength."

Brenda Veerhusen | Mabelvale, AR |

"Steve, Carter, Becca, Sydney and Emily,

You all have been in our prayers day and night since Sunday night when we heard of Mary's sudden death. I cannot begin to know what mixed emotions you are going through, but I am asking the LORD to reveal Himself to you even more as you walk through this difficult journey. It has been neat to read how many lives Mary touched. I don't know that we will fully know until we reach heaven. It makes me smile to think of her seeing our Saviour face to face. Our prayers are with you and will be as you walk in the difficult days ahead.

Love in Christ,
Wade, Becky, Luke, Leah, Lydia and Grant Arnold"

Wade and Becky Arnold | Paron, AR |

"Praying for the Samples and Henderson family."
Susan Warren Wolf | White Hall, AR |

"One particular memory I have is probably the last lengthy conversation I had with Mary. We had reason to discuss a difficult situation and her countenance, speech, and complete attitude was one of genuine concern, lovingkindness, and grace. I, then and now, admire the reflection of Christ which she portrayed. We are praying for you all."
Charles and Jill Dunlap | Little Rock, AR |

I worked with Mary at Academy and watched her handle the most difficult situations with only grace and love. And now, just as I know she would, you are carrying that torch and taking the time to make sure everyone is as informed as a close friend would be. You are amazing. What a testimony your family is to all of us who are being taken care of and comforted by your heartfelt emails. Love and prayers to your sweet and precious family..."

Terra Mueller | Maumelle, AR |

"I remember Mary as a sweet, smiling teenager who loved the Lord and people. My sister and I were blessed to have her in our lives for several years back then. It was such a joy just within the past year or so to reconnect online and see from her postings that this was a woman who still had a strong love for and commitment to the Lord, and deeply loved her family. What a great woman. I look forward to seeing her again. I pray that God's great peace will rest on her family and carry them all through this time."
Gary Wardlaw | Russellville, AR |

"Your family has been heavy on our hearts and in our prayers all week. May the Lord abundantly pour out His grace in your lives as you adjust in the coming days. So thankful for the service you all have had to the homeschool community over the years! "
Mark and Vivian Etherington | Little Rock, AR |

"Steve and family,We were very saddened to hear about Mary. Our prayers are with you for God's grace and strength and peace to help you through this time. Matthew and Amy(Sallee)Goff"
Matthew and Amy (Sallee) Goff | Carlisle, PA |

"I first met Mary during the "Jesus People" days, nearly 33yrs ago. She was just so loving and giving even at her young age. She loved children even then. Her smile was sweet and her eyes were bright. We will see her again with Our Lord Jesus. God Bless the Family."
Renee Edge | Portland, OR |

"Stephen, Carter, Sydney & Emily,

I just want you to know how much Mary helped me when I started homeschooling. She didn't even know me, but took all the time in the world to answer my questions. Erin & Carter were in the same graduating class, so we had the pleasure of getting to know your family during those special years. I was out-of-town so I didn't get to attend Thursday or Friday, but please know our prayers are with your family. Erin's birthday was 9/3....she was looking through her FB greetings and found that Mary had sent her a birthday message. It means so much more than a "birthday" message to her now. She will treasure it forever.

God Bless,
Phyllis & Erin Richey"

Phyllis Richey | Little Rock, AR |

"I went to high school with Mary. She was such a fine Christian friend. Her smile took just a moment, but its effects will last forever. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.
Sallie Launius Harper"

Sallie Launius Harper | Meridian, MS |

"The memories i have of Mrs. Sample will never fade not only was she a great principle but she was a great women! I am proud to have been her student and shall never forget the kindness she has shown to me. I send my condolences to the Sample family in this time of great sorrow.

Brandon L. Perry "

Brandon Perry | Little Rock, AR |

"Steve, Carter, Sydney, and Emily,
You already know this, but Mary is an incredible woman! Not only was she approachable, but she invited others to walk with her along the journey! Mary taught me that it was okay to do schoolwork in pajamas and be flexible in my teaching methods recognizing that my kids would need different things at different times and that my primary role was as a mom--to mold character more than teach a subject! This type A+ personality mom needed to hear that over and over again! But, she didn't only tell me that, she lived it in front of me. The incredible lives that you kids are living is a testament to the fact that your hearts were the focus of her teaching. "

Kyle, Rebekah, and all the kids | Maumelle, AR |

"Steve and family,
Our hearts are grieved and deeply saddened over Mary's passing; it's impossible to even imagine what you are going through. We are in prayer for you and want you to know that we along with many, many others will never forget Mary--her memory will always be with us, that her life continues to inspire us daily, and that her prayers from heaven are gratefully received. Our love goes out to you and your dear family."

Kaye Rutter | Little Rock, AR |

"May the love of GOD comfort you and give you a peace that surpass all understanding."
Al and Wilma Horton and family | North Little Rock, AR |

Tommy Howard | Little Rock, AR |

"Steve and Family,
We are so sorry for your loss. Mary was a precious friend to me at a time in my life when I really needed a friend and didn't know where to turn. She got me involved in the children's ministry and a Bible Study that fed me spiritually.
I remember many days spent with Mary, Carter, and Sydney and other moms with kids the ages of ours at a park or pool and lunches spent at McDonalds visiting while the kids played. My last and favorite memory was of Mary coming to visit me during a garage sale as we prepared to leave LR and move to Colorado. She brought Emily who was just an infant. She stayed and kept me company as we said good-bye for a year.
She loved her family and loved our Lord well! She will be missed on earth terribly.
You guys are in our thoughts and prayers as you grieve and adjust to life without Mary. "

Len and Sherry Lowman | Little Rock, AR |

"I went to graduate school with Mary. She was so smart and so very sweet! She definitely made a difference in her world, yet I am so sorry for your loss. "
Denise Nesbitt | Little Rock, AR |

"Dear Sample Family,

Please receive our deepest sympathies for you in this time of loss and grief. We pray that God will sustain you now and in the coming days with a peace that passes all understanding. Mary was a delight and a joy, and we are grateful to have known her, however so briefly.

David, Robyn and family"

David and Robyn Porter | North Little Rock, AR |

"I still can't believe Mary is gone. I cried for her again this morning. She was such a constant presence, you didn't have to be in contact constantly to know she was there for you.In fact, most of our recent contact had been her prayer requests for Sydney via Facebook. But I always knew she was just a phone call or an e-mail away. Knowing she was there was one of the things that gave me the courage to allow my daughter to attend Homeschool Academy again this year. Now I feel as though a support beam has been kicked out from under me. I can hardly imagine how her family feels. Each one was so precious to her. She and Steve were such a team, always there for each other. I have no bout she is safe in heaven, she was a shining example of Christ's love and poured that love into her children, both biological and any other child she came to know. I look forward to seeing her again."
Regina Bourland | Little Rock, AR |

"May God bless you with strength and peace. May you find comfort in your memories of the past and in your hope for the future. You are in our prayers.

Jill Carper
Brian Carper"

Jill Carper | Little Rock, AR |

"Thank you Mary for touching my family's life through homeschooling.



Deneen Hill | Little Rock, AR |

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