Samantha's life to be celebrated at her school

Monday, March 29, 2010

CHAPEL HILL -- Counseling was conducted Monday at the elementary school here because of a second grader who died with leukemia early Sunday at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital

Meanwhile, a celebration of life is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday at Chapel Hill Elementary School to remember Samantha Abbott, the 8-year-old daughter of Robert and Dwyne Abbott. The child's mother will be speaking to the faculty, staff and students of the school, principal Dean Delk said.

"Samantha's mother says, 'I'm not wearing black,'" Delk said. "'This will be a time to celebrate her life'" at the school. Dwyne Abbott "wants it to be outside because that's what Samantha would have wanted."

"We're going to decorate the school with pink and purple, her favorite colors," Delk said. "It will be positive. They are positive people. They have been positive through all of this."

Contributing to that attitude were counselors sent to Chapel Hill Elementary School by Dr. Roy Dukes, director of Marshall County Schools, Delk said. Central office staffers were also available as needed to console the students, including Samantha's brother, Ellis, a 4th grader at the school.

"It's been a real loss to our community," the principal said. "She was a bubbly personality and it was very infectious and made everybody feel good.

"She began school in August of 2009 and complained about not feeling well, so her mother took her to the doctor for a checkup and blood work," Delk said. "The disease was discovered then."

"I knew in my heart that she would well, but in my head I knew there were still concerns," the principal said.

Visitation: Tuesday 6-8 p.m. at Shelbyville Mills Baptist Church. Funeral services: Wednesday 11 a.m. at the same Shelbyville church with burial in Tullahoma.

Lawrence Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.