Mary Lee "Sonni" SampsonMary Lee “Sonni” Sampson, age 71, longtime area resident, died on Friday, October 9, 2015 at Geneva General Hospital following a brief illness.

Sonni was born in Colorado Springs, CO, on December 3, 1943, a daughter of the late Sam and Dolly Hendrickson.  Sonni received her Master’s degree in Education from Elmira College.  She started her teaching career at Romulus Central School and went on to work as a journalist for WSFW radio station out of Seneca Falls and later as a reporter and editor for the Finger Lakes Times in Geneva.  Following her retirement, she continued teaching as a tutor for the Romulus Central School. 

Sonni was an ardent volunteer; her many passions included the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Children’s Center, American Red Cross, 4-H, WDTC Board of Visitors, Seneca County Children’s Project, NYS Outdoor Writers Association and the formation of the South Seneca Ambulance Corps.  Any program that could help form a young mind and nurture the education and well-being of a child in our community, Sonni was there to step in and help.  As a step-daughter of Francis Davis, a professional wildlife artist, she took over Wildwood Studios in Long Eddy, NY, which became her home away from home with her husband, C. Scott Sampson. In Long Eddy, they were able to enjoy the foothills of the Catskill Mountains and bask in the nature surrounding them.

Sonni is survived by her son, Scott C. Sampson of Chesapeake, VA, daughter-in-law, Melissa; granddaughter, Lacey Prestipino; her sisters, Suzie (Mitch) Hubbard of Winchester, VA and Pat (Eric Hampleman) Hendrickson of Albuquerque, NM, sister-in-law, Sigrid Reichert, Canton, NY and their families.  Sonni also leaves behind special friends Lee Anne and Ray Fox of Ovid, NY and her loving canine companions, Sam and Scout and.  She was preceded in death by her husband of 39 years, C. Scott Sampson in 2005.

A Memorial Service to commemorate a life well-lived, will be held at 7:00pm on Saturday, October 24, 2015 at the Ovid Federated Church, officiated by Pastor Steven Beals. Prayers of committal will be held privately at Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery. 

Kindly consider a donation in Sonni’s memory to the South Seneca Ambulance Corps, PO Box 290, Ovid, NY 14521;  South Seneca Ecumenical Food Pantry, c/o Ovid Federated Church, PO Box 340, Ovid, NY 14521; RFEO (Romulus Foundation for Educational Opportunities), c/o Romulus Central School, 5705 Route 96, Romulus, NY 14541; or the Ovid Library, 7169 N. Main St., Ovid, NY 14521.