Stephanye Irene Sampley, age 34, a resident of Atascocita, Texas, died on Palm Sunday, April 5, 2009 at Houston Hospice after a brief illness from complications due to leiomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Stephanye was born on February 22, 1975 in Dallas, Texas to Donald Howard Sampley and Gayle Galloway Sampley. She was a member of the charter class of the Oaks Elementary School in Atascocita, attended Atascocita Middle School, and graduated from Humble High School in 1993. She graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas in 1997 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. She spent her entire career teaching kindergarten students at Goose Creek Consolidated School District's Hopper Primary School in Highlands, Texas. In addition to teaching five-year olds, she worked at The Learning Tools, a teacher-supply store in Atascocita. A charter member of The Atascocita United Methodist Church, Stephanye served as an acolyte at its very first worship service. She was active in the church's United Methodist Youth Fellowship (UMYF), a church camp counselor at Lakeview in Palestine, Texas for over a dozen years, and a participant in the UMArmy. At SFASU she was a loyal member of the United Methodist Church Wesley Foundation, and serve on UMC Texas Conference committees as a collegiate delegate. At the time of her death, Stephanye was president of Goose Creek Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE), and an officer of the Mu Pi chapter of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, an honor society of key women educators. She is survived by her parents of Atascocita; brother Stuart Galloway Sampley, sister-in-law Kelly, and niece, Murphy Lucille, of Austin, Texas; brother Travis Winfield Sampley, Austin, and grandparents Neal and Fran Galloway of Weslaco, Texas. She was preceded in death by her grandfather Donald Winfield Sampley and grandmother Mary Jane Martin. Stephanye is remembered for her engaging smile, her caring spirit, and her kindness to others. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 4 p.m. at The Atascocita United Methodist Church, 19325 Pinehurst Trail Drive, Atascocita. The Reverend Matt Neely, who was her church youth director and is now founding pastor of The Watershed Church, a new United Methodist Church in League City, Texas, will officiate. Because the church will be decorated for Easter, the family is requesting no floral tributes be sent. The family requests with gratitude that memorial contributions in Stephanye's honor be directed to charities supporting teaching, church camp, and the webservice that connected her to so many friends and family members during her final days: ATPE Foundation, 305 E. Huntland Drive, Suite 300, Austin, Texas 78752, Lakeview Methodist Church Camp Scholarship Fund, c/o Atascocita United Methodist Church, 19325 Pinehurst Trail Dr., Atascocita, Texas 77346, or the CaringBridge, Donation Processing Center, P. O. Box 131447, Houston, Texas 77219-1447. Her beloved Hopper Primary family's relay for life team will be taking "Steps for Stephanye" to raise money to help the fight against cancer. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Her name, Stephanye, means crowned one. Those who loved her are finding particular comfort in these words: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day � and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing." (2 Tim.4 7-8)

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