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Naomi Strickland Samples

July 6, 1924 ~ July 13, 2018 (age 94)

Muncie....Naomi Ruth Strickland Samples, 94, resident of Muncie, passed away at her residence at dawn on July 13, 2018.

She was born in Elkview, West Virginia, July 6, 1924, the daughter of Arch E. and Loketta Rucker Strickland.  She was a 1943 graduate of Clendenin High School, Clendenin, West Virgina, and a 1971 graduate of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, with a major in business education. She did graduate work at Bowling Green University and The Ohio State University. She taught high school business and retired from Lakota School District, Hamilton, Ohio.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, James R. Samples, 5 sisters: Francis (Warner) Highland, Faye (Lawrence) Samples, Blanche (Robert) Humphries, Rema (Gus) Carnes, Omajean (Harold) Smith; one brother: Mark (Charlotte) Strickland; aunt Lida Rucker Strickland, who was a special influence in her life; grandson: Christopher Lee Twibell and great granddaughter; Ella Naomi Christian Samples.

Survivors include 1 son: J.R. (Megan) Samples of Aurora, IL and 1 daughter: Renee (Barry) Twibell of Muncie; Grandchildren: Craig (Amber) Twibell of Jacksonville, FL, Cory (Jamie) Twibell of Centennial, CO, Andrew (Simone) Twibell of Bourbonnais, IL, Matthew (Meghen) Samples of Reddick, IL, Jessica (Bradley) Carter of Zionsville, Beth Twibell of Littleton, CO, Jack and Hannah Samples of Aurora, IL; Great grandchildren: Elijah Allen Twibell, Ethan James Twibell, Camren Joseph Twibell, Avery Renee Twibell, Lucas Andres Twibell, and Sofia Caris Twibell, James Matthew Logan Samples, Avalee Rae Lynn Samples, and Benjamin Andrew Henry Samples; "Forever Family": Phyllis Jo (Fred) Hancock, Cheryl (Don) Sukut, Roger Douglas (Cheryl) Samples, Nancy Sue Samples (Chet) Fleming, the Nancy E. Martin family; and many precious nieces and nephews.

Naomi was the bride of a World War II Navy sailor, Seaman First Class James Ray Samples, whom she married after the end of the war. Stacks of love letters reflected her love and commitment, and they celebrated 70 years of marriage in 2017. They spent winters with friends in Florida for 25 years, enjoying gardening and long walks on the beach.

Naomi was a life-long member of the Church of the Nazarene and served as a leader and educator in churches in West Virginia, Ohio, Florida, and Indiana. She often said that her most significant educational endeavors were in teaching hundreds of children in Sunday School over four decades. She was well-known for her creative teaching style, classroom drama and humorous monologues.

Naomi was an accomplished artist. Her paintings not only brought beauty to the homes of her family and friends but also won a variety of awards, including first place at the Indiana State Fair. After working at the Nazarene Publishing House in Kansas City as a young adult, she later became a published author of feature stories in her denominational circulars.

Naomi was a committed genealogist and received the Daughters of the American Revolution medallion. Other hobbies included late night reading, singing around the piano, bird watching and especially being with family and friends.

Friends may call on Sunday from 2-6 at the Middletown Church of the Nazarene, 698 North 5th, Middletown. Friends may also call one hour before the services on Monday at the church.

A Celebration of her life will be held Monday at 11:00 am at the Middletown Church of the Nazarene with Dr. Philip C. Rogers, Revs. Andrew and Simone Twibell, Dr. C. Harold Smith, Rev. David Whitteberry and Dr. R. Douglas Samples officiating.

Burial will follow at Gardens of Memory in Muncie.

Online Guestbook at: www.ballardandsons.com.

Memorials may be made to the Middletown Church of the Nazarene.

The Ballard family is honored to celebrate the life of Naomi with family and friends.

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