Pat Samples Memoriam

Pat Samples

With a heavy heart, we regret to share with our readers that beloved writer Pat Samples passed away while vacationing in Mexico in early January of this year.

Many of you will know Pat through her writing with The Phoenix Spirit.  She had such a way with words that made the people and places that she wrote about “more real.” By telling their stories, she became their voice, bringing to light many important conversations, people, and organizations. Pat had written for The Phoenix Spirit for over three decades. She became Editor in 1996, a position that she held until 2003. Pat was an amazing, intelligent individual. She authored eight books about aging, the body, and caregiving.

Pat was a “champion for creative aging.” She worked with various organizations to develop their creative aging programs such as Vitality Aging Network. She also gave talks on the topic of creative aging, including a significantly viewed TEDx Talk, Your Aging Body is a Great Read, at Hamline University in 2019.

“We are heartbroken to lose Pat. She was a wonderful person and writer. She enjoyed interviewing different people and organizations we featured in The Phoenix Spirit. She always responded with thankfulness after interviewing a new person for an article that she had researched and written,” said Publisher Aaron Shepherd.

“Many of the people she interviewed were in-turn, grateful for the way in which she handled their story. KSTP-TV Chief Meteorologist Ken Barlow said that Pat’s feature (on his bi-polar disorder) was  ‘the best that anyone has ever done.'”

Longtime The Phoenix Spirit writer, John Driggs wrote, “Pat was a one of a kind woman, writer and editor. I always admired her. She seemed like a sparkling stone—a meteorite— mysterious entity that came to earth from the heavens.  Her writing was very unique to her—spiritual, almost otherworldly, and very forgiving of herself and others. It was a dream to have her as an Editor of the Phoenix.  She was authentic—she did what she wrote—and had a lot of fun dong it. She was a strong woman, although appearing fragile. She expressed what she wanted and was in command of her own life. She loved to be adventurous and inspiring others to do the same. She often encouraged me in my own writing. Later in her life she went back to school to be a professional helper. She wrote a wonderful book—Self Care for Caregivers, which paralleled how she cared for herself. Mostly what I liked about her was that she was a fantastic listener and made me feel like in her embrace I had something important to say. She is one giant whose shoulders I stand on today. I think she did this for everybody. I will never forget her.”

Pat is survived by her son, Andre, and daughter-in-law, Lindsey.

A memorial service for Pat will be held on Wednesday, February 21st at 1pm at Unity Minneapolis (4000 Golden Valley Rd, Golden Valley, Minnesota).

A GoFundMe fundraiser has been setup by her daughter-in-law to cover funeral expenses.


Last Updated on February 6, 2024

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