Shari L. Sampson died June 1, 2016, at the home of longtime friend Jane Poulos in Paonia. She was 85.
She was born in Temple, Texas, Jan. 2, 1931, to Ila Johnson and Cornelius Sampson. She graduated from McClain High School. She received a bachelor of arts degree in drama and psychology from Texas Christian University in 1953.
In high school and college Ms. Sampson acted in stage shows and participated in rodeo and ski club. Skiing took her to Aspen. She became a student of Stein Eriksen and went to the Olympics at Mt. Shasta.
During World War II, Ms. Sampson sang and danced in USO shows and said she danced to all the big bands at the Lake Worth Casino.
While living in Texas, she worked as a clerk and typist at the first nuclear plant built in Plano, Texas. She moved to Aspen in 1955 and worked many jobs to live close to Ajax, Little Nell and Buttermilk.
In 1970, she converted to Catholicism and took her first communion at that time.
Ms. Sampson moved to Paonia in 1999 where she continued her animal rescue activites in honor of St. Francis. She rescued over 5,000 animals in her lifetime. She also worked as a secretary for the Region 10 ombudsman program.
She joined the PACE program in Paonia and enjoyed memory challenges and the new friends she made.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, June 18, in the bandstand area at Paonia Town Park. Bring your four-legged friends to help celebrate.
Memorial contributions may be made to Black Canyon Animal Sanctuary, 42528 Needle Rock Rd., Crawford, CO 81415.
Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory is handling the arrangements.
View the Internet obituary and sign the online guest registry at taylorfuneralservice.com.