Shirlene "Sam" Elois Goff, 71, of Florence, passed away Oct. 9, 2016, at RiverBend Hospital in Springfield, Ore., after suffering a sudden heart attack.
Sam was born Aug. 28, 1945, in San Diego, Calif., to Otis and Elois Thompson. After graduation , she married Maurice Goff and they had a son, Maurice Goff III, who died in infancy. They later divorced and she moved to Anchorage, Alaska, where she worked for the school district in the food service and maintenance departments . It was there that she met Alice Cooke, who introduced her to her son, Rick Lewis who became the love of Sam's life.
She and Rick had 34 wonderful years together; they were like two peas in a pod and loved every minute of it. In the early years, they lived on a houseboat in the Portland, Ore., area. Then, on a weekend getaway in 1982, they discovered Florence and fell in love with the town and its surroundings. They returned to Portland, sold their houseboat and moved to Florence within a matter of months.
It was a move they counted as a true blessing from day one. They bought a cozy log house they called their "cabin in the woods" and settled right into their "little slice of heaven."
They both loved the outdoors and made use of every opportunity to go fishing, hiking , crabbing, mushrooming, beachcombing and hunting.
Sam got her first job in Florence at Mo's Restaurant. When it burned down and was rebuilt, she returned and continued working there for many years first as a waitress and later as assistant manager. It was during those early years that she and Rick met the family of Glen and Susan Weathers, their son Ned Hickson and Susan's mother, Chris Pringle.
They became friends and family for life, celebrating all occasions together from Super Bowls to the the birth of grandchildren . Sam never forgot a birthday, anniversary or opportunity to send a card to say "thank you," or just make someone smile. She loved music of all kinds but her favorite was rock; she could answer any trivia question on the subject.
Over the years, she had many creative interests, such as pottery, jewelry making, leather crafting, altered art and watercolor.
She enjoyed a wide variety of card games (and was good at them all), collecting blue glass, "catching a few rays," playing her "tunes" and wearing denim.
Sam had a genuinely kind, caring and loyal nature and all who knew her as we did miss her presence in their life each day.
She was preceded in death by her parents, infant son, a niece and nephew, and in 2008 the love of her life, Rick.
She is survived by her sister and brother-in-law , Peggy and Don Trine of Michigan; brother and sister-in-law Larry and Stacy Thompson of Maine; nieces and great-nieces and great-nephews ; her Florence family: best fiend and "life sister" Susan Weathers, Ned and Alicia Hickson, nieces and nephews Elyse and Jake Hickson, and Connor and Elizabeth Wheeler; and many others whose lives both she and Rick so lovingly and unforgettably touched.
A celebration of her life was held in her home in October 2016.