San Juan- Teresa “Terry” Lynn Sample, 60, passed away after a courageous battle with cancer on Sunday, March 20, 2022, at Comfort House in McAllen. On August 26, 1961, Teresa was born to William Lee and Shirley (Thompson) Sample in Nuremberg, Germany.
Terry graduated from Natrona Highschool in Casper, Wyoming. Terry double majored in college and earned her Bachelor's Degree in Art and Science from the University of Wyoming. She became a certified teacher in the State of Wyoming and Texas.
Terry came to a job fair in Weslaco, Texas, around 1987 and was hired on the spot, a win for the Weslaco School District. She began her career on August 24, 1987. Terry was a gifted educator and loved her chosen profession. She spent the next 33 years educating, inspiring, and cultivating our local elementary students. Terry's dedication and commitment to her students did not go unnoticed. Terry always went above and beyond the call of duty. For example, she was a member of Abydos/NJWPT, a prestigious group founded on the principles of finding and developing each student's potential. In 2009 Terry received the Sue German Award from Abydos/NJWPT, their highest excellence award. Trainers who receive the award embody characteristics of loyalty, grace, selflessness, honesty, and dedication. In 2012, Terry achieved her diamond level as a trainer, another prestigious honor earned only by trainers who have been active with the project for a minimum of 16 years. They have also been recertified five times by staying current with research and presenting new information at the annual Abydos Trainers' and Teachers' Conference. Terry was recognized at the Weslaco ISD School Board Meeting in 2012 for her achievements. Terry was the Honored Educator of the month in May 2014. In addition, she was chosen as Weslaco Teacher of the Year and won the prestigious HEB Teacher of Excellence Award.
Terry was brilliant, and one of her many hobbies was reading. She read any book she got her hands on. She also loved to cook and go hiking. Terry never married, but her dogs were her family, and Terry usually cared for several of them simultaneously.
Terry was most passionate about bike riding and spending time with her close friends, fondly referred to as "The Inner Circle" AKA, “Biker Bandits”. The Inner Circle/Biker Bandits was a small but mighty group. They rode their bicycles all over the country and spent a lot of time riding mountain bikes at Mission Trails. "The Inner Circle- Biker Bandits” was very adventurous and loved to travel. They spent lots of time camping, took an Alaskan cruise, drove the East Coast to Canada, several trips to Mexico, Reno, and Las Vegas. There were also plenty of trips to Colorado, including the famous seven antique trains. Terry lived life to the fullest and enjoyed real lifelong friendships.
Terry was kind, compassionate, and driven. She put her heart and soul into everything she did, including her students, family, friends, pets, and adventures.
Terry is survived by her parents, William and Shirley Sample, sister, Wendy Lee Sample, aunt, Charlotte Travis (Tim), and numerous cousins.
Visitation will be Thursday, March 31st, 6 pm, followed by a celebration of life at 7 pm at McCaleb Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, friends can make contributions in Teresa's honor can be made to the Comfort House in McAllen.