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Tyler ISD students plant tree in memory of classmate

Tyler ISD students plant tree in memory of classmate
Tyler ISD

POSTED: Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 10:29am

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 4:53pm

One by one Andy Woods Elementary School third grade students scooped up handfuls of mulch and sprinkled it around a new tree they planted by their playground. Next to the tree is a bench with a plaque that reads “In Memory of Jordan ‘J.S. Smooth’ Samples 2013.”

Doctors gave Jordan Samples eight months to live when he was diagnosed with brain cancer in November 2011. Jordan’s mom, Jacqueline Samples, says from that day on he lived by the acronym F.R.O.G., which stands for Fully Rely on God.

“Jordan had the courage of a lion, and that courage came from God. There is no other explanation,” Mrs. Samples said. “He encouraged me even when I thought there was no way I could keep going. There he was, this little boy, struggling. But really he was not struggling;he even went back to school when he could have given up. He encouraged and inspired not just me, but the kids, the teachers, and everyone else who came in contact with him.”

A beaming smile lit up third grader Eriyana March’s face as she described Jordan, who was one of her closest friends. “Jordan was so silly! He loved to dance. Actually, he taught me how to dance. Our teacher called him ‘Superstar,’” Eriyana said.

To so many friends, classmates, and teachers Jordan was a Superstar. After fighting the brain cancer for 18 months, Jordan passed away.

“I will miss him for a million years, but through this tree his memory will live on forever,” Eriyana said.

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