Photo: Samantha Vota of Morris 1990-2021

Samantha JoAnne Vota passed away Sunday, July 18, 2021. Sammy wore her heart on her sleeve and literally gave the shirt off of her back to strangers. For everyone who knew her, knew that she lived to please people and knew no bounds of limitations to her kindness and compassion. This world is a better place because she was in it. 

Samantha found her calling in life teaching inner-city at risk young adults in Chicago. She fought humbly and effortlessly to reach out to those kids and engage with them, sharing her love for English Literature. In doing so, she enabled several to reach their potential that otherwise would have gone untapped. 

She is survived by her family that loved her as much as she loved them, her parents, Laura and Kevin Carr; brothers, Thomas and Anthony Vota; sister, Emma Menz (Danny); the light of her life, niece, Charlie and nephew, Rowan Menz; her aunt, Beth Close; cousin, Jennifer Pinder; “Special Aunt”, Kathie Taylor many friends and relatives, as well as past and present students. 

She was preceeded in death by her father, Todd Vota; maternal grandparents, Glenn and Joanne Pinder; paternal grandparents, Mel and Joan Vota; uncle, Rick Pinder; cousin, Angela Pinder and her two beloved dogs, Blue and Lady. 

Her family will have a private celebration of her love and life. In lieu of donations or flowers, live as she did with humility and expect no reciprocation for a good deed, share a smile and kind word with a stranger, spend time with the lonely or downtrodden and hug often. Most importantly, always say, “I love you”. 

Samantha has left her mark on this Earth, a hole in our hearts and will forever be missed. “To be great is to be misunderstood”. 

Cremation rights have been accorded. For more information, please call (815) 942-5040 or you may visit her Memorial Tribute at where you can share a favorite memory or leave an online condolence.