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Sam was born in Memphis, Tennessee about 4 months after his mother graduated from optometry school.
Less than two months later, he was on his way with his parents to a new home in Roanoke (Blue Ridge), Virginia, where he currently resides with his parents and his younger sister.
He will be a Junior at the Lord Botetourt High School when school starts again. He is interested in languages, has taken four years of Spanish and plans to continue a fifth year.
Sam has been on the junior varsity football team in school. His football team did an outstanding job this past year, winning all 10 games with no losses, possibly the only time the school has had a non-defeated team. Sam will be a member of the varsity football team during his junior year; he is also a Key Club member.
Sam is quite active in his local church, participating in youth ministeries and activities, helping out with childcare at church, and he also helps video the sermons during regular church services.
Sam loves sports, visiting Kings Dominion near Richmond, Virginia and playing electronic games.
As to his projected future after high school and college, he may be interested in pursuing a career as a nurse anesthetist.
Sam was a handsome baby, but when you think about it, aren't they all?
We couldn't know at the time, how could we, that years later he would be so interested in playing ball.
His father was an Assistant Pastor in Memphis, and his mother a recent graduate of optometry school,
Sam, being a little baby was too young to care about such worldly pursuits, not yet realizing it could be so "cool".
Sam was a such a lovable, sweet child lying there all oblivious to the world in his little crib,
He had not yet reached the stage where there was anything more important than a bottle full of warm milk ~ no fib.
So Sam grew, and he crawled, and he walked, and he talked, and he grew even more,
And I suppose that child Sam was read to by his parents, such stories as "Sam, I Am," they got at the book store.
During one trip to Roanoke to visit Sam and his family, we checked him out of his all-day nursery and kept him for the day,
We did a bit of riding around with Sam in the back, munching on an apple, which was not his usual way.
We took him to the park, we took him to the train museum, we rode around quite a bit more,
Passing a McDonald's, his eyes got big, his mouth dropped open, and he yelled, "Let's go dat stor?"-- so we did!
With the exception of a couple of months, Sam has spent his entire young life in the Roanoke, VA area,
His early years were spent in the Roanoke elementary and middle schools where he learned about such places as China and Bavaria.
In addition to his studies, Sam also loved sports, landing a spot on the junior varsity football team young as he was~but intense,
What he lacked in size, he made up for in grit and staminia as he ran and tackled and played solid defense.
In fact, Sam and his junior varsity team were so impressive, that they won all 10 games with no losses all year long~~what a break!
This may be an historic first, making it the first time in the school's history to have such a winning streak.
Sam, and the entire junior varsity team are to be congratulated for the way in which they played and won,
It was certainly quite an accomplishment and an honor indeed to go all year with an undefeated record~what a grandson!
This year, Sam approached a milestone in his life as he reached the coveted age when he obtained his learning permit to drive,
This is a time in every teenager's life when they strive for bigger and better things to do in order to thrive.
Now Sam can come and go whenever he pleases, that is, if he can afford to buy a car and the insurance that goes along with the deals,
Because life is not all peaches and cream, as some would have you believe, for there is a price to be paid for all the frills.
So Sam is now a Junior attending the Lord Botetourt High School, where he also landed a spot on the varsity team to compete as one of the big boys,
So we wish you all the best as you finish your last two years of grade school, where after graduation, you will be ready to deploy,
To a college of your choice, where your academic life will begin at a higher level, and you will soon learn to become more independent,
As you pursue your tentative objective of an anesthesiologist, which indeed is a profession that could be considered resplendent.
We would like to add that Sam is quite active in his local church at the Bonsack Baptist Church that he attends faithfully,
As we were always wont to say in our earlier years, "It is better to be faithful than famous" -- truthfully!
Sam went on a singing road trip with the youth of the church, as well as spending a week in San Juan with his Spanish group,
He also helps out in Vacation Bible School each summer, teaching the younger children the Christian scoop.
Sam, you've reached sort of a double milestone in your life, getting a driver's license and turning 16 years of age,
Not that you've reached a time in your life, or that you need to be concerned about turning over a new page.
And now as that eventful day approaches, when most boys enter into the sacred realm of grownup or adult hood,
We wish you the very best for the rest of your life, and a "special" and wonderful 16th Birthday as you should.
So we would like to pronounce God's blessings upon your educational and vocational pursuits, and all of your endeavors,
That God would bless you, and keep you safe and in health, and prosper your way as you journey through life whereever.
May God guide you each day, and guide you each night, so that no matter what comes your way,
You will be doing His will and not merely your own, that you will always consider others and honor God every day.
May God richly bless you, Grandson
Your loving Grandpa and Grandma
David & Elaine Shupe
September 2, 2011
CONGRATS SAM FINLEY!
(2013 Lord Botetourt High School Graduate)
You've done it, Sam, you did
what was so very cool.
You graduated from the
Lord Botetourt High School.
Congratulations are the
supreme order of the day.
That's why we're sending a
BIG WELL DONE along the way.
It took a lot of blood, sweat
and tears to achieve your goal.
Thank God, you were always present
when they called the roll.
While you excelled academically,
football was also your pasttime.
You handled yourself well,
not usually requiring overtime.
We're sure you'll have lots of happy
memories of school activities.
The friends you've made, and the
good times at school festivities.
As you look back fondly, reminiscing
on these days in the years ahead.
You'll have no regrets, but entertain
happy thoughts instead.
You are to be commended for
successfully completing this milestone.
You know what it takes to run the
race, as you have set the tone.
Even before completing high school,
You enlisted in Virginia National Guard.
So you'll have dual responsibilities of college
and military training, you won't disregard.
And even before entering college,
You're off to begin your patrotic duty.
With the ultimate goal of combat medic,
Which starts with 8 weeks of "booty."
Then you'll be off to Radford University
for your next accomplishment.
With this under your belt, you'll be
ready your military training to implement.
You will experience increased
responsibility and independence.
How you handle these on your own,
will reflect your spiritual guidance.
It's inevitable that in college,
you'll encounter tests of your faith.
Hold fast to your Christian instruction,
and you'll come through unscathed.
Always remember your training
at home from Mom and Dad.
Faithfully steering you toward good,
and away from all the bad.
We know that Jesus is your Savior,
and He is your quarterback.
As long as He calls the plays,
You'll always run on the right track.
CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN, SAM!
WE LOVE YOU!
Grandma & Grandpa Shupe
January 15, 2013
(Instead of graduation, Sam Finley will be in
“It is one of those mix ups of time, “said Sam Finley, a Lord Botetourt High School senior. He discovered he had to report to “Boot Camp” by June 10. Botetourt graduations are later than some area divisions, so there is no way he can be there to get his diploma. He joined the Army National Guard in January to serve as a medic. More importantly, he will have just three short months for the transition before he returns to Radford University by late August. Finley plans to major in Nursing st RU. “I have been going to weekend “RSP” ( recruit sustainment program) events with the National Guard in Christiansburg.”
“Honestly, it is hard on me to not be able to go to graduation, but I have to follow the order. I would love to achieve the milestone of walking for my diploma, but I will be readying for Boot Camp instead,” said Finley. He ran track and played football for all four years and believes both will help in him in the Army. “I am used to being yelled at by football coaches, so a Drill Sargent should be about the same.” He has already passed his “Stripes for Skills” test. Finley enters a step ahead as an E-2 private. He will be in the Guard for 8 years.
As for summer he said, “I am going to miss my Youth group at Bonsack Baptist church as well. We do a lot of missions and travel choir as well.” He is sending his father Scot Finley to RU’s orientation as he will not be back in town until August 23rd. He will get an educational supplement for his college through the National Guard. He said of joining, “I am Patriotic as well. I feel the experience I gain as a medic will be good for my nursing career.Cathy Benson