Marietta Nenonen Samppala

August 16, 1924 - March 28, 2019
Marietta Nenonen Samppala


Marietta Nenonen Samppala, 94, of Wilmington, N.C. passed away March 28, 2019 with her family by her side.

She was first born to Finnish immigrants, Otto and Anna Siitari Nenonen, August 16,1924, in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

In 1947 Marietta married the love of her life Ralph Samppala in Porcupine, Ontario. They started their life together in Cincinnati, Ohio before relocating to Wilmington, N.C. in 1968 when Ralph accepted an engineering position in the new General Electric plant.

Surviving are her children David of San Diego, James (Joyce) of Seattle, Ellen (Jon) of Wilmington, Daniel of Wilmington. She is also survived by beloved grandchildren Marea, Paula, Jill, Jenny, Eric, Joy and Dwight. And then the special gift of great grandchildren Isabella, Quinn, Drake, Jonah, Lucas, David, Ellis and Ryan. Her husband Ralph predeceased her in 2010.

Marietta was the consummate homemaker providing for and supporting her husband and children, but also in the spirit of her Christian faith she made helping others her mission. From her early days of tutoring elementary school children to read, to being a Hospice volunteer, to delivering Meals on Wheels, to adopting several nursing home residents to visit and support. Helping someone made her happy. Even in her last years, she found ways to help her assisted-living friends at Bradley Creek Health Care.

The family of Christians she adopted at Wilmington Bible Chapel since its beginning in 1968 has also been a faithful, growing, and continuing source of strength and friendship for her throughout the years. Longtime neighbors in Long Leaf Acres have cared for her as much as she cared for them….the honest definition of community.

Marietta truly lived the example of a life of loving kindness. It is no wonder she was always so loved and admired even in her final years and days…we know that what goes around, comes around. The care team members she so loved at Bradley Creek picked her up and carried her (and us, her children) as she rounded the last curve. For that we are eternally grateful…you are like her in that way.

We know that Marietta is already in a better place. In order for us to remember and honor her, there will be a Visitation and Memorial service at 2:00 pm on April 2, 2019 at Wilmington Funeral Chapel 1535 41st St., Wilmington, N.C. 28403. Private family burial service will be at a later time at Marietta’s request.

The family requests donations to Lower Cape Fear Hospice or the Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC in lieu of flowers.

Share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Condolence” tab.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910-791-9099


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  • March 30, 2019
    Mike and Kathy Merritt says:
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you ❣️

  • March 30, 2019
    Hazel Samppala Paull and Kay Samppala Bedenis says:
    We are thinking of our family at this time. Know that we are with you in sorrow and in celebrating Aunt Marietta's life.

  • March 30, 2019
    Don and Gretchen Seel says:
    Sending love and condolences to the family. Lots of love to you!

  • March 30, 2019
    Janne Miller says:
    We are saddened to hear of your loss. But we know she is with the Lord in glory! Marietta always welcomed us as “family” and we certainly appreciated her hospitality. But forever we will think of her when we “pull a Mummo”! Thanks for your help in parking our car!

  • March 30, 2019
    Linda Thinnes Braunwart says:
    Dave and family: my family, the Thinnes, were neighbors at 6931 MarBev in NCH from 1950 until we moved in 1955 to another place in NCH. Even though I was young, I remembered your mom and dad and I must say your mom always looked the same. Haven't seen her in decades but never forgot her. After ready her wonderful obituary, she would be happy that I am tutoring NCH elementary students in reading!! Her love for your father was admirable. That truly was the Greatest Generation!! Deepest Sympathy