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 31, 2019
    Cindy Vandegriff Heckmann says:
    I remember Marietta from my childhood next door on Tarawa Dr. She was such a kind and gentle lady. My heart breaks for you as it is never easy to lose your mom. Sending sympathy and hugs. ❤️

  • March 31, 2019
    John Malejan says:
    Such a sweet lady. Always showing genuine concern for others and a spirit that defines "Sisu". Heartfelt condolences to the entire Samppala family.

  • April 01, 2019
    Wendy Emory says:
    To Marietta's Children: The first time I met your Mom, she was cooking a chicken. I walked into her house so nervously, but that comforting aroma said all was well. From behind the hallway wall popped out a beautiful woman with hands extended and eyes full of welcome; that picture will be in my heart always. Mummo was something else... a loving wife and mother, no doubt, but also a good friend, a gentle caregiver, a responsible citizen, a mentor, a church lady, a selfless human being, and even more, a prolific storyteller. And a Grade A First Class one at that. One of my favorite days will always be the afternoon we had cupcakes and she told me the story of seeing her Grandmother for the last time, as well as pointing out her son and grandson needed hair cuts. I didn't spend nearly enough time with her; I have no excuse. It is my observation, however, that the divine grace of being Mrs. Marietta Samppala was that she tucked the essence of her heart into every one of her children. I know. I see her in their eyes, and her hear in their voices. Much love to you all.

  • April 03, 2019
    Rachel Rice says:
    Ms. Samppala, It was such a pleasure to care for you at Bradley Creek. You were a joy to be around, and will be deeply missed by all of us here, but we take comfort in knowing you have finally made it home. Praying for family during this difficult time.

  • April 04, 2019
    Angela Cancio says:
    Mrs. Samppala was such a joy to be around. I’m so happy I was able to meet her when I was working at Bradley Creek. I learned quite a few things about her and where she was from! She couldn’t of been a more sweet and thoughtful person. Sending prayers to her family during this time.