Mary Kay Sampson

November 05, 1922 ‒ February 17, 2007

Mount Vernon, Ohio

Mary Kay “Katie” Sampson, 84, of Mount Vernon died peacefully at her home on Saturday evening, February 17, 2007.

She was born Mary Catherine Mechlin on November 5, 1922 in Hillsboro, Ohio to Colin and Zella (Miller) Mechlin. She spent her early years in Columbus and many of her summers at her grandparents’ home in Hillsboro, Ohio. In 1940 she graduated from the University School at OSU, where she met many of her life long friends and her future husband, Edgar Nelson Sampson.

Katie and Ed married on March 14, 1942; a marriage which lasted 51 years until Ed’s death in 1993. Her husband was drafted into the Army Signal Corps in 1944. Katie joined him while he was stationed first in Kansas City then Florida. She drove from Ohio to Florida during gas rationing and over many an unpaved road. This was before rest stops and interstate highway system. While her husband served in the European Theater, Katie worked at the Bureau of Research and Statistics of the Ohio Department of Public Welfare in Columbus and lived with her parents.

Following the war, Ed earned his Electrical Engineering degree at OSU and started his career in Ironton, Ohio. In 1952, the family, now totaling four, moved to Mount Vernon where Ed joined the cadre of engineers at the then Cooper-Bessemer company. The family joined the Presbyterian Church and Katie taught Sunday school for preschoolers. She also joined the League of Women Voters, serving a term as president of the local chapter and later for two years on the State Board. During her term as League President, Katie co-chaired the fund drive for the Martin Memorial Hospital, now the Living Center.

After her league years, Katie enjoyed working for a local broker. She later joined the Columbus Chapter of the Embroiders Guild of America and developed her skills and knowledge of needlework through numerous seminars, classes and many hours of independent work. A Guild-sponsored trip to France was one of her highlights. She taught classes in blackwork, which she particularly enjoyed, and needlepoint in both Mount Vernon and Columbus. She had a one-woman show at the Kenyon Bookstore and won first place in a local needlework show.

Later, after her vision deteriorated to where she could no longer see to stitch, Katie turned to gardening, a life long interest. She spent many pleasurable hours planning, planting, pruning and prepping until her health began to fail in her early 80’s.

Throughout her life she maintained her home as a haven for family and friends – always there when wanted, always available when needed, always welcoming.

She is survived by a son, Dan Sampson of Columbus, Ohio; a daughter, Toni Mallet of Shoreview, Minnesota; a grandson, Jason Mallet of New York, New York; and a brother, Colin Mechlin of Paris, France. She will be deeply missed by her family and friends.

At her request, there will be no local service. A family memorial service will be held in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The Flowers-Snyder Funeral Home of Mount Vernon assisted the family with arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Mount Vernon Public Library, 201 N. Mulberry Street, Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050 or to Hospice of Knox County, 17700 Coshocton Ave., Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050.

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