Michael Otis “Mike” Sampson, age 60, passed away at his home in Lawrence on December 30, 2018, following a battle with cancer. Mike was born on February 18, 1958, in Stafford, TX, to Howard Alvin Sampson and Dorothy Jean Browning. Mike lived in Texas as a young child before moving to Kansas in 1971. As a child and young man, Mike lived in Parsons, Topeka, Medicine Lodge, Larned and Norton, Kansas. In 1988 he moved to Topeka, where he received services from the Kansas Neurological Institute (KNI) and was employed as a Custodial Worker. In 1993, he moved to Wichita, where he received services from the Kansas Elks Training Center (KETCH). Mike settled in Lawrence in 1999 and was supported by Lifeworks Services before transitioning to Cottonwood, Inc. in 2001. Mike has received residential and employment services from Cottonwood, Inc. for the past 17 years. At Cottonwood, Mike was employed as a Production Worker and worked part-time for American Family Insurance.
Mike participated in Special Olympics, and was a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals and Kansas Jayhawks. He loved music, shopping, dancing, collecting business cards, celebrating his birthday, going out to eat and visiting with old friends. Mike had an endearing personality and a great sense of humor and was loved by many people. He was very generous and was extremely loyal to the people he loved. He had an amazing memory for the people who had been involved in his life and was always happy to run into people from his past. Mike had special long-term relationships with his friends Linda Mason, Glenda Shelby, Thomas Griffin and guardian Barney Hubert. During his illness he received amazing care and support from staff at Cottonwood, particularly Rick Falley, James Wachira, Rob Wurtz, Greg Norwood, Jeff Whittier and Paula Pratt, Joanie Hornea and many others. During his illness, he also benefited greatly from hospice care that was provided by the Visiting Nurses Association. Mike is survived by his mother, Narah Joseph of Wichita, KS, his sister Phillise Renee, and his brother Brian. He was preceded in death by his father and by long-term staff member David Butterfield.
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