It was a day of tears and laughter for Linda Sampson, who up until last week served as Winslow’s City Clerk and Treasurer.
Sampson’s friends and co-workers hosted a retirement party for “Mom” on June 24, which was held in the City Council Meeting Room.
Winslow Councilwoman Dee Rodriguez said that she is sad to see Sampson go.
“I just want to cry,” Rodriguez said. “I can’t say enough about her—I wouldn’t know what she doesn’t do. She just takes care of everyone, just like a mom, keeping the peace in the family.”
Sampson, Rodriguez continued, is known for helping anyone who needed it.
“Linda comes by her nickname of ‘Mom’ naturally,” Rodriguez added.
Mayor Jim Boles himself acknowledged that fact the evening before, when he presented Sampson with a Proclamation honoring her for her years of service. At that time, Boles told well-wishers that everyone in the City Administration knows Sampson as “Mom.”
Sampson, Boles said with a grin, was not afraid to tell him what she thought—even when she disagreed with something. It was easy to tell from the tone in his voice that Boles had paid Sampson a high compliment.
Sampson mothers everyone who will let her. Even at her own party, she bustled about making sure that everyone received a cool drink and piece of cake.
What was clear was that Sampson was reluctant to talk about herself—retirement, for her, seems bittersweet. She looks forward to a move to a new home in Surprise, Arizona, that she and her husband are building, but this joy is tinged with sadness.
“Tell everyone I am leaving my heart in Winslow.”
Close friend Judy Douglas worked with Sampson at The Winslow Mail, where she served as advertising manager.
“She was a wonderful salesperson,” Douglas said.
“You know what her secret was? She’d go in to a business and buy something. Then she would work on selling an ad. I had to tease her because one day,” Douglas said. “Linda went up to the Ford Motors in Flagstaff and bought a new car. We told her that was going a little far to sell an ad.”
Perhaps the biggest thrill of the day for Sampson was when her parents—Ruby and Nick Nuccitelli—and daughter, Lezette Morgan walked into the room.
Though she had a suspicion that her parents—who live in Ft. Myers, Florida—might be tempted to come to Winslow, she told friends that she hoped they wouldn’t out of concern for her father’s health. But her fears proved groundless as she enjoyed several days’ visit with her family.
Sampson has always been a very busy woman. She serves as secretary for Arizona’s League of Cities, and has received countless certificates acknowledging her work in Arizona.
She has also worked at West Point, is a Friend of the Library and a member of the Soroptomist Club.
When asked had she any regrets, Sampson quipped, “Only that I didn’t take more notes.”
This was a reference to one of her favorite gifts of the day, a mock biography entitled “City Clerk Confidential: from Juggler to Diplomat, she describes the many hats necessary to the success of carrying out the city’s business.” This was a gift from the staff of the Public Library.
Sampson said that she was so pleased with all of the gifts and tributes, and thanked everyone not only for the gifts and the party, but for their friendship.
“Now, let’s not have any more parties,” she admonished, a Mom to the end.