Remembering Sam Laundon


Remembering Sam Laundon 

Sam Laundon was a beloved 2019 graduate of Enloe High School and an international business major at the University of South Carolina. To his friends, he was a light-hearted and genuine person who could always make you laugh. To the Enloe community, as Lillie Mollot describes, “Sam depicts the ideal ‘Enloe scholar’. He excelled in school while simultaneously excelling in his personal goals and relationships. And he did all of this with a sense of ease. He never complained and was always willing to help a friend out.” Sam was a committed leader in JROTC and brought an especially unique spark to football games and other Enloe activities. His legacy of bringing joy to everyone around him will forever be remembered by the Enloe community. 

I did not know Sam very well. The most interaction I ever had with him was a few glances back and forth right before his team’s gingerbread house beat mine at a Christmas party last year. However, just from hearing stories and memories about him from many of my friends, I knew how much of a special person he was. Rather than try to write a cohesive piece, I’ve instead combined quotes and memories from some of his closest friends to reflect the amazing person Sam was.

Quotes and Memories

I’m not sure I can put what sam means to me and to others into concise words. He knew early on what he was here for, and that was to make the people around him happier. He touched an absurd amount of people with his smiles, jokes, genuine interest in their lives, friendship, and love. For example, my mom hangs this thank you note he wrote to her by her desk at work because he was so sweet and gracious. He just touched so many different people in a profound way. I have to think he knew he wouldn’t be here for a long time because he lived every single day in a way that spread joy and laughter. And I know he’s still trying to make this world better in some capacity. He will always be with us in our memories and hearts. Anyone who saw his smile will never forget it, and it warms me up every time I think about it. Rest easy Sam

  • Ben Hogewood, Class of 2019

Sam was hands down one of the smartest yet goofiest people I have ever met. And his smile really could light up a room. Although he was on the quieter side, it only made the things that he did/said that much funnier. From late-night talks to freestyling at the beach at 3 am to his funny dance moves and contagious laugh, I am so grateful for having gotten so close with him over the past couple of years. I wouldn’t trade our memories for the world.

  • Lillie Mollot, Class of 2019

Sam never failed to put a smile on everyone’s face and was never afraid to do what he thought was right

  • Mason Kirby, Class of 2019

Sam was one of a kind. I don’t know anyone that didn’t have great things to say about him. He had a contagious smile and was truly one of the most generous people I’ve ever met.  He was a big part of the JROTC and loved supporting his friends at athletic events. He was at almost all of my home baseball games when I was a senior.

  • Chip Raynor, Class of 2018 

One of the things that made Sam so special is that he was not kind to others because it was the right thing to do, he was kind because it was simply who he was. He put others before himself even when he really shouldn’t have. Most of the time, he was quiet, but not because he was shy. He was just listening to what others had to say. No matter what happened or would go wrong, nothing ever seemed to phase him. He had an undying positive view of the world that was so natural to him. He also was one of the funniest people I think I will ever meet, and he had this uncanny ability to say the exact right thing on a moment’s notice to make everyone burst with laughter. He could defuse even the worst of situations with just a few words. He was very much the glue that held so many people together, and I will never be able to fill the gap that is now left in his absence. But he left me with some of my most treasured memories that I will hold on to forever. I’ll never forget the time he sprayed his ketchup all over the Chick-Fil-a window and spent 20 minutes frantically trying to clean it up with crappy napkins. I can still hear the excitement in his voice when he was showing me how his dog Jackson, in his old age, still loved to roll down the grassy hill by his house. I will never stop missing him, and a part of me will always grieve his loss. But I will also honor the time he did have, and hold our moments together close to my heart for the rest of my life.

  • Angela Lewis, Class of 2020

Sam was one of my best friends during my sophomore and junior years of high school. Between weekly pool days over the summer, secret Santa’s, road trips to see the soccer team, New Years and lake days, I was lucky enough to befriend one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. Although often quiet, Sam was able to make any and everyone feel special with both his words and kind gestures. For my birthday one year, Sam painted “Our Calcultor”, referencing an inside joke about our ‘shared’ calculator that eventually led to him not even remembering that it was his in the first place. On the back: “misspelled on purpose”. The gift hangs in my dorm today, as a reminder of the kindness, intelligence, and wit that Sam carried himself with. I love you always, Sam.

  • Sarah Vandelinde, Class of 2020

Sam was the nicest guy out there. Not only was he one of the most naturally hilarious people I’ve ever met- he was consistently himself. He was never one to follow the crowd. He did things his own way and everyone he met loved him for it. 

Sam was the kind of guy you’re proud to be friends with. When people asked me how we became so close junior year, it was with a sense of pride that I would tell them about the time he came over and made gingerbread houses with us, or about the time capsule letter he wrote me for Secret Santa that he insisted I wait an entire year before opening. 

I didn’t see Sam often after he graduated, but when I did, it was always so easy to be around him. When I visited him and his friends at USC, he was always the first to laugh at my jokes and make me feel comfortable in an unfamiliar environment. 

He was a friendly face, a role model that I could count on for anything- whether it was college advice or a witty joke. Everyone who came into his life was instantly touched by his kind heart and quick, easy smile. Sam made it a priority to make you feel good, and the Enloe community will never be the same without him. 

  • Hannah Kaufman, Class of 2020

Sam’s laugh-out-loud humor, undeniable kindness, and academic ease will forever leave a mark on Enloe. As Enloe students, we should try to embody the passion he brought to his classes and spirit events, and as people, we should pursue our friendships with the unique personal touch Sam had. I will forever remember Sam as the person who brought joy to so many of my friends’ lives, and I am grateful to have been in his presence even for only a few hours. I hope the rest of Enloe will strive to spread his compassion and wit to the rest of our community for many generations to come.