Lauren Emily Sampson, 38, passed away unexpectedly in Fresno, CA. Lauren was born in Redwood City, CA to Philip and Jennifer Sampson. Lauren attended Merced and Livingston schools. In 1999, she graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Animal Science. She went on to attend Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN where she earned her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. Upon completion of her Veterinary degree, Lauren undertook a fellowship for Equine Dentistry in Florida. Afterward she returned to the Central Valley and began practicing as an Equine Veterinarian. Over the next 15 years, she transitioned into small animal care, shelter veterinary medicine, spay/neuter clinics and emergency veterinary medicine. She also created and ran her own low cost vaccination clinic.
Lauren’s passion for animals began at a very early age. She loved horses, cats, dogs (especially pugs), reptiles, rabbits, and sugar gliders. At the age of 7, Lauren began horseback riding at Rascal Slough Ranch in Hilmar, CA. Her early riding experiences quickly blossomed into a passion for competitive dressage and hunter jumping. She would also become an accomplished young pianist at the age of 8. Lauren was an avid reader who also enjoyed whale watching, rescuing/fostering animals, and attending Panic! At The Disco concerts. She spent many happy years working on her ranch to make it a dream horse facility.
Lauren is predeceased by her maternal grandfather, Leland G. Means Jr., paternal grandparents Philip and Elsie Sampson, aunt Cindy Cleaves and uncles Duncan T. Means, Peter Sampson, Parker Sampson, and Patrick Sampson.
Lauren is survived by her husband Joseph E. Donabed III; her loving grandmother Mariquita Tuker Means of Santiago, Chile; her parents Philip and Jennifer Sampson of Turlock, CA; and her sister April Sampson of Burlingame, CA. She is also survived by extended family members in Chile, England, the Phillippines, and the state of Maine.
Lauren is now at peace in the company of the love of her life and best friend, Forever Magic, her magnificent Arabian mare. In February of 2015, at the age of 31, Magic won 1st place in Dressage class at the National Arabian Horseshow in Scottsdale, AZ.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on February 2nd at Allen Mortuary, 247 N. Broadway, Turlock, CA. The service will begin at 1pm and will be followed by a reception at the Carnegie Arts Center across the street from the mortuary.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made to New Beginnings for Merced County Animals: newbeginningsforanimalsmerced.org