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The Orion

Student remembered as energetic, cheerful

Samantha Lewis.jpg
Chico State student Samantha Lewis. Photo courtesy of Chico State Public Affairs

Samantha Lewis, 20, who died after being struck by a train the morning of Oct. 13, was a Chico State sophomore student majoring in Nutrition and Food Science.

Lewis came from Clayton in the Bay Area in fall 2012 and was pursuing a career in nutrition management, according to a Chico State press release.

Lewis was born May 5, 1994.

“She was super bubbly, happy, smiley and she took a lot of care in class,” said Robin Magalis, a Chico State nutrition education graduate student. “She was very meticulous about the stuff she made.”

Magalis was Lewis’ lab instructor for the class, Elementary Foods. Lewis always made good food and was attentive and usually chatting and cooking with her friends in class, she said.

Lewis worked with staff members from the Center for Healthy Communities, formerly known as the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion, on projects at the Gateway Science Museum and Production Kitchen.

“She was super friendly, energetic and real passionate about the work that we do, the community service that we provide,” said Stephanie Bianco, Nutrition and Food Science professor and assistant director at the Center for Healthy Communities.

Bianco was Lewis’ academic advisor. Lewis was enrolled in Bianco’s food safety class this semester and was recruited for an internship at the Center for Healthy Communities, she said.

“She was one of 50 students in my food safety class – she did well in my class,” Bianco said. “I didn’t know her too well but I know she was also engaged in choir.”

David Scholz, professor at the music and theatre department and choir director, said Lewis was always at choir and loved going to class.

“She was just your standard really good choir member,” Scholz said. “She wasn’t always smiling but when you made eye contact with her, she had a quick easy smile. It was hard not to smile when she smiled at you.”

Scholz said although Lewis wasn’t a music major, she built an interest in choir. Lewis talked to Scholz about continuing choir although she had a time conflict with classes, he said.

“I was looking forward to having her for another couple years,” he said. “She was worried about not making it to class and talked to me about it, and I said ‘of course’.”

Lewis was never upset at anybody even when she was overworked, he said.

“An amateur singer is someone who sings purely for the love of singing and that’s what Samantha was,” Scholz said.

A memorial website was created by Lewis’ family and is dedicated to remembering Lewis through stories, photos and videos posted from family and friends.

“Our hearts are broken and will never be totally mended without you here,” said Margaret M. Davis, a family member of Lewis’. “How I wish that I could tell you one more time how much we love you.”

Christine Lee can be reached at: [email protected] or @leechris017 on Twitter.

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