Hannah Raven Reynolds
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Hannah Raven Reynolds
April, 1974 - December, 2020
In April 1974, a Shoshone girl was born in Portland then adopted at age one month by Nancy and John Reynolds of Eugene. As she joined her brothers Nathan and Vaughan, we named her Hannah (similar to their names) and Raven, for her Native American heritage. Like Raven, she was smart, surprising, free thinking.
We lived near the U of O. She liked the constant bustle there, but most enjoyed our family camping trips. Camping became a lifetime love. Her parents divorced when she was six, but joint custody kept her in touch with both parents. She attended Condon elementary, Roosevelt Middle, and Churchill High. Her mother got a job in Waldport, so she moved there briefly during middle school. Throughout her schooling, Hannah particularly enjoyed sports, volleyball and softball. Hannah continued that throughout adulthood, as many friends attest.
After they returned to Eugene, Hannah moved toward independence. In 1992 she surprised us with a baby girl. Her mother and father encouraged adoption, but Hannah decided to be a Mom. Named Rebecca, the child soon shortened it to Beka.
Hannah married a Churchill classmate, Michael Sampels in 1993. He joined the U.S. Army, and they moved to posts near Spanaway WA, then near Savannah, GA. There, another daughter Melissa, joined their family in 1995. Next move was to Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Hannah and Mike divorced, and Hannah became a single Mom. She returned to Oregon and took a job with the State of Oregon Department of Human Services, Self Sufficiency. She loved her work with DHS, helping people in distress. Her latest supervisor said: "She took pride in being able to assist, even if that just meant offering other resources. Hannah was invested in her coworker's success and very much enjoyed being able to answer questions or take new staff 'under her wing' and teach them the ropes… we had many talks where she shared her love of outdoor activities and especially the love and joy that her family brought her. I will miss her humor, her smile and her commitment. She will be missed greatly."
Hannah's mother Nancy was close to the family, and lived with them on occasion. We mourned Nancy's death in 2006. Hannah was blessed with two grandchildren. Beka has son Aiden, age six. Melissa has daughter Gracelyn, age four. Beka and Aiden lived with Hannah for a while, and Hannah enjoyed being a Grandma even more than camping! Hannah also kept in touch with her Shoshone family.
Near the winter solstice, Hannah unexpectedly died of apparent natural causes. Following her death her friends' outpouring of love on her Hannah Raven Facebook page was of enormous comfort to her family. We thank all those who loved Hannah and remember her so fondly.
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Published in Eugene Register-Guard from Jan. 8 to Jan. 10, 2021.
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