Obituary for Isabella Sammartano
Isabella Marie Sammartano
With deep sadness we mourn the sudden passing of our dear daughter Isabella (Bella) Sammartano, age 20, who succumbed to her battle with addiction and died from a heroin overdose in our home on March 24, 2017. Showing strength, determination, and a love for life, Bella lived clean for the last 16 months before her sudden relapse last week, succumbing to this terrible disease, now an epidemic and taking far too many of our loved ones from us every day.
Bella will be remembered as intelligent and full of love, conviction, empathy, and with a sense of humor well beyond her years. Bella loved her family first, and here at home was where she felt safe and truly loved. Her empathy for others knew no bounds, and Bella was always quick to come to the defense of others. Bella loved the outdoors, the woods, and all the animals that lived there. She loved bones, fossils, rocks, feathers, mushrooms, and was generally in reverence of everything in the natural world. Bella could be found exploring the woods, observing nature, and reflecting on the science of things with a passion. Bella was also a talented artist who though secretive and modest about her abilities, was occasionally proud to share her amazing sketches with her family or closest friends.
After graduating from Kirkwood High School in 2014, Bella soon found herself struggling with the disease of addiction, and entered a number of recovery facilities in Minnesota, California, and Missouri, before returning to her Kirkwood home in 2016 and to her supportive and loving family. Here she attended St. Louis Community College at Meramec receiving the highest grades, making Dean’s List last semester, and where Bella was preparing herself for a future in the biological sciences. Bella had dreams. She spoke of graduate school and of working in a lab someday, and all of this seemed possible until her life was tragically cut short last week.
Bella is survived by her devoted and loving mom and dad, Christy Hathaway Sammartano and Dan Sammartano, and her adoring sister Francesca (Frankie) Sammartano, all of Kirkwood, Missouri. She also leaves behind her loving grandmother Carolyn Clark (Grandma Lyn) of Turners Falls, Massachusetts, and a loving and supportive family of Aunts, Uncles and cousins in Missouri and Massachusetts. These include her Aunt Valery Griffin (Uncle Pete) of Gill, MA, uncles Michael Hathaway (Katherine Mitchell) and Matthew Hathaway (Jessica Hathaway), of St. Louis, MO, and her uncle Chris Sammartano (Ann Fitzgerald) of Ipswich, MA. She also leaves her cousins Lexi Griffin of Gill, MA, Cooper Sammartano of Ipswich, MA, and Lucy, Romy and Ivy Hathaway all of St. Louis, MO. She also leaves behind her loving godmother Missy (Michel) Lewis, and “Aunt” Angela (Buckley) Martin, both of St. Louis. Bella is also survived by a lifetime of schoolmates, close friends, and people she came to know in and out of recovery.
Visitation: A Visitation will be held for the public at Bopp Chapel in Kirkwood, on Thursday, March 30, 2017 between 4:00 and 8:00 PM. A private service will be held in Massachusetts for close family.
Bella was a strong-willed woman choosing to fight the addiction her own way, but who would ultimately succumb to this terrible disease. It’s her family’s hope that her passing will bring awareness to heroin addiction as a treatable and organic disease, and to drug proliferation in our communities and homes. In honor of Bella’s short and wonderful life, please consider a donation to the Harris House Foundation, harrishousestl.org.