School 09

Samantha Leigh Kurkjy

April 13, 1979 ~ April 20, 2022 (age 43)

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SALEM- Samantha Leigh Kurkjy, 43, pizza aficionado, U2 devotee, and World’s Coolest Aunt passed away on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, at Salem Hospital following a valiant battle with cancer.

Born in Cambridge, she was the daughter of Sandi (Fargo) Kurkjy and the late Larry Kurkjy. She was raised and educated in Belmont and was a graduate of Belmont High School, Boston University, and Syracuse University College of Law. Passionate and scrupulous by nature, Samantha shunned the more lucrative and higher profile corners of the legal field in favor of a position as Assistant District Attorney for Middlesex County, and ultimately as a Hearing Officer for the Office of Medicaid Board of Hearings for the State of Massachusetts. Her love for all things spooky drew her to settle in Salem, where she was proud of her first home purchase and happily displayed her Halloween decorations year-round. 

Samantha loved books. To call her a collector would not be doing her passion much justice. She loved traveling all over the world, finding new places to explore and meeting new friends along the way. She loved movies, and 80s music and pop culture, and the Sox and Liverpool Soccer. Above all else, she found the greatest enjoyment of her life by surrounding herself with the people she loved the most. She had an amazing network of friends; Samantha fostered relationships with her “gang” for decades, just as easily as she made new friends at college or at each new job she took. Samantha effortlessly kept in touch with people she met on her many international travels, displaying an ease for long-distance relationships that most could never imagine. She was her mother’s best friend, and shared an irreplaceable bond with her brother, Mark and his fiancé, Danielle. Samantha absolutely adored her two nieces, Avery and Pepper, and took great joy in being a role model and confidant when “mom and dad just didn’t understand”. 

Samantha was a shining light, always compassionate and kind hearted, with a wittiness and sense of humor that endeared her to everyone with whom she crossed paths. Throughout the illness that ultimately claimed her life, she displayed a strength and resiliency that was staggering to watch. In her passing many have described her as a best friend, the funniest person in the room, and the strongest woman they knew. While she is no longer with us in body, her adventurous spirit, humor and love carries on with all who were lucky enough to have known her.

ARRANGMENTS: There will be a Celebration of Life for family and friends at a later date. Assisting the family with the arrangements is O’Donnell Cremations - Funerals - Celebrations 84 Washington Square, (at Salem Common) SALEM, MA 01970. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit

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