Obituary of Samantha Jean Hernandez
Samantha “Sam” Hernandez, a dedicated wife, mother, daughter, sister, teacher, and friend, joined her son, James Isaac Ortiz “JIO” in heaven on Monday, October 16, 2023.
Samantha was always humble and proud of her values and legacy she was creating. She never failed to recognize her impact on others and worked diligently to make certain everyone felt seen and acknowledged. While she had many professional accomplishments, her greatest joy was in being a mother.
She went to heaven with so much pride for her family. She boasted about her Sailor daughter, Alexandra Ortiz. She was so excited to have recently welcomed a handsome grandson, Atticus and had a great peace that Alex’s partner Arthur and their son had a beautiful home and amazing future planned. Her legacy and memory will certainly live on through them.
She also was so proud to be the mother of a “Special” son, James Ortiz (JIO). He was every bit of her heart and had a huge, lasting impact on the community. As an advocate for inclusion, her life’s work was inspired by her family. Jimmy left for his Heavenly journey in June and undoubtedly was excited to dance with her at the gates!
Sam also had a bonus son, Okini Hernandez, Jr. She was so proud of his service to our country as a U.S. Marine. As a patriot herself, she was so honored to know that the family she built had a strong foundation in the Military.
Samantha enjoyed adventures and any time spent with her family, including her adoring husband, Okini Hernandez, Sr. They lived a life with so much laughter and silly traditions. Cruising, volunteering, socializing, and making memories was a central focus for them. Those memories were created with so much love and will last through the stories we will share and treasure always.
The love for her is widespread and lasting. Each person she met, she loved and they would agree, she did it completely. She held many accomplishments as a Special Education Teacher at Nina Harris School in Pinellas County. She spoke of all her students as her “kids” and loved them all with a mission to allow them all experiences and opportunities regardless of any “different abilities” they had. Throughout her wide network of peers she is remembered as a dear colleague who gave her heart and soul to the students and the entire Nina Harris family. They share “Samanatha was self-less. She went above and beyond her teacher roles and responsibilities and put everyone before herself.”
Her father, William “Bill” Zinchuck”, Mother, Jeanne Berkley, brother Bill Zinchuck , his wife Wanda and her amazing “In-Laws” are just some of her family that will be sharing memories as our journey continues without her welcoming embrace! Additionally, there are many nieces, nephews, aunts and cousins as well as loyal friends that will work together to ensure she is never forgotten.
We will be planning a celebration of life at a later date and will communicate when plans have been established. We ask that Sam be remembered, how she lived, with so much love.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Samantha Hernandez, please visit Tribute Store