Tadesse Isaiah Samelson, 25, died after being hit by a truck while rollerblading on April 4, 2018, near Boulder City, Nevada.

Tadesse Isaiah Samelson, 25, died after being hit by a truck while rollerblading on April 4, 2018, near Boulder City, Nevada. 

       
Adopted from Ethiopia when he was 2 years old, Tadesse spent most of his childhood in Yreka, where his father served as pastor of the Yreka United Methodist Church. Tadesse attended Evergreen, Gold and Jackson Street schools, and was a talented athlete, musician and dancer who began taking ballet classes at age 8 with Kerry Noon at her dance studio in Yreka.


He went on to study and dance at the National Ballet School of Canada, the San Francisco Ballet School, and North Coast Dance in Eureka, California. He danced in many full-length ballets throughout his life, and found a second home at North Coast Dance, where under the direction of Danny Furlong, he became a company soloist and enjoyed both dancing and teaching. Tadesse was a graduate of North Coast Preparatory and Performing Arts Academy in Arcata, California.


Tadesse is survived by his parents, the Rev. Dr. David and Sonia Samelson of Elk Grove, California; his brother and sister in law, Paul and Valerie Samelson of Elk Grove; his sister and brother in law, Shawna and Jim Wescott of Bothell, Washington; his little sister, Thi Samelson of Elk Grove; his nephews and niece, Emmett, Ezra, Oliver and Sophia; his uncle and aunt Tom and Katy Burns of Alameda, California; his aunt and uncle Wynn and Stan Jarvis of Washington; his great uncles, Dieter Graefe and Reid Anderson of Stuttgart, Germany; his cousin, Katherine White of Las Vegas; his cousins, the Quinn Family of Spring Hill, Kansas; his surrogate big brother, Wes Dunkin of Sacramento; his “Auntie Deb” Matsuura of Alameda; his godparents Jim and Sarah Frey of Yreka; and his Yreka and Eureka United Methodist Church families.


In his childhood and early teen years, Tadesse’s life was filled with great successes and his future seemed bright. He lived with a joy that lifted the hearts of others; his laughter would light up a room. While struggles with drugs and alcohol dominated the last several years of his life, he always expressed a deep appreciation for the love and support of his community of family and friends, who never stopped hoping and praying for him. And while they deeply grieve his death, his family takes comfort that Tadesse is now safely home in the arms of God.


A memorial service will be held at the Point Pleasant United Methodist Church Ministry Center in Elk Grove, California, on Saturday, April 28, at 11 a.m., with Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño, District Superintendent Rev. Schuyler Rhodes and Rev. Neal Harrell presiding. A reception will be held immediately following.


In lieu of flowers, his family requests that donations be made in Tadesse’s memory to North Coast Dance, 426 F St., Eureka, CA 95501, or to the Shasta Camp Scholarship Fund, c/o Point Pleasant UMC, 3329 Pt. Pleasant Road, Elk Grove, CA 95757.