Tributes to ‘universally loved’ Sidmouth man Sam, 19, who ‘made everything more fun’

Sam Marriott with his sisters, Tania and Kate

Sam Marriott with his sisters, Tania and Kate - Credit: Archant

Family of a ‘beautiful, witty, caring and clever’ Sidmouth teenager have paid tribute to a son, brother and boyfriend who ‘made everything more fun’.

‘Universally loved’ Sam Marriott, 19, has been remembered for his many good deeds, sunny disposition and distinctive laugh.

His mum and dad, Chris and Debbie, sisters Tania and Kate, girlfriend Julia and step-parents Don and Lauren this week thanked everyone who has supported them at this tragic time.

They said in a statement: “Samuel Robert Marriott sadly left us on Sunday, February 26, aged 19.

“Sam was born in Bristol on October 13, 1997, but was very much a Sidmouth lad. He went to St Nicholas Primary School and Sidmouth College before going on to study A-levels at Exeter Maths School.

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“He was a popular all-rounder who could turn his hand to any sport or game and was a member of the town’s football and tennis teams. His competitive but inclusive character led to many awards. As a keen surfer, he had qualified as a beach lifeguard and intended to work for the RNLI in Exmouth this season, having volunteered with them last summer.

“Sam’s longer-term plans were to go travelling in India and then to Swansea University. For the past six months, he’d worked at Dukes, which he loved, developing a passion for making beautiful coffees and pulling a good pint. He enjoyed the team banter and will be sadly missed by staff and customers alike.

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“For many years over the festive periods, he could be found with the children’s charity HCPT at the seafront hotels. He played carols on his guitar, sang and told corny jokes in his bright orange jumper under the tutelage of Steve and Brigid. He made a number of trips to Lourdes with disadvantaged children and was universally loved.

“Sam was a beautiful, witty, caring and clever individual. He never sought attention, but his sunny disposition and distinctive laugh meant, in the words of his younger sister, Kate, ‘everything was more fun with Sam’. We are all going to miss you so much, Sam.

“Thank-you to all our wonderful friends and family who have supported us at this tragic time.”

Sam’s funeral will be held at East Devon Crematorium in Whimple at 10am on Saturday, March 25, followed by a celebration of his life at Dukes in Sidmouth from 1pm. His family said no formal attire is required and asked that guests to ‘dress as they would for a night out with Sam – with the addition of odd socks and maybe a hat’. Anyone who wishes to contribute a reading or song should contact Debbie.

Personal messages to Sam can be left at Potburys Funeral Service in High Street. His family has asked for donations to HCPT and the RNLI in lieu of flowers.

The coroner’s office this week confirmed that an inquest has opened into Sam’s death. Police were called to Vicarage Road in the early hours of Sunday, February 26, and said the incident was being treated as ‘unexplained but not suspicious’.

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