In life, Sam wielded great and powerful forces, often from opposing ends of the same energy spectrum. She effortlessly commanded the attention of every person in the room, while simultaneously recoiling from the attention she had commanded. She had a smile that could have launched a thousand ships, yet she was often in danger of sinking beneath waves of crushing sorrow. She danced like no one was watching, while the rest of us watched anyway. Sam is the only person whose obituary could have been delivered as well by Leapin’ Lanny Poffo as by Edgar Allan Poe (neither were available). Sam spoke to cats. Her already legendary series of cat portraits for Safe Haven Cat Shelter conveyed her artistic energy and her offbeat sense of humor, while somehow always managing to communicate the intrinsic dignity of the portrait’s subject. It’s not unreasonable to assume that the cats are still in contact with Sam, reporting back to her on the comings and goings of those of us left behind. Sam loved music. She was front and center at every show, inventing dances that had never been seen before and will never be seen again. Sam drew flyers for local shows, often depicting happy rock & roll cats, because you can never get too much of a good thing. Sam wouldn’t have looked out of place dancing to the Who or the Creation in England in the 1960s, to Skinny Puppy or Ministry in the 1990s, or to the Schizophonics or Sloppy Seconds down at the Lyric Room in modern times. Her style and personality transcended time, place, and era. Above all, Sam loved art. Her copious body of work effortlessly unites diametrically opposing concepts like beauty and horror — humor and terror — the cute and the gross — and her work will only become more widely known and appreciated as time rolls on. In the end, the strain of commanding such vastly contradictory forces became too much for Sam’s mortal body, and she moved on. Art has always been forged on the battlefield between the creative and the destructive impulse, and it is sadly not uncommon for the capacity for destruction to overtake the need for creation. Being an artist is a more dangerous job than most people realize. Sam embraced the danger and followed her muse to the end. In death, as in life, Sam is a reluctant star in the nighttime sky, always in our vision but never within our reach.
Survived by father Keith Mrozinski; brothers Ryan Cullinane and Sean Cullinane; sisters Shannon Cullinane, and Nichole Mrozinski.
Predeceased by mother Charlene Cullinane.
A thanks goes to Glass Nickel Pizza and all of the pizza places that Sam worked at. These places had experienced a lot of Sam’s struggles and always made sure she stayed employed. She was watched over and taken care of by many of those managers and co-workers. They went above and beyond to make sure she always had a safe place. As Sam was fond of saying “Pizza is life”.
The family will be receiving friends and other family at Proko Wall Funeral Home (1630 E Mason St., Green Bay, WI 54302) on January 6th at 10 am. The service will take place at 2pm.