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ECU professor dies just 21 days after being diagnosed with cancer

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ADA, Okla. – An Oklahoma university is mourning the sudden loss of a professor.

Friends say 34-year-old Samantha Dillehay began working at East Central University in 2012 as a film and video professor. In that short time, students say she has made a profound impact on their lives.

“You instantly fall in love with her, and she’s just a beautiful person and she made the class fun,” Katy Blackmon told KXII.

“She was loud and straightforward, and you’ve probably heard she was from a place called ‘Defeated, Tennessee.’ And there was nothing defeated about her,” said Director of Fine Arts Dr. Brad Jessop.

Just 21 days before her death, Dillehay was diagnosed with cancer.

On Monday night, ECU held a candlelight memorial in honor of Dillehay’s memory.

“You can tell how big someone’s life is by the size of the hole that’s left behind, and she leaves a big hole,”Jessop said through tears.

A memorial service on the ECU campus is scheduled for Friday at 5:30 p.m. in the Ataloa Theatre.