Meeting the person you love early in life and eventually building a life with this person is often reserved for fairy tales, but not in the case of Joe and Samara Munger. Samara was born in New York to Phillip and Karen Baer as the youngest sibling in her family with two brothers.
Samara first met Joe when she was little since Joe grew up with her brothers Seth and Jarrod playing sports at S.W.B.J.A.A. It wasn’t until August 3rd, 1995 that the pair would go on their first true date at Grand Prix for miniature golf.
While the world was upside down after the horrors of 9/11 the love of Samara and Joe found its way right side up. The two were married on September 22nd, 2001, 11 days after 9/11 as the then-newlyweds officially entered their life together as a married couple.
This marriage led to three beautiful daughters together, two of whom are in college and one who is in high school. Samara worked the most important job in the world as she stayed home to be able to raise her daughters into the wonderful young women they are.
21-year-old Taylor is currently attending college at Florida Gulf Coast University graduating in 2023 and 19-year-old Caitlyn is attending Florida Southwestern State College. Their youngest daughter, 15-year-old Jordyn, is currently attending Cypress Bay High School where she is a catcher on the Varsity softball team and will graduate in 2026.
Joe is extremely impressed with Samara’s ability to balance different sports, dance, clubs, school and more for the girls. Samara somehow manages to balance keeping everything on track for her daughters, Joe and as a loving daughter to her parents with her caring nature, which Joe finds one of her most endearing qualities.
One aspect of their relationship Samara balances is keeping Joe in check, which he says isn’t easy. She also elevates him to be the best person he can be and supports his ideas.
“She keeps me in line and talks reason into me when needed,” said Joe. “She backs my ideas and supports my ventures like the travel agency I started during COVID – JM Premier Travel Inc.”
From the time they were young and when they first started Joe knew Samara was special and made him happy in a unique way. He has always enjoyed being around her and feels she is, “my opposite that helps bring us together as one.”
While many of their favorite memories come from spending time with their girls, they have also created wonderful memories spending time together. One of their first memories dating was going to see Hootie and the Blowfish at Bicentennial Park in Miami during the band’s prime in the late ‘90s.
They also have many wonderful memories from cruises over 25 years together. They laughed as Joe pole-danced in Mexico and almost missed the ship departure at ports.
“We’ve been to parties, weddings and funerals,” said Joe. “We’ve really been through it all together.”
Somehow amidst all this Samara still makes time for some of her own hobbies. She enjoys reading, attending softball games and rides to the west coast to visit her daughter.
“From our late teens, through our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and creeping up to our 50’s now we’ve done it together. You have been part of me for over 75% of our life,” said Joe. “We have made a wonderful family, so many memories, and we are just getting ready to start the second half. I can’t wait to see what it brings.”
This love truly is like a fairy tale written for the big screen, but in the case of Joe and Samara this love is real and balanced by Samara’s willingness to put others before herself and be there for the ones she loves. They’ve made it through 9/11 and a global pandemic together so they’ve proven they can make it through anything with their love being reaffirmed on Valentine’s Day 2023 as they begin this special next chapter in their lives.