Sandra K. Smith
Sandy passed away at her home on New Years Eve—too early and far too soon for the scores of friends she leaves behind. It was typical of Sandy, a big fan of order, to finish out the year. It was typical of her, too, to view her cancer as a challenge and not a battle. Optimistic and positive, she always avoided negativity. Sandy was born in Dayton, Ohio, and raised in San Francisco, where she made lifelong friends at Lowell High School, the “smart kids” school, known for its high-achieving grads. She attended UCSB, set down roots in Santa Barbara and married Forrest Smith in 1971. Their marriage ended in 1987.
Energetic and adventurous, Sandy saw opportunity and excitement every day and everywhere. She was expert at woodworking, home repair, hairdressing, professional organizing, stained glass art, boutique ownership and real estate. She carried supplies to a birthing center in Bali, swam with dolphins in New Zealand and the Caribbean, sailed in hot air balloons and canoed in the Amazon. In the ten years Sandy was Resident Services Director at Garden Court, her effervescent enthusiasm transformed the lives of the seniors there. She started women’s history groups, writing and poetry classes, meditation groups, book clubs and crafts classes, all bracketed by joyful celebrations. No birthday or holiday passed without an open house or a garden party with music and dancing. Garden Court bake sales initiated by Sandy supported numerous local and international charities. In 2007 Sandy’s Garden Court seniors were honored as Local Heroes by the Independent.
Sandy lived to serve and serve joyously. She sang with the Inner Light Gospel Choir, mentored children, strapped on her tool belt to help build Habitat for Humanity housing, and organized the non-profit Life Chronicles’ yearly gift-wrapping fundraiser at local malls. She was the best of friends, cheerful, caring and non-judgmental. Those lucky enough to have known her will always carry her imprint on our hearts. A memorial gathering will be held March 12 at Garden Court, 1116 De la Vina St., from 6:30-8:00 PM. A celebration of Sandy’s life (the big party will be taking place she would have wanted) will be take place at noon on April 11 at Manning Park. Sandy leaves behind her partner Linda Andrews, brother Ron Bartholomew and wife Sharon, sister Linda Dowling and nephews Colin and Kieran Dowling. Donations in Sandy’s name may be made to Life Chronicles, 113 W. Mission St., Suite B2, S.B. 93101 (lifechronicles.org) or VIVA (Volunteers for Inter-Valley Animals) in Lompoc.