Sandra Gale Simonds passed away at home early on Saturday morning, the 16th of January, after a decade-plus battle with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. She was 67.
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 4, 1948, Sandra was known throughout her life for her tireless and sincere generosity. It didn’t matter if a person was a stranger or a close friend; if she knew someone had a need, she would look for a way to help. Many may still remember her contributions to charitable organizations and events, but her everyday kindness often manifested in quieter ways, with more donations of food and clothes and toys to individuals than even those who knew her best will ever be able to count.
Sandra was as hard-working as she was selfless. She ably partnered the love of her life, Chuck, in running their businesses for over thirty years. For most of that time their industry was the servicing and selling of banking equipment at both the state and national level, but in the last decade of her working life, the company evolved into providing internet services across southern Texas. Sandra was consistently an early adopter of various technologies, and she enjoyed sharing her knowledge with others.
As a teenager Sandra dreamed of becoming an actress - not a leading lady, but a supporting player with memorable lines. A drama scholarship given to a less-capable student (because he was a boy and therefore “less likely to drop out to get married and start a family”) discouraged these hopes, but despite eventually becoming a practical and savvy business woman, Sandra never lost her zest for creative expression. This manifested in every aspect of her life, including writing, cooking, decorating, photography, crafting, and especially in her favourite task, a joyous and fiercely supportive motherhood to the couple’s only child, Shari.
In the time that she rarely took for herself, Sandra enjoyed reading (particularly memoirs and Jane Austen), watching classic movies, going on spontaneous getaways, and caring for the pets and wildlife that inevitably flocked to her door. There was no dog, cat, bird, or - memorably - raccoon that didn’t see her as a kindred spirit.
Most of all, though, Sandra loved spending time with her family. She was the rare sort of good listener who could also hold up her end of a conversation with fascinating stories and amusing trivia - a demure raconteur whose wit and brilliance was always discovered, never shown off. On one unforgettable occasion, she and her grown daughter laughed their way together through a phone call that ended up lasting over six hours - despite living only a few miles apart. Sandra’s illness was particularly cruel for not only robbing her of her razor-sharp mind, but for entirely taking away her use of language after a lifetime of dexterity with words.
Sandra was preceded in death by her stepfather, Howard Adams, and her father, Robert Vann Massey.
Sandra is survived by her husband, Chuck, of Richland Hills; her daughter, Shari, and son-in-law Michael Price of Bunbury, Western Australia; her mother, Frances Adams of Richland Hills; her brothers and sisters-in-law, Larry and Sally Massey, Carl and Sandra Massey, Michael and Valerie Adams; her sister and brother-in-law Donna and Richard Meager; her sisters-in-law Melissa Simonds of Arlington and Kathleen Dodds of Austin; many well-loved nieces and nephews; and a bevy of friends who will remember her always for her humor and warmth.
Remembrances of Sandy will be welcomed by the family at firstname.lastname@example.org. Services will be Monday, January 25, 2016, at 10 a.m. at Lucas Funeral Home Chapel, Hurst, TX 76053.
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