Sandra Kay Wilde was born on July 14, 1951, in Michigan to Francis and Alice Oakford. As a young woman she set out for work and adventure in Chicago. But after a severe storm, she threw her jacket in the garbage, vowing never to wear one again, and moved to Florida. We never saw Sandy in a heavy coat, even in the middle of bitter Methow Valley winters, preferring her bright yellow Mackintosh instead.
In her late 20s while still in Florida, Sandy met Ron Fujihara. They moved to California and were married. Sandy had the gift to discern a hurting heart. She also had a lively wit and quick tongue. These gifts were well used while she and Ron served as house parents in a home for troubled girls. She regaled us with stories of trial and triumph.
Sandy worked as a legal secretary for 20 years, most of that time spent with the University of California. She retired from there in 2004. She loved the ocean, the sand and the warmth of the sun and considered herself blessed to live near the beach. If she wasn’t driving her yellow VW Bug to downtown, she was walking or rollerblading.
She moved to Twisp in 2004, where she lived and worked with her sisters and brother at the Idle-A-While Motel. She also worked for a time as the manager of Wagner Memorial Pool and was involved with Friends of the Pool. She attended Calvary Chapel and was the ladies’ Bible study leader for several years. She studied God’s word extensively, even endeavoring to learn a bit of Hebrew. Sandy had a true servant’s heart and could often be found in the church building scrubbing toilets, mopping floors or polishing those crusty plates under the stove burners. And if she wasn’t cleaning or cooking something, she was playing with the children, all of whom adored her because she was, of course, a child at heart herself.
A two-time cancer survivor, our beloved sister and friend died of complications from diabetes on Aug. 8, 2014, going to her real home with God where she had joyfully anticipated being. We will miss her terribly — her laugh, the seagull ring tone on her phone, her painted toenails, her honesty, her intelligence, her strength.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her youngest brother, Michael. She is survived by her three sisters, Barbara Burns, Dorothy Dorn and Cindy McClain, her four brothers, Bill Oakford, Thomas Oakford, David Oakford and Steven Oakford, her niece Mary Alice Hough, her nephew Alex Oakford, as well as 13 other nieces and nephews and eight grand-nieces and -nephews.
Please come join us in a celebration of Sandy’s life on Sunday (Aug. 17), 4 p.m. at Calvary Chapel, 20077 Highway 20, approximately ¾-mile north of Twisp. There will be a potluck dinner following provided by Calvary Chapel.