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Obituary, Sandra Wolf, 66

 

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Sandra Wolf

Sandra Darlene Wolf, 66, died on December 8, 2015 in Petersburg, Alaska.

She was born in Warren, Ohio on July 15, 1949 to Arthur and Lyda Winyard.

Her concern for others lead her to a nursing career and eventually to Ketchikan's Gateway Alcoholism Program. There, as a psychiatric nurse she would handle mentally unstable males weighing twice her weight as she escorted them from Ketchikan to Juneau for treatment. When Sandy would say "sit, or else" they sat.

A significant moment in her life came when she traveled to Boston, Mass. for training in cognitive behavior therapy. While most of us don't even know what that is, Sandy maintained it affected the rest of her life. She dealt with people by always listening and rarely prying.

Eventually Sandy's love of travel led her to leave Ketchikan to attend the University of Hawaii where she obtained a master's degree in English literature.

However, she didn't stay in Hawaii or in the field of English literature. Instead, in 1983 Sandy returned to Ketchikan, a move that ultimately lead to her marriage to Terry Wolf.

In 1987 the two bought a piece of property in Duncan Canal where they built an early retirement abode. At Duncan she was the consummate hiker, although she preferred walking the beach at low tide to leave a buffer between herself and bears.

Sandy's liver failed in 1993 resulting in a liver transplant. A medical error resulted in that liver failing and Sandy was ready to face an untimely end of her life. Terry would have none of it and miraculously another compatible donor provided her with a second chance.

In 2007 the two sold their Duncan Canal home to purchase a house on Wrangell Avenue. Back in a city Sandy joined Petersburg Lutheran Church.

Many of her friends knew Sandy as an artist - an oil painter of considerable skill. She jokingly maintained that artistic ability is tied to one's liver because it wasn't until after the transplants that she took up painting. The founding mother of Petersburg's plein air group, Fresh Air, Sandy held it together until her final disease took away her ability to paint.

Sandy never complained as she struggled with health issues towards the end. Approximately three to six of every 100,000 people worldwide will get Progressive Subranuclear Palsy and Sandy "won" that lottery.

She is survived by her loving husband, Terry, brother Rod, step-daughter Kelly, step-son Kirk as well as several sister-in-laws, nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held December 12 at Petersburg Lutheran Church.

In lieu of flowers Sandy's family requests that donations be made to the Petersburg Humane Association or Petersburg Lutheran Church.

 

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