Sandra Lee Snow Obituary
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
August 25, 1942 - April 01, 2022
Sandra Lee Snow Obituary
Aug 25, 1942 - Apr 01, 2022
Memories of Sandy, Lover and Collector of Books
Sandra Lee (Saunders) Snow was born on August 25, 1942 in Boston Lying ln Hospital, just 16 days before the man she would eventualiy meet, marry, and share her life with, her husband of nearly 54 years. She was the eldest of four chiidren born to Carl Wilson and Mary Leahnore "Lee" (Treier) Saunders. Her early years as a youngster in Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, may have been the spark for her sense of adventure and love for travel, because shortly after
earning a Bachelor's of Art from Connecticut College for Women, she and her good friend. Betty, hitchhiked throughout Europe, for 10 months, visiting art galleries and absorbing these cultures, a remarkable journey for young women in the mid 60's. A few years later, traveling thousands of miles with backpacks, this time as a newly wed with her husband, Russell Snow,
they not oniy saw Europe, but their combined trek of dlscovery took them as far east as St. Petersburg, Russia, east and north to Nepal, Thailand, lndia and of course to galleries and locations in Europe.
Sandy expressed her talent as an artist decorating the homes she lived in ail across America, collaborating with her husband, as they renovated-each one. Each colorful residence was unique and could have easily been featured in the Homes and Garden Magazine because that's how they looked -beautifully well-appointed, inviting, and completely attentive to all the senses! The tables she set and the delicious food she served for her family and friends had a similar artistic flair. She had a love affair with cook books; her "head always in a book" as Mom used to say of her even as a child. She was so well read, it led to a collection that kept her husband busy making shelves to hold them.
As far as the qualities that I remember most, those were written in a ietter and read to Sandy in the hospital. Since l've already shared this with you and the family personally, l'll just add the following. Sandy cared deeply and completely for me and our brothers, our parents, her husband, rnost of all, and her family, daughter, son, and grandchildren. She spared no expense to create comfort for those in her circle of famiiy and friends. In the letter I read, I said, "You have always had my back, looking out for me, and the rest of us, like a
big sister does. Thank you deeply for that." During those end days, she recalled how, at 5 years old, she helped our mom by pushing my baby carriage over the
bump on the parsonage floor in Oak Bluffs, MA. Sandy, you inspire me artistically and are continuing to do so even after your passing. I will remember all our good times. I know that you love me so much and I will (and do) miss hearing you say "Hi Sukie" when I call you on the phone. You remember so much - what an intelligent mind you have, a voracious love for learning, and how well read. Exciting! I've always looked up to you for that and learn so much from what you've shared with me from the books you've read. And then there's the adventurous part of you, traveling around the world with Bettykins and Lil, and then Russ, who swept you off your feet. You sensed that he was "the one" soon after you met him. And you have loved him faithfully and truly for 54 years. You dedicated all to your children through your creativity, your physical and emotional nurturing, your intelligence and steadfast love. I told her before she left us, I see all this, Sandy. Thank you for being such a good sister, wife, mother, and friend' I willmiss you so much, but I also know that your spirit lives on. Our Lord will not let you down. Hold on tight till the very end. He loves you. He loves all, even though we misunderstand His ways. And for you, Russ., in my journal later on that same day, 30th March at 7 AM, Sandy woke up and clearly stated, "God is good' God is love' That is all there is." Then she started singing at the top of her voice, to the tune of Jesus loves me, Purgatory, Purgatory, Purgatory Purgatory, l agreed with her, that what she was going through, lying in this hospital bed, unable to move and difficulty breathing, that this was hell, purgatory. Later when I related this story to Anna, she said in the Catholic church, purgatory is the state people experience on the way to heaven. And that the person who experiences purgatory will not also experience hell. Who knows? What I do know is what Sandy stated so emphatically that early morning, two days before she died. And her knowledge still gives me comfort. I love you, Sandy, so much. Again, thank you for being my sister and for blessing me with your love and attentiveness.
My brother put it well, She knew what she believed on a wide variety of topics and was always ready to defend her beliefs during the often spirited "discussions" that were a part of our family life; but she always respected us in our differences...she just wanted us to each be the best version of ourselves that we could be.
UPDATE: It is now November 29th. I've finally edited what I wrote previously. The holidays are hard, being the first ones without you, Sandy. And the more time passes, at least this year, the clearer it becomes that I will not see you in person in the same way as I have in this life. But recently our granddaughter, Caroline, and earlier in October, our son, Darwin, comforted me by putting their hands to their hearts and saying, she's right her with you. Yes. In a way, she is, through pictures and memories, and her presence through those avenues.
It feels good to write about all these things. Of course, you won't be forgotten ever and will always live in our hearts. 💖💖💖💖
Sandy and I traveled for 10 months in 1965-66 ... until our money ran out.
We traveled in these countries: England, France, Holland(Amsterdam), Belgium, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Syria, Israel (where we stayed and worked on a Kibbutz for a couple of months picking oranges to earn our keep, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Romania.We used public transportation in cities and often hitched hiked for longer distances between cities with strict rules. The cars were small. the one in front keeps the driver awake and engaged. The one in back keeps eyes on signs and assures we are going rn tne correct direction/location. NO NAPPING! Drivers were male and often were driving a long distance and probably were appreciating the company as well as helping out two girls touring the country. It was unusual in those days for two women to travel hitchhiking. We met interesting people driving us, Usually working people. We tried to have something to give them as a token of our appreciation for the ride. We had bought a bunch of John F. Kennedy 50 cent pieces to give. JFK was loved by Europeans that we met. One woman in Yugoslavia, of all places, said she cried when he was assasinated, We also had nice fuit whuch we had bought to give. This trip was a big dear in our lives. We both postponed getting, "real jobs" choosing this trip as a priority. We agreed it was a chance to see the world and vowed we would not get involved or fall in love with someone there. If it were not for Sandy being the engine to really follow though with our mutual dream, I may never have had this fabulous experience and educational odyssey. or the first apartment ever for us in Boston on the poorer side of Beacon Hill at 52 Phillips Street where we could get a good paying waitressing job at Ken's at Copley Square, a well known deli where the professional sports teams might go after a game at night. That was Sandy's shift. Mine was mornings to catch the day workers. Great tips and we saved every dime we could. Parsimonious we were. I am a different person because of it.
After our trip we got jobs. I was a 5th grade teacher in NJ and Sandy became a stylist for a well known photographer, Mike Cuesta, in NYC. Sandy arranged settings for the photography shoots and brought props and cloths for the models. A high end job. Even worked with Ally McGraw, the famous actress for a time.
I remember her entertaining, always plenty of food, which I think was part of her artistic expression, and laughing with her. Her warm embraces and the way she'd really take a good look at the details of me or my kids when saying hello. l've seen her in serious discussions and admired her passion for her position. How supportive she was of Uncle Russ's passion for acting. How she wasn't scared to pick and move wherever she wanted to be next, living in the moment, not afraid to go after what she wanted. She was a leader, a strong, loving woman of faith
Adventurous - she loved to travel, and traveled the world before
settling down to raise a family; she and Russ traveled extensively in their
motorhome, and took it on their final trip together to California just a
couple months before she passed, with a stop along the way at
Quartzsite, the desert RV gathering (a la "Namadland,,), iust for the
Artistic - she studied art in college, and was a creative painter; she
loved to go to art museums and went to them as often as she could; she
was attracted to the Roman Catholic expression of the Christian faith by
the high church liturgy - by the "smells and bells,, inherent in the
worship experience - more than by the dogma and doctrine.
Loving and loved - she was very committed to Russ, to their marriage
relationship, and to their family's welfare; she was always there for all of
us to listen, empathize, and offer advice and support bponsible - when Mom & Dad needed a place to stay during their winter travels, she graciously opened her home to them and made them feel welcome; when they needed help in their later years, she saw it as her calling as the eldest daughter to provide the help they needed and bent over backwards to assure that their needs were met.
Restless - it's a characteristic she shared with Russ; they moved a lot;
sometimes the moves were job related, but other times it seemed like
they were iust in the mood for a change in scenery. Her negotiating skills
always helped to make sure that they came out of every home sale and
purchase smelling like a rose.
Excellent Cook - she loved to cook, and was very good at it; she had
an extensive collection of cookbooks that was the bane of their many
moves; she enjoyed reading them but usually just used her own chef's
intuition to produce delicious meals that had her own special touch. fWe
especially loved her potato salad, fried catfish, lobster bisque, and
chocolate chip cookies.)
Collector of Books - she had a love for books of all types, and bought
a lot of them; her ever expanding library kept Russ building more and
more bookshelves every time they moved.
Well Read - she loved to read, and did a lot of it; wherever they lived -
or camped for an extended stay - she always made good use of the local
Amateur Film Critic - she and Russ spent many of their evenings
watching (and critiquingJ films on TV; she especially liked foreign films...
some of which were pretty quirky; she was a strong supporter of Russ's
own acting pursuits, usually attended the last performance of each of
his plays, and went to the cast parties.
Mom was always a great supporter and protector of others, from her earliest days. She was my greatest inspiration.
She had a zest for art, travel and books. She loved reading biographies best, and her story was as beautiful and full of living as any she enjoyed. A talented artist, she was recognized as having exceptional promise by her Connecticut College art professor. She was a teacher, who connected with her students creatively. One of her students in a tough Bronx public school drew her portrait. She had the best taste of anyone we know. This is how she came to be a photo stylist for Mike Cuesta in New York City, following AIi McGraw's departure from the job. She was so cosmopolitan, so well traveled. Not just in her youth, but even well into her 70's. And her life and home were steeped in the nectar of those experiences.
She was such a generous soul, with an appetite for the unpretentious yet perfectly prepared dish and was a natural entertainer. Her food was truly some of the best l've ever tasted. She radiated warmth, beauty and conviviality.
She was a doting mother, with unlimited patience for the struggles that we, her children, faced. She walked with us through every test we encountered. The first book I ever remember her reading with me was The Runaway Bunny. She was (and continues to be, in my heart) the mother bunny. She made me who I am in almost every way, in spite of the fact that I attempted swim against her current my entire life.
Here are some of the last few words of substance I was able to share with her before she died: You have my whole heart..I love you more than I can ever, ever say...I want you to know I think about you every minute, and that l'm realizing that everything beautiful and good in my life is because of you. I am your student, and you made me to have your sensibilities, to see things with your eyes of beauty.
I will never forget you, Mom. I love you forever.
Susan Skelly Memories:
Sandy's laugh was infectious. She was non-judgmental but had strong opinions and always honest. I admired her extraordinary taste in art and blending colors/patterns. She was an open book and had an amazing memory. I loved our girl chats and beach camp outings with some card games. (her wine was good too.) She was very special to me. I miss her laugh.
Ginney Buck Memories:
Sandy was also a fine writer. I recall her literary grades in high school were excellent. Her approach was abstract and modern...so different from our days in the '59-'60's...and very similar to her paintings. We were quite different even then...my studies in piano and ballet were classical and still are to a great degree. We connected on so many levels...she had a way of looking at things that helped me with certain life situations and helped me with hers. Our shared interest in gospel kept us very close...loved her Dad! He always seemed a bit puzzled at our teenage antics!!! But adjusted to their innocent intent! I think the sixties were a challenge for our parents...new freedoms, music, adventurous attitudes, not to mention the 50's music!!!! Come to think of it I wonder now how our parents came thru the rock'n'roll period. I loved it all..however, the ballet was my anchor for most of my life. Now it is marriage, family, piano, and painting,,Always glued together.
The spirit world is very close Russ, right next to us. I know this to be true with all my heart. And praise God it is so. We can be together again!! This life is a testing ground. It is the time we are tested to qualify ourselves to live in the presence of God and his Son Jesus Christ, And you can live again with Sandy and your children forever. What a marvelous and glorious thought! I feel Sandy's love for you and your children..that is how I know this is true. Praise God