Obituary: Mary Sandstrom April 1939 – January 2023

MARY FULTON SANDSTROM April 1939 – January 2023

Mary Fulton Sandstrom was born in April of 1939 in Alton, Illinois.

She died peacefully in Louisville, Colorado, in January of 2023 of complications associated with autoimmune disease.

Mary’s father was an officer in the U.S. Air Force and so she moved a lot as a child. Some places she hardly remembered but she always felt safest at her grandmother’s house in Alton, Illinois, where she played with numerous cousins from the Mather extended family.

She graduated high school in Fairborn, Ohio, and attended McMurry College in Jacksonville, Illinois, and the University of Illinois where she met her soon-to-be husband, Don Sandstrom. Don moved to Albuquerque, N.M., in 1959 with Mary following soon after. Not only did she fall in love and marry Don, but she also fell in love with New Mexico and the beautiful light and open sky.

Mary and Don moved to Los Alamos, N.M., in 1960 with their infant son, Fred. There they had a home on the end of a mesa and raised their family until 1986 when they moved to Santa Fe. She relocated to Colorado in the summer of 2022 to be closer to family.

Mary finished her bachelor’s degree in accounting from the College of Santa Fe in the 1970s. She worked as a Certified Public Accountant until she retired in the early 2000s. Upon retirement, Mary and Don traveled the world and saw amazing places including Greenland, Machu Picchu, the Galapagos, Tierra Del Fuego, Turkey, Alaska, and many small towns throughout Mexico. For many years, Mary taught English as a second language to immigrants from Mexico, Turkey, Russia, and Nepal who were seeking U.S. citizenship. Throughout her life, Mary was very generous—to her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, as well as to her church and various friends and acquaintances she made during her travels.

Mary was predeceased by her husband of nearly 60 years in 2019. She is survived by her son, Fred Sandstrom (Shannon) of Littleton, CO., daughter Alice Bertini (Dan) of Boulder, CO., daughter Mary Margrit Sandstrom of Jemez Spings, N.M., four grandsons; Evan Sandstom (Alicia), Andrew Sandstrom (Stephanie), Eric Sandstrom (Olivia), Walter Bertini, one granddaughter, Caroline Bertini, and seven great grandchildren. She is also survived by a sister, Carolyn Mills, of Los Alamos, N.M., and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Mary loved all animals but especially large black Labrador Retrievers. Donations can be made in Mary’s name to the Española Humane Society.

A memorial picnic will be held in the summer where all her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, family and friends may gather and celebrate her life.

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