Sandra Gardeline Obituary

Sandra Jeanne Gardeline
Sandra Jeanne Gardeline

June 27, 1958 - June 14, 2020
Born in Madrid, Spain


Sandra Gardeline, 61, passed away peacefully in the comfort of her sister’s home on June 14, 2020 in Anchorage, Alaska. Born on June 27, 1958 in Madrid, Spain, she was the daughter of the late Theodore Gardeline and Gertrud Julie Starks. She was the middle child of six siblings: three sisters, and two brothers. In the early 1960’s, following the family’s short residence in Spain, the Gardeline family settled in Fort Worth, Texas where Sandra resided for many years.

Sandra’s life was full of exuberance wherever she lived. While growing up in Texas, Sandra attended Burton Hill Elementary, Monning Middle School, and Arlington Heights High School. The Burton Hill neighborhood provided many poignant memories, such as the ones shared by her oldest brother Ted Gardeline. “I remember slip and slides and catching fire flies.” Her oldest sister Fran, recounts all the times Sandra introduced her as the “shorter but older sister.” Her younger sister Allison, remembers “she had the most loving personality and that anyone that met her, loved her.” She made many friends over the years and has maintained life-long friendships to this day. Sandra was also NEVER afraid of working hard. Her employment history began with Safeway, working when she was only 15 years-old. She worked for them for many years, eventually becoming vested in the company. Sandra was known for her hard work ethic; often demonstrated by her “I can do it, just watch me” approach to life.

Sandra remained in Texas until 1991, when she and her daughter Jennifer moved to the Last Frontier. Other than big hair and a strong southern accent, she and her daughter fit perfectly into the Alaskan landscape. Days were always filled with adventure. Sandra had an adventurous spirit unparalleled to none. If she wasn’t balancing a few jobs at once (Blues Central, Wonder Bread truck route, Pipers, lawn care, or working at the Teamsters Hall), she was hopping in a Cessna for a quick salmon run across the inlet, grabbing a quick hike, white water rafting in Hope, driving through Denali National Park, camping with family and friends, trying to keep up with her daughter (often times vice versa), settling down for a sunset at Crystal Lake, or spoiling her dogs Lady Bug and Lilli. Suffice to say, the list is extensive.

In 2013, Sandra was given the opportunity to continue working for the Teamsters Hall or to start her retirement early. Without a second to think otherwise, she quickly chose to jump fully into retirement. For most, retirement can mean a chance to slow down and smell the roses. For Sandra, it meant, hurry up.. let’s smell ALL the flowers and then see what else we can squeeze into a 24-hour time frame! Her need for speed to enjoy life only grew more intense in this next phase of life. Her new desires landed her in a place that will always hold a very special place in our hearts, and of the dear friends she made in St. Petersburg, Florida. Slowly, a few simple visits to Florida led to her ultimately finding her home sweet home. A beautiful condo that she truly made her own. Sandra’s innate ability to touch lives wherever she went, didn’t stop in Alaska. While in Florida, she began doing what she does best: igniting energy and life into the world around her. She maintained the grounds, decorated the courtyard with festive lights and decorations, facilitated weekly/nightly cook-outs in the community courtyard that ultimately brought other residents closer in fellowship and connectedness. She even made time to go back to school and earn her professional Massage Therapist license- no doubt, a fitting profession for her loving soul. Outside of her condo and the many friends she made, she especially had a love for the exquisite Florida sunsets on the beach. Witnessing a day’s end with such beauty gave her a sense of peace and calmness. She always marveled at the sheer magnificence a Florida sunset could illicit, and the emotional response it inevitably invoked every time.

Perhaps her biggest legacy of all was being an amazing mother and grandmother. She was a mother, but also her daughter’s best friend. There are countless memories with her daughter that run deep, from participating in Brownie’s meetings, fast rides in mom’s Trans-Am, long Texas dirt road rides with no air conditioner (windows rolled down of course) with hair flying wildly, first sporting events, high school graduation, college graduations, an epic wedding, and the birth of her grandchildren. To no surprise, she cherished the time she spent with her grandchildren dearly. From biking to hiking, kayaking, fishing, caramel apples at the fair, staying up late to watch movies, and standing in line to buy fireworks for over an hour, just so her youngest grandson could be entered into a drawing to win a giant box of fireworks (worth hundreds of dollars). She never stopped, and by the way… he won that GIANT box of fireworks! The list of memories is endless, mirrored by that same endless love and appreciation her grandchildren had and will always have for her.

Sandra is survived by Jennifer Buck (Quincy), her one and only child; grandchildren Mathias and Hayden Buck; brother Ted Gardeline (Pat), sister Fran Wukasch (Brian), sister Allison Wrobel (Joe), brother Kenneth Gardeline (Tara); stepfather AJ Starks; nephews Paul and Nathan Wukasch, Austin Gardeline, Christopher and Sean Gardeline; niece Calyssa Britt (Tommy); great nieces Britini, Peyton, Raelee, Reagan; great nephews Drew and Matthew; and her beloved dog Lilli. Sandra was preceded in death by mother Julie Starks, father Theodore Gardeline, sister Helen Gardeline, grandfather Johan Dirk van Wijk and grandmother Elly van Wijk, and her beloved rescue dog Lady Bug.

Due to the unique circumstances impacting our world right now, the family will look forward to having a large group celebration of life for Sandra once we can safely do so. We love and appreciate you all!

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