February 9, 1946 – October 25, 2009
Sandra passed away peacefully at the Stettler Hospital at the age of sixty-three years with friends and family by her side. Sandra was raised in Stavely, Alberta by her loving parents, Phyllis and Max Gibson. She grew up with her older sister Eileen and her younger brother Douglas. Sandra was always a hard-working, ambitious young woman, and loved a challenge. She left Stavely in 1964 to attend nursing school at the Holy Cross Hospital in Calgary, where she was the President of the Student Council as well as the Valedictorian of the Class of ’67. After she graduated, she came to work at the Stettler Hospital. She met Ron Rairdan during this time, and they married on November 1, 1969 after a short courtship. Her first son, Gregory, was born in the summer of 1972, and was followed by Bryan exactly two years later. Although she was reluctant to leave her career, she found that caring for two children and a full grown farmer was a full time job unto itself. Sandy loved to golf, camp, travel and simply play cards and visit with friends. She was an extremely dedicated mother and worked hard to make sure that her boys would have every opportunity available to them. Always seeking a new challenge, Sandra was elected to County Council in 1986, and eventually became the Chair of the County of Stettler Board of Education. She also served as the Chair of the Stettler Hospital Board, and in 1994 she was appointed Chair of the Regional Health Authority for Region 7 which was a tremendous responsibility as these boards were tasked with the major reorganization of Alberta Health Services that occurred in the mid 1990s.
Sandy was well known in the community as a strong, independent woman who did what needed to be done whether it was popular or not. She loved her friends and family, and was well-loved in return. She will be deeply missed.
Sandy will be forever remembered by her loving husband, Ron, her devoted sons, Greg and Bryan (Wendy). She will also be fondly remembered by her grandson, Asa, her beloved sister, Eileen Schwindt (Keith) and her brother, Douglas; as well as their children and grandchildren. She will also be greatly missed by her brother-in-law, Ken Rairdan, sisters-in-law, Eileen Rairdan, Helen Munroe (Glenn) Eileen Krejci (Ward), Norma Rairdan (Ken Bauman), Norma Rairdan and Kelly Rairdan, as well as their numerous children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her parents, Maxwell and Phyllis, and her brothers-in-law, Neil Hoaglund and Murray, Larry, Ross, and Jerry Rairdan.
A slide show of Sandra’s life may be viewed at: www.farewellsandra.blogspot.com. Remembrances and condolences may also be posted at this website. A celebration of life for the late Mrs. Sandra M. Rairdan was held on Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. in the Heartland Chapel of Stettler Funeral Home, Stettler, Alberta with Reverend Jack Schulze officiating. A loving tribute was given by Gregory and Bryan Rairdan in memory of their Mom, followed by a slideshow. The congregational hymn was Amazing Grace accompanied by Evelyn Strandquist on the piano. LeeAnn Kinderwater played guitar and sang a beautiful solo, The Ones I Love. The recessional was the recorded selection, Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion. Sandy will be laid to rest in the Liberal Cemetery, County of Stettler at a later date. Following the service, family and friends gathered in the Heartland Fellowship Hall for a time of sharing memories and a luncheon prepared and serves by the Erskine U.C.W. If friends desire memorial contributions in memory of Sandra M. Rairdan are kindly accepted to Liberal Church or a charity of choice.
Stettler Funeral Home & Crematorium, 403-742-3422 entrusted with the care and arrangements.