SANDI R. APUNA, 66, of Mesa, Ariz., passed away peacefully on Friday, Jan. 31, 2014. Born in Fort Wayne, she graduated from high school in Hunter town, and received a B.A. degree in Creative Drama and Elementary Education from the University of Washington in Seattle, and an M.Ed degree in Reading and Language Arts from the University of Hawaii. Sandi moved to Mesa in 1992 and worked in the Gilbert Public Schools, in Gilbert Ariz., first as a reading specialist and ultimately as the District reading interventionist. She specialized in reading development and dyslexia, and in 2001, she received the Bill Ellis Teacher Preparation Award at the national Dyslexia Association meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She also implemented curricula and trained many reading specialists in the District before retiring in 2013. Sandi was active in the U.S. Army Reserve, where she rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After 9/11, she served for two years as an anti-terrorism officer with the Pacific Command in Hawaii and was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. She is survived by her brother, Dr. Terrone Rosenberry of Jacksonville, Fla.; step-daughters, Melanie Denny of Peoria, Ariz., Michelle Barker of Mountain View, Hawaii, and Melissa Apuna of Kaneohe, Hawaii; and stepsons, Samuel Apuna III of Honolulu, Hawaii, and John Apuna of Ewa Beach, Hawaii. She was preceded in death by her husband of 30 years, Samuel K. Apuna, in 2010. Memorial service is 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, at Melcher Mortuary Mission Chapel, 6625 E. Main St., Mesa, with visitation from 2 to 4 p.m. and immediately followed by reception at the same location. Burial in Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii. Donations may be made to
in Phoenix, Ariz., or the
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Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers on Feb. 5, 2014