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Sandra W. McFate

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Sandra W. McFate Obituary
McFate, Sandra W.
born 95 years ago on August 12, 1920, in Buena Vista, TN, passed away at Friendship Village in Tempe November 8, 2015. "Sandy" as her friends called her, enjoyed a long and successful life spanning 50 years in the court reporting profession. She started in Detroit reporting secret hearings of plane sabotage for Ford Motors, which had been converted into the famous Ypsilanti B-24 Bomber plant during WWII. Sandra moved to Phoenix in November of 1944 and became the first woman to be appointed Official Court Reporter in Maricopa County and was twice elected president of the Arizona Court Reporters Association (1954 & 1971). There were a lot of firsts in her life, as she was a trailblazer in her field. She eventually formed McFate Reporting Service and through dedication to her profession, went on to be president of the National Court Reporters Association in 1979. Sandra's contributions to the field of reporting are legion. Because of her hard work, amazing brilliance, innovative ideas and progressive actions, she received many awards, including the Arizona and National Distinguished Service Award and in 1982 was named a Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters. She pioneered computer aided transcription (CAT), set up a national certification program for legal video and was the first person in the U.S. to be a Legal Video Specialist, teaching judges and lawyers, conducting workshops, and publishing articles in her trade magazines. Sandra was an avid reader, world traveler, hiker, photographer, gourmet cook, and enjoyed writing stories and plays by the pen name, Allysandra. She was preceded in death by her husband, Judge Yale McFate; her parents, Herschell and Florence Watson and her sister, Margaret Beckingham and is survived by her daughters, Joyce McFate, Sheri Kerr (John), Jutta Kuntze of Berlin; 3 grandchildren, Kirk Griffin (Janet), Traci Boese (Mike), and Shannon Kerr; 8 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great-grandchildren who called her "Mam". The family would like to express their deepest appreciation to Rhoda Thomas who provided invaluable support in her final years. A woman of style and grace, our matriarch and role model will be dearly missed. Internment for Sandra will be a family and friend gathering at the National Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 N. Cave Creek Rd. on December 4th at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to , 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014.

Published in The Arizona Republic on Nov. 22, 2015
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