Sandi Jo Young, newly 59, was welcomed into the gates of heaven Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 after a long courageous battle with liver disease.
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Sandi was born in Portland, Ore. on Oct. 27, 1953 to Joe and Jean Cowling. Sandi grew up in Portland and graduated from Milwaukie High School in 1971. She started beauty school at Phagans but didn't finish after she accidentally sat a client under the dryer too long and a bad bleach job left the woman mostly bald. Whoops.
After high school, Sandi let her inner wild child out and she spent several years of her life soaking up all life had to offer.
Sandi had many jobs in her life including moonlighting as a bartender, driving a semi-truck and a school bus, and being a late night newspaper carrier.
Even though Sandi was told she was not able to have children – her "miracle baby" McKenzie Lynn was born Nov. 2, 1983. She often told McKenzie how her being born "straightened her out" and how she had saved her life. Sandi and McKenzie shared a deep bond that words cannot begin to explain. With her last breath she looked into McKenzie's eyes and said "I love you" one last time.
In August 1997 she married her best friend, Daniel Young, and together they made their home in Whitehall and Butte. They loved "getting their hair into the wind" and riding off side by side into the sunset on their Harleys.
Sandi loved deeply with her whole heart. She was a pistol – funny, stubborn and witty – all the while still unbelievably caring and kind. You just couldn't help but love her. She adored her family and friends, her Harleys, smoking butts, going to the bar for a beer and clamato, "putting 5 in" at the casino, eating buckets of sugar free vanilla ice cream and shopping for a good deal. In her lifetime Sandi shopped many a weary tired shopping partner under the table. She was the most incredible woman and those that knew her will never forget her infectious toothless smile, that sparkle in her eye and how she lit up a room the moment she rolled into it.
Sandi is survived by her daughter who stayed by her side and held her hand until the very end, McKenzie (Kevin) Sacry; her loving mama, Jean Cowling; her two sisters, Stephanie Choate and Sherrill Vaughn; and her precious grandbabies, Nora and Grant. She is preceded in death by her loving husband, Daniel, her faithful dog, Son, and her father, Joe Cowling.
A celebration of Sandi's life will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 at Christian City Church, 8852 North Jackrabbit, in Belgrade. A reception and fellowship meal will immediately follow the funeral. A Harley Davidson hearse will bring Sandi to her final resting place at Sunset Hills Cemetery in Bozeman where a small graveside service will be held at 4:30 p.m.
You can read more on a very special blog memorializing Sandi at bkrbch.com.
The family would like to send a very heartfelt and special thanks to Dr. Brian Landsverk and Edye and the entire team at Southwest Montana Hospice in Bozeman.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service, www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from Nov. 6 to Nov. 7, 2012