Sandra Nora Mestrich (nee Schuhrke) passed away after a long, courageous battle with lung cancer on October 12, 2013. She was 70 years old.

Sandra, the daughter of Charles and Helen Schuhrke was born in Chicago on June 3, 1943. The daughter of a long-time insurance company field inspector and a department store saleswoman, Sandra attended Chicago's Our Lady of Peace High School, where she graduated in 1961. She received a degree in biology from Loyola University in 1965 and subsequently pursued a career in medical technology. At Loyola, she met her future husband, Richard Mestrich, and they were married shortly after their graduation. Together, they had three children - Keith, Kevin and Kristen. The couple raised their family in Aberdeen, South Dakota and later in the suburbs of Minneapolis until 1986 when they went their separate ways. As the children grew and began their own families, her focus on work shifted to spending time with family and grandchildren. In 2001, she traveled with the family to Nairobi, Kenya to witness her son Kevin's wedding. After college, her daughter settled in Washington State and Sandra moved to Burlington, WA in 2005 to be near her daughter's family.

Sandra's passion in life was her family. She loved being with her children and grandchildren and experiencing the major events in their lives. She enjoyed crafts, puzzles and volunteering. "Sandy" had the ability to make friends wherever she happened to be, standing in line at the grocery store, waiting for a plane at the airport or just walking around the block with her dogs. She accepted any and all into her life. Her smile and laughter will remain in our hearts forever.

Sandra is survived by (sons) Keith (Tilney) Mestrich, Kevin (Agnes) Mestrich and (daughter) Kristen (Kurt) Mestrich-Dilworth, her brother Richard Schuhrke and six granddaughters.

Following Sandra's wishes, no funeral services will be held. The family will hold a "Celebration of Life" event next summer.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, P.O. Box 19023, Seattle WA 98109-1023. Checks may be made payable to SCCA with indication that they are in memory of Sandra Mestrich or call (877) 308-3117 to make a donation by phone.

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to Hospice of the Northwest and Isabel Hernandez for their support in her final days.

Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on Oct. 16, 2013