Marvel Lou Sandon
Marvel Lou Rogers Sandon, an elementary school teacher
whose major position was at the Florida State University Developmental Research School for 30 years, died, Monday, 14 April 2014, in her home. Death resulted from complications of Alzheimer's disease. She was 79.
Mrs. Sandon taught first grade at public elementary schools in suburban Kansas City, KS. and in Wrentham, MA. She founded and directed a private kindergarten in East Walpole,MA. When she moved with her family to Tallahassee in 1969, and before joining the "Lab School" faculty, Marvel Lou volunteered as a classroom assistant and substitute teacher in several public schools. She also taught in the preschool programs of the Faith and First Presbyterian congregations. At the DRS she taught mostly first grade, frequently second grade, and two years in the fourth-grade. She retired as a University School Professor in 2003. Marvel Lou's vocation spanned over 40 years of service in early childhood education.
Along with teaching Marvel Lou was known for her hospitality. A gracious and generous hostess, she also was no mean cook. Parties from homes in Massachusetts to Waverly Hills abounded. Often students and faculty gathered around the Sandons' pool to celebrate the beginning or end of the school year. Almost as often distinguished scholars or celebrities visiting FSU were entertained in the family dining room. Typically students who couldn't be home for the holidays were there for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Or both. One graduate student responded to his exit survey question, "What will you miss most when you leave FSU and Tallahassee?" Answer: "Mrs. Sandon's spinach lasagna."
Marvel Lou was a churchwoman. From being the president of her church's youth group to becoming an elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). she took church life seriously. From playing the piano in village and open-country churches her husband pastored, to directing a children's choir, to making patched quilts with the "elderly women," she took church "work" seriously.
She liked travel and hoped to enjoy more of it in her retirement. She couldn't get enough of concerts, theatre, and select cinema. She loved the outdoors and was high on camping. On field trips she relished sharing her interest in basic astronomy and nature studies with her students. Marvel Lou was at home in the arts and crafts. Her hooked wall hangings earned blue ribbons at the North Florida Fair in the early 1970's. She completed a beautiful needle work tapestry just before her Alzheimer's began. She also did some painting.
Marvel Lou Rogers was born in Topeka, KS, 24 October 1934, the only child of Marquis and Marie Rogers. She lived most of her childhood and adolescent years in the Highland Park section of Topeka. After graduating from Highland Park High School she attended Baker University (Baldwin City, KS), graduating with a B.A. in. 1956. In both high school and college she was a cheer-leader and played the oboe as well as the piano. She also had an M.S. from F.S.U.'s College of Education. Marvel Lou was a lifetime member of Phi Mu Women's Fraternity.
Marvel Lou is survived by her husband of 57 years, Leo Sandon; two sons, Stephen Mark and Philip Aaron (Fran) ofTaliahassee; two grandchildren, Catherine Frances (20) and Caleb Francis (18). She was a loyal and loving daughter and daughter-in-law; a beloved wife and mother; and a fiercely loving and loved "Grandma Sandon."
In her ll-year venture with Alzheimer's she seldom if ever raised her voice, usually had a smile on her face, and never complained. For the last two years she was totally bed-ridden, with 24/7 care. Without exception all of her caregivers thought she was a model patient. A Big Bend Hospice nurse judged her to have had exceptionally good care. Praise be to quality caregivers!
From her bed she could look out the window and see her own front yard with familiar birds, blossoms, squirrels, and occasional rabbits. She became a certified blue bird landlord. In her room she always had fresh flowers, family photographs and seasonal icons.
So, to the end she knew that she was home. And that she was loved.
A service of Witness to the Resurrection will be held at First Presbyterian Church (110 N Adams St, Tallahassee, FL 32301) at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, 21 April, 2014.
In lieu of flowers contributions honoring Marvel Lou may be made to: The First Presbyterian Church Preschool, 110 N. Adams St., Tallahassee, FL, 32301-7777. Or to: Alzheimer's Project of Tallahassee, 301 E. Tharpe St., Tallahassee, FL, 32303. Bevis Funeral Home is assisting the family with their arrangements (850-385-2193,www.bevisfh.com)