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Sandra Epperson Martin (1938 - 2012)

Obituary
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Salinas

Sandra Epperson Martin

Sandra Epperson Martin, 74, of Salinas, passed away Tuesday, May 22, 2012, at her home after a courageous three year battle with cancer. She was born April 11, 1938 in Marysville, to Kathryn and R. Clarke Epperson.

When Clarke returned from WWII, the family moved to Sheridan, Wyoming for a short time and eventually made Salinas their home. Sandy attended Sacred Heart School from 5th to 8th grade and then graduated from Palma High School in 1956. From 1956 to 1958, she attended Hartnell College where she was crowned as Homecoming Queen.

During the time she attended San Jose State University, she was a member of the Alpha Phi Sorority and also spent her first year as a student teacher in the Salinas City Elementary School District at Santa Lucia Elementary School under the principalship of Henry F. Kammann. She continued her education and graduated from SJSU in 1960 at which time she began her 38 year teaching career. She was an excellent teacher and a faithful, inspiring teacher leader. In 1987, she was the first recipient of the "CTA WHO Award" which recognized Sandy for her work with the Alisal Teachers Association and the CTA Central Coast Service Center. WHO stands for "we honor ours" and is a recognition by one's peers. Sandy was known by her fellow staff and administrators as a tireless worker and good friend. Her sense of humor and warmth helped everyone make it through even the most difficult times. Once retired, Sandy worked to help gain recognition, higher salary and health benefits for substitute teachers. She will be missed by many, including those in the education community.

In 1989, she took a leave of absence to teach overseas in Germany with the Dept of Defense. This allowed her to pursue her love of travel. Another strong passion of hers included knitting, which she began enjoying as a young child. In her spare time, and eventually during her retirement, she taught knitting classes at the Salinas Adult School and the Monarch Knit Shop in Pacific Grove.

She is survived by her daughters, Cathy Martin Silvey from Salinas and Kaaren Leslie Smith from Pleasanton, and their husbands, Barry Silvey and Craig Smith respectively. She is also survived by her loving granddaughters, Katie Ashley Smith, Morgan Brittany Smith, Sarah Lindsey Miller and step-granddaughter, Nicole Silvey. She was preceded in death by both her former husband, Ronald T. Martin in 2008 and granddaughter, Casey Leigh Martin in 1996.

The Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, June 16, 2012, at 12 p.m., at the Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 18200 Damian Way, Salinas with reception to follow at 1 p.m., at the Salinas Golf & Country Club, 475 San Juan Grade Road, Salinas.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donations for cancer research to Relay For Life of Salinas, 945 S. Main St., Suite 201, Salinas, CA 93901 or to Central Coast VNA & Hospice, Inc. 45 Plaza Circle, Salinas, CA 93901.

Published in The Salinas Californian on May 26, 2012
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