More Obituaries for Estalee Sandlin
Looking for an obituary for a different person with this name?

Estalee Sandlin

Obituary Condolences

Estalee Sandlin Obituary
Sandlin, Estalee "Sherry"

Sherry Sandlin was a generous free spirit, constantly reinventing herself until she reached her final revision last Saturday. She was 94 and a half and was active until the week before her death.

Sherry was born Esther Lee Sherrod in Colbert County, Ala., to educator parents. Her father was principal at the school in Eva, Ala., and later at Woodville, from which Sherry was graduated as valedictorian at the age of 15. She won a $250-a-year scholarship in 1937 to Brenau College, a liberal arts school for women in Georgia, which she attended for two years. During that time, she won an honor for a poem entitled "History Class" and joined Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.

Sherry transferred to the University of Alabama, where she earned a degree in sociology and fell in love with Patrick Sandlin, an engineering student and the son of her seamstress. They married in 1941, as he joined the Army as officer in World II, serving in Alaska and Alexandria, Va. In the years with Pat, who worked for the Army Corps of Engineers, the Air Force and the U.S. Postal Service, they lived in more than a dozen states including Arkansas, Tennessee and Colorado, where their children were born, and finally in northern Virginia. They retired in Santa Fe in 1983.

Over the years, Sherry was a serial joiner, often taking on leadership roles in the organizations to which she belonged. In Colorado Springs, she was a regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution and campaigned for the election of John F. Kennedy as president. She was active in Americans for Democratic Action, the American Civil Liberties Union, the League of Women Voters, the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness, and progressive Democratic politics in both Virginia and New Mexico. She was president of the New Mexico chapter of the American Association of University Women for two years, and was a moving force in raising over $20,000 to fund a scholarship for women pursuing graduate degrees. She once made and filled over 100 Christmas stockings for residents of St. Elizabeth Shelter in Santa Fe.

Sherry was a lover of folk art and a volunteer at the Museum of International Folk Art, a devoted gardener and a terrific party hostess. Sherry moved to an assisted living in Albuquerque in 2011, and despite dementia affecting her short-term memory continued to enjoy regular outings with companion Lynne LaFountaine. She was a regular at Off Center Community Arts Project's writers group, penning impromptu musings including "Lost," a free-form verse:

How does it come to be

That I am here,

but where is me?

I miss myself

more than I know

Where to find me I do not know

So if you find me

Please return to owner.

Sherry remained a passionate advocate for the underdog over the course of her life. She brought liberal Catholic nuns working in the District of Columbia to urge action by her not-so-liberal Episcopal church in the 1960s, and eventually embraced the Unitarian Universalist church. In Virginia, she hosted dozens of foreign students, sponsoring some for citizenship, but was so lousy at language that she failed college German and never learned to pronounce Bernalillo. She was an inveterate and determined reader always.

Husband Pat predeceased her, as did her younger daughter, Dr. Sherry Ann Sandlin, of Richmond, Va.

She is survived by daughter Scott Sandlin and her partner Jim Ellis of Albuquerque; son Patrick Sandlin of Fortuna, Calif.; son-in-law Will Wooding of Richmond; adopted daughter Glennah Moy and her husband Joe of Lake of the Woods,Va.; and younger brother Floyd Sherrod and wife Libba of Florence, Ala.

Contributions to any of Sherry's causes would be welcomed, especially to Off Center, 808 Park Ave. S.W. Albuquerque 87102 or the Coalition to End Homelessness, P.O. Box 865 Santa Fe 87504.
Published in Albuquerque Journal on Mar. 10, 2016
Read More