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  • "If the Army and the Navy ever looked on Heaven's Scenes,..."
    - Eileen Skahill
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On Friday September 2, 2016,Col. Sandra " Sandy" Lord Detwiler died peacefully in her sleep after a lengthy illness. A distinguished member of the USMC, a former high school guidance counselor, and certified financial planner, Col. Dewiler was well-known and respected in the Fresno Community. Sandy was born on February 1, 1931 in Buffalo, New York to Luella Eva May Lord and Ephriam Moyer Detwiler. Growing up, she was especially fond of her grandmother, Myra Peryea Lord, who kept a home on Chateaugay Lake where she entertained friends and family, among them her adoring granddaughter who often spoke of happy days on the lake with her family. A life-long high-achiever, Sandy graduated from junior high school with honors in athletics, art and orchestra. She was valedictorian at both her junior high and high school and gave the graduation speech at Kenmore Senior High School when she graduated from there in 1948. She received a B.A. Degree in Economics with Honors from Swarthmore in 1952 and a M.A. in Education from Temple University in 1953. That same year she was among an elite group of women recruited into the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. While she simultaneously pursued a career in education, she continued to serve on and off active duty for the next 38 years with corresponding promotions in administrative status and rank. She was promoted to full Colonel in 1976 and served on selection and policy boards in Washington , D.C. Sandy was a high school guidance counselor in Pennsylvania and senior high counselor at Western High in Anaheim, Calif. until her relocation to the Fresno Area. She was a charter member of the California Counseling & Guidance Association and Secretary of the Orange County Guidance Association. In Fresno, she later became a certified financial planner and worked primarily with friends and former colleagues in the education field . Described by one former student as a "vivacious counselor" with a "glowing personality" and "a wide field of interests," Sandy spent many happy hours rock-hounding, camping, fishing, hiking and traveling with family and friends. She was an intellectual, but also a practical, multi-talented woman with a gentle stalwart nature. Her sense of honor, justice and loyalty never wavered. She was a conservationist, gardener, lover of plants and animals, and a devoted companion. Sandy had two younger brothers, John and Larry, who predeceased her. She is survived by her nephew Kurt Detwiler of Raleigh, North Carolina; his wife Sonya; their son Denzel, and many close friends in the Fresno Community who shall miss her. A Celebration of Sandy's life will be held at Farwell Funeral Service, 660 W. Locust Ave., Ste. 101 in Fresno, on September 21 2016 at 11:00 a.m. Donations in her name can be made to nature or animal charities of the donor's choice.
Published in the Fresno Bee from Sept. 11 to Sept. 13, 2016
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