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Sandra Steele Fastnow

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Sandra Steele Fastnow Obituary
October 29, 1940 - June 11, 2015 Sandra Steele Fastnow, Sandi to her friends, Bam to her beloved grandkids, and Sunshine to generations of local Girl Scouts, passed peacefully away on June 11, 2015. Sandra Marie Steele was born in 1940 to Horace and Evelyn Steele of Long Beach, CA. She attended Pomona College where she met her husband to be, Jeff Fastnow, over a dissected frog in Biology. Sandi withdrew from college to marry Jeff in 1960. Sandi returned to Pomona to finish her Bachelor of Science degree in 1990, and continued studying, graduating in 1996 with a Masters of Science in Botany from Claremont Graduate School. Sandi spent much of her adult life raising her four daughters, and was very involved in the Girl Scout organization. She served as troop leader for her girls, Service Unit Chairman for thousands of San Marino Scouts, and in many other capacities. She was awarded numerous Volunteer Recognition awards, including the Thanks Badge, the "highest award an adult Girl Scout Volunteer can earn" in 2005 and the Thanks II Badge in 2007 for her lifelong devotion to Girl Scouting. "Sunshine" loved SongFests and SongShares and remained active in Scouting until illness prevented her. Sandi was also active in San Marino schools, supported IORG (Rainbow Girls) and was a member of Las Marianas auxiliary of the Assistance League of Pasadena. She worked as manager of Treasure Fair Thrift Shop for several years and also at PARAID, precursor to the Pasadena Community Fund. She enjoyed many creative hobbies, including sewing, gardening and quilting, and cared for a menagerie of animals over the years. Her most notable contribution to her community was her caretaking of the San Marino Girl Scout House, with her dear friend and mentor, Sylvia Wikle. Under their leadership, the Hill-Harbison House (re-named for its 1930s founders) was incorporated into a non-profit, retrofitted to meet current codes and will serve the community for decades to come. The main meeting room was dedicated as the Fastnow Room in her honor. In 2001, Sandi and Sylvia were honored as Paul Harris Fellows by the Rotary Club of San Marino, in recognition of their "outstanding commitment to the community" for their efforts at Hill-Harbison House. Sandi and Jeff found a retreat in Lake Arrowhead in 1979. There they created a warm, welcoming home for family and friends for the last 35 years. "There's Always Room for One More" is the guiding principle of the cabin. Our annual Thanksgiving weekends with our growing families are some of our most cherished memories. Sandi is survived by her devoted husband of over 54 years, Jeff, daughters Kathi Fastnow-Dirkse (Mark), Beth DuVall, Peggy Chase (Brent), Chris Fastnow (Greg Adams) and grandchildren Wyatt and Claire DuVall, Lindsey and Holly Chase, Elizabeth and Cammie Dirkse, and Miles and Quinn Fastnow. Also, brother Stan Steele, sister-in-law Janet and their family, and nephew Brien Cook and family. We will profoundly miss her generosity of spirit, wisdom and boundless love, all of which she shared with us unsparingly. We would like to thank the staff at Villa Gardens for their outstanding care for the past five years. A memorial to Sandi will be held Saturday, June 20, 2015 at 1:30 PM at San Marino Congregational Church with a reception following at Hill-Harbison House (1841 Alhambra Rd, San Marino.) In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Hill-Harbison Foundation (2275 Huntington Dr. PMB 807, San Marino CA 91108) or benefitting children or animals is suggested.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from June 13 to June 14, 2015
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