Sandra "Sandy" Jeanne Chlanda
February 28, 1944 - November 14, 2020
Sandra Jeanne Chlanda, 76, went to be with her Lord on Saturday, November 14, 2020. She died at home surrounded by her loving family and friends after many years of Parkinson’s Disease challenges.
She was born February 28, 1944 at Highland Hospital in Beacon, New York, the daughter of the late Bill and Norma (Hardesty) Benge. She grew up in Clinton Hollow, New York graduating from Arlington High School in 1961. She went on to attend Dutchess Community College, graduating with a degree in nursing. Thus began a thirty-five year career in healthcare that would take many twists and turns.
On June 13, 1964 she married her sweetheart, best friend and the love of her life, Frederick Chlanda. They met at the age 12 and knew even then that they would be together forever. They returned to the cute little church where they had met for the wedding in Schultzville, New York.
She began her career in 1963 as a nursing aide while attending DCC. After completing her nursing program she received an AAS degree (nursing). She then worked in the obstetrical unit. She adored the babies and had two of her own while she was there. She considered it a blessing that she could be a stay-at-home mom while the children were young. She was active in all the activities that her children participated in, including being a den mother and attending many football and hockey games. After the two boys were grown she went back to work and began her career in hospital administration.
She retired in 1997 as a director of management education. During that time she earned a BS in Healthcare Administration, an MS in Personnel psychology, and a PhD in Education.
Sandy was a devout Christian with a deep faith in God and His Word. She also believed that as long as there are people who are giving, caring, loving, and sharing, the world is still a place with possibility and hope.
She was an inspiration to many people simply by the way she lived. She managed to maintain a welcoming attitude as she faced her many challenges and never once did anyone hear her say, “why me?”. She kept things in perspective and made time for the important things.
Mostly she believed we were to feed the hungry, to care for the fatherless and widows, and to live out our faith by being doers of the Word. She not only believed it, she acted on it. She was very active in her church (Westminster Presbyterian) doing work to help the homeless. She did a lot of cooking that helped the hungry and homeless. Her work also benefited new immigrants, veterans, abused women and children, and any other needy. She wanted her grandchildren to know how fortunate they were to have to parents who loved and cared for them. Her granddaughters went with her to help feed the homeless and to the food bank to help stock the shelves.
She survived 50 years of teaching Sunday school at the various churches she attended. She enjoyed playing bridge and reading to children as well visiting nursing homes and reading to the residents. While she was able, she had a beautiful rose garden that she generously shared with others.
Her greatest joy in life was being with her loving family, especially the grandchildren. Three of them live next door. The other two live in New Jersey and she missed being able to watch them grow up. As her disease progressed she wasn’t able to do the everything she would have liked to have done, but she was grateful for all she had been given to do. She was accused of spoiling her family, a charge she firmly denied. During the pandemic, she wrote a story about how a house became a home it was made into a book to help the grandchildren remember their ancestry.
Sandy will be remembered as a gentle and genuinely caring person.
She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Fred Chlanda, sons Fritz (and daughter-in-law Angie) of Salem, Oregon, and Tom of New Jersey. Two granddaughters Tori and Katie. Three grandsons Luke in Salem, Oregon, and Tommy and Nicolaus in New Jersey. A niece Michele (Benge Villani) of New York, and a great-nephew Cole Villani. She was preceded in death by her parents and her beloved brother Larry.
In lieu of flowers, Sandy has requested that family and friends might consider donations be made to any homeless shelter, any food bank, or Willamette Valley Hospice, 1015 3rd St NW, Salem, OR 97304-4007
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