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Sandy: A big-hearted, positive person
"She was an aide in my class and was the most positive person. She was cheerful and enthusiastic, and sometimes it's hard to stay positive with special needs kids," said Culver first grade teacher Cindy Dix.
Roe had just been hired two months ago by Elementary School Principal Stephanie Garber as an educational assistant for Culver's Special Education program, and Garber said it was not just a job, but a career and a passion to Sandy.
"She was passionate about finding what made things tick for her students. She would bring in trinkets to get them excited about learning and crack jokes to get kids to smile. She was a spirited gal and a fun person to be around," Garber said.
A dance team advisor remembered Sandy offering to sew costumes for the team; a junior high coach remembered how she was always baking cookies and bringing them to practice and how well-liked she was by the students.
Her youngest son Devin's first grade teacher Jan Kelly remembered how supportive Sandy was of her own children, and said she enrolled the boys as well as their sister in dance classes to expose them to as many experiences as possible.
She also participated when possible as a parent helper. "She went along with us to the pumpkin patch and helped with our Halloween party. On Columbus Day she brought in different ships for the kids to see -- some in bottles and some metal ones," Kelly said.
Dance studio owner Caroline Kaiser made the same observation. "She never missed an opportunity to help her kids tie in what was happening in their lives with their development," she noted.
Culver teacher Kim Kaylor was such good friends with Sandy that they unofficially adopted each other. Five years ago, Sandy presented Kim with a necklace accompanied by an "adoption" card that said "I hereby adopt Kim Kaylor as my Christmas sister." After that, Kim said, "in my classroom and where ever she went in Culver she introduced herself as `Sandy, Kim Kaylor's little sister.' When the accident happened, it was difficult for my students because they thought she was my real blood sister."
"When she loved, she loved deeply and never was afraid to show it," Kaylor said, an observation that was echoed by Sandy's aunt Lynne Alexander.
"Many did not know Sandy suffered from a troubled childhood, but overcame those things triumphantly, and out of her nothing would give everything," her aunt said, adding, "You can share your time with a lot of people, but Sandy shared her heart.