HERMON and ENGLEWOOD, Fla. – Sandra Sawyer Dunning moved peacefully from her earthly life to be with her Lord and Savior, Friday, March 1, 2013, after an eight-month illness resulting from three hemorrhagic strokes. She was a true testament of faith and unconditional love. Faith, family and friends were most important to her. Sandy was born Aug. 27, 1935, in Melrose, Mass.
Sandy grew up in Holden spending many wonderful days on the family farm with her cousins whom she cherished and were more like her siblings. Sandy acquired a love of cards and games from her father and Sandy was known for her love of playing cards and games and spent many hours playing with her father as she grew up. She passed this love on to her children and grandchildren alike and started teaching them to play cards and love games at a very early age. Sandy loved to spend quality time with her treasured family and friends in both Maine and Florida. Sandy loved to keep busy whether it was sewing, knitting, playing games, cooking or volunteering with hospice. She graduated from Brewer High School in 1953 then furthered her education at the University of Maine, Orono, graduating in 1957 with a degree in education. She married her love, Robert W. Dunning, in 1956. She taught in the Orrington school system for many years where she and her husband raised their family of four girls. Sandy eventually changed careers to work as a unit secretary at Eastern Maine Medical Center in the Intensive Care Unit for some 10 years. Sandy and Bob in their youth were very involved at Second Congregational Church, South Brewer, where they were youth group leaders always involving their daughters with all the activities. Many of those youth – now adults – are still special family friends. We have many wonderful memories of quality time spent at the family camp at Upper Lead Mountain Pond. Currently the family cottage is in Ellsworth on Green Lake. This move brought them to Maine Coast Baptist Church, where they spent their summers worshipping. More recently they resided in Hermon for the winters which brought them to Hermon Baptist Church where they made more dear friends who love the Lord. After retiring they became snowbirds and wintered in Englewood, Fla. This is where Sandy found more dear friends in Christ and looked forward to being with them each winter. She was the facilitator for many wonderful events at the club house at Holiday Travel Park, Englewood, Fla., and was well known for her weekly suppers which she helped prepare with much love.
She was predeceased by her parents, Allen and Roberta Sawyer; and her brother, Everett Sawyer. She is survived by her dear husband of 56 years, Robert W. Dunning; her devoted sister (cousin), Dorothy Connelly of Bangor; and daughters, Lynn and husband, Michael Phinney, of Green Lake in Ellsworth, Kimberly and husband, Thomas Evans, of Hermon, Devra and husband, Adam Lindsay, of Houston, Michelle and husband, David Lakeman, of Holden and Tricia and husband, Timothy Griffin, of Auburn. Grandchildren are Aaron Phinney and wife, July Simpson, of Kittery, Nathaniel and wife, Nicole Phinney, of Bangor, Tommy Evans and fiancée, Lindsay Argus, of Hermon, Brieana Evans and fiancé, Jason Canniff, of Bangor, Alexander, Zachary and Nicholas Lakeman of Holden, Gabriel Griffin and wife, Jessica, of Kittery and Anisa Michaud and husband, Brian, of Lewiston. Great-grandchildren are Kaylie Grace and Kyle William Phinney of Bangor and Mora Griffin of Kittery. Also, many treasured relatives far and near. The family expresses their deepest appreciation to the staff of Ross Manor and Maine Veterans Home for their great care during her rehab months. Also the staff at Eastern Maine Medical Center on the fifth floor for their wonderful attentiveness to Sandy and her family during her end of life process, especially to the Palliative Care team. God bless each one of you.
A memorial service and celebration of Sandy’s life will be held Saturday, July 13. Details will be announced at a later date. Those wishing to remember Sandy in a special way may contribute in her memory to New Hope Hospice, P.O. Box 70, Eddington, ME 04428-0070 or Maine Coast Baptist Church, 867 Bangor Road, Ellsworth, ME 04605. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.