Photography

Sandra B Michelsen

January 9, 1946 ~ March 21, 2024 (age 78) 78 Years Old
Obituary Image

Sandra Michelsen Obituary

                                                         Sandy Michelsen

                                                                Age 78

Sandy finally lost her valiant battle with Spinocerebellar Ataxia, a rare genetic disorder, on March 21, 2024.

Some of Sandy's extraordinary qualities were being a wonderful wife, mother, and friend and overall, a great human being.

Sandy was born in Washington, DC January 9, 1946. She grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Northern Virginia. She married the love of her life, Marty, on August 22, 1964, in Winchester, VA.

Shortly after their marriage they had the great honor of being a part of the NASA Headquarters effort to place men on the Moon in the decade of the 1960s. Sandy had a Top-Secret clearance at the age of 20. June 30, 1968, Sandy gave birth to their son Mark Alan Michelsen. April 4, 1968, when Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated, and parts of Washington were in flames - disorder was everywhere. Sandy and Marty evacuated the city. The next morning elements of the 82nd Airborne Division had established martial law in the Federal sector. Amazing and sad time in the turbulent 1960s.

After being a stay-at-home Mom until Mark was in school, she became a real estate agent for a while and began her twenty-year career as a legal secretary. The desire to move to the Northwest became stronger and stronger.

After "arriving" with a new home on 12 acres in Loudoun County, VA, they finally decided that the time for departure and a new life was necessary. In 1981 they moved to Post Falls, Idaho to an old farmhouse sight unseen. It was a bold move that was difficult and marvelous! Sandy became a legal secretary in Spokane, WA.

In 1986 they completed a move to the Puget Sound area of Washington; Sandy was a legal secretary at nearly twice the salary. Marty took a job with Boeing. It was a wonderful time and place to be then. Always, they planned to return to North Idaho. After five years of work and owning a home in Fall City near breathtaking, spiritual Snoqualmie Falls, they moved to a rental home on Whidbey Island on the water near the Strait of Juan de Fuca for two years of beach combing and to help satisfy Sandy's love of the sea and tides. Sandy worked at the Coupeville Art Center.

North Idaho had been discovered and became more expensive after they left, so they decided to move to the Flathead Valley in Montana. It was heaven on earth in those days. They had no plans to leave until it changed gradually. During their time there, they studied herbal medicine with herbalist, Tom Tracey, for at least twelve years. They were also employed as gardeners working at gardens of various types. It was a wonderful time with wonderful friendships that still exist. During that time, they were a part of many efforts to keep timber mills open with convoys all over the Northwest. Many gatherings appreciating veterans for their many sacrifices were fully supported — especially the large gatherings at Lake Mary Ronan.

In 2018, they were looking for a new home. Sandy and Marty attended the 40th Anniversary

Celebration of The Heritage Museum in Libby. They loved the selfless people, all volunteers, who gave so much to their community! They wanted to be a part of it and contribute to Libby. Months later they bought their land and built their home. Before they finished it, Sandy began having some serious effects of what they found out was a genetic disorder inherited from her paternal grandmother. It has no cure or treatment. Sandy's neurologist told her “Do as much as you can as long as you can". Sandy certainly did that — amazing grit. With her effort and spirit, she extended her life by at least two more years.

Sandy was an amazing artist in many mediums. She was good at everything she tried - jewelry, watercolors, gourd art, alcohol ink — many others. Sandy was an incredible public servant helping anyone willing to help themselves. She was a friend to many.

Sandy and Marty want their property to serve future generations — especially with natural herbal healing and other healing modalities. There is much natural healing that Marty can teach to those eager to learn. Others can teach as well. That is a legacy they have both wanted to leave.

Sandy is survived by her husband, Marty; son Mark; grandsons Maxwell, Taylor and Derek; daughter-in-law, Kelly; brothers Vance Berry and Mike Berry; sister-in-law Linnea Godwin; brother-in-law Alan, and many dear friends who are really family to Sandy.

Sandy's ashes will be interred in the Memorial Garden on their property during a Celebration of Her Life, May 18 at 2:00 with family and friends in attendance. Gardens have always been a sanctuary for Sandy. This is her final one.

Arrangements are under the care of Schnackenberg Funeral Home of Libby, MT.  Online condolences and memories may be shared by visiting www.schnackenbergfh.com.

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.

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