Sandra Kay (Bartell, Albertson) Lee, passed away on December 11, 2023.
Sandra was born on July 25, 1942, in Laramie, Wyoming. She was the third of four daughters born to Gordon and Margaret (Emery) Bartell.
Sandra and her sisters Dona (Ross), Suzanne (Koch), and Cheryl (Enos) grew up in small towns in Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota, while their parents pursued teaching assignments.
Sandra was a precocious child, and rumor has it (sisterly secrets) that she may have been a bit bossy! New Underwood, SD, was a major stomping ground for the family. Sandra loved her horses, and whether it was Pete, Sugar, or Rocket, they all were beautiful and approached life with an attitude, just like Sandra! She and Rocket went on to win several titles and lovely belt buckles to prove it.
After graduating from high school in Nisland, SD, Sandra married Frank Albertson on June 26, 1960. Their son, Gene, arrived the following year; then a few years later, daughter, Shawna. After relocating to Iowa for Frank’s first teaching assignment, daughter Stephanie joined the crew.
After several years of raising the family in Iowa, they moved to North Platte, NE. While there, Sandra joined the community theatre group, and enjoyed acting in several productions as well as becoming a beloved director of several plays.
The next chapter for Sandra included going back to Rapid City, SD, where she completed her college degree, and she and Frank divorced. In the meantime, she became licensed as a real estate broker, and opened her own firm. She was the first woman real estate firm owner/broker in the state! Her firm was very successful until the economy took a turn for the worse.
Sandra decided at that time to switch gears to follow in her parents’ (and many other family members’) footsteps and obtain her teacher certification from Black Hills State College. She went on to teach elementary school for the next 30+ years.
After choosing to make Jacksonville, FL, her home, she taught several different elementary school grade levels; but she found her calling and spent most of her successful career with her fifth-grade students. She was a very talented teacher; her students loved her, and at one point, she was even named “Teacher of the Year.” She was proud to have earned her National Board Certification in 2001, and been named in the 2002 edition of “Who’s Who in American Teachers.”
In 1990, Sandra married her second husband, Clyde Lee. Sadly, Clyde passed away unexpectedly just a few years later.
When Sandra retired from teaching, she missed the children, but enjoyed her swimming classes at the YMCA, lunch or dinner dates with friends and family, traveling to visit family in South Dakota and Colorado, becoming more proficient on her computer, and being involved with her community HOA. It was the time for her to enjoy the fruit of her life’s labors.
In 2021, after enjoying her new home in Melbourne, FL, with her own swimming pool and lovely yard with many fruit trees and flowers, Sandra made her final move to Brookdale Assisted Living. She made many good friends, enjoyed reading books to her heart’s content, loved watching the Hallmark channel, was competitive at playing bingo, and made a habit of eating dessert first!
Heaven called her home on December 11, 2023, where she is surely enjoying being reunited with her family and friends who arrived before her.
We will miss her, but will always enjoy the good memories of Sandra’s, Mom’s, life.