SANDRA LYNN KIRKHAM
October 13,1945 – March 11,2021
With heavy hearts, we announce that Sandra Lynn Kirkham passed away on March 11, 2021 in her home in Winnipeg at the age of 75 years
She is survived by her husband Gary; children, Darlene (Kevin), Rob (Roberta), and Steve; grandchildren, Sheryll (Andrew), Jenilee (Rob), Robert, Colin, and Stephanie; great-grandchildren, Brianna (Dylan), Devin (Amanda), Colin, Rebecca, Layne, and Summer; great-great-grandchild Kylee; siblings, Jim (Judy), Barry, Jean, John (Wendy), and Robin (Dan); aunt Connie, many nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and friends. She was predeceased by her parents, Bert and Ruby Scammell; brother Del; brothers-in-law, Larry and Bill; sisters in-law, Betty, Janet, and Colleen; and niece Delaney.
Sandy’s happiest memories growing up were centered around her grandparent’s farm near Rossendale, Manitoba. Sandy always said, the farm was where she always felt happy and carefree; running around the fields in her bare-feet; something she continued to do the rest of her life; it was very hard to convince her that socks were sometimes a necessary option.
Sandy grew up with her family in the north end of Winnipeg on Manitoba Ave. She attended school and developed a circle of friends in her neighbourhood, including longtime friend and school chum Donna Flett. Sandy always said; no matter how much time went by between our phone calls, it was like Donna and I had just talked the other day. Sandy also had a special bond with her sister Jean. Sandy and Jean were inseparable (sometimes four phone calls a day); more so in Sandy’s later years. Jean was always there for Sandy; a great sister; a favorite Auntie to her children and then, in later years a companion and caregiver. Sandy and her children spent a lot of time with Jean, Larry and Joanne over the last 40 odd years. Sandy looked forward to the Tuesday outings that started out with her and Jean meeting up with Jim (sometimes Judy and Robin) for breakfast, then shopping trips but always ending with a stock pile of Wendy’s Frosty’s for the freezer.
Sandy began working life at a young age; working for CN rail as a Station food service employee and then moving to Safeway as a sales clerk. During her time at Safeway she met and married Walter Schau. Unfortunately in less than 5 years she found herself a young single mother with 3 children and no child support. Sandy’s loving parents recognized their daughter’s dire situation and immediately welcomed Sandy and her children back to the family home; it was a very full family household for a while. Sandy then applied for a subsidized residence with Winnipeg Housing. Her eventual acceptance was a relief and allowed Sandy to move forward. From this point on Sandy worked many different jobs; right up to her 60’s. Sandy was proud of two very important accomplishments; her secondary education and post-secondary business accounting education and subsequent diploma.
There is no doubt Sandy had a lot of love and pride when it came to her children, grandchildren, Great grandchildren and great- great grandchildren. Sandy proudly displayed their pictures on her living room walls. And for those that could not visit, a quick picture/slide show from her iPhone or iPod would have to suffice. The one regret Sandy had was always time constraints. She wished she could have had spent more time with her son Rob, grandsons Robert and Colin and all her kids and their families.
Sandy didn’t always make the best choices and at times her decisions directly affected her children and family. One thing is for sure; she did the best she could, and put all she could into her job as a parent. She loved with the whole of her heart and never judged. Sandy spent a lot of time with her daughter Darlene (also her best friend) and granddaughters Sheryll and Jenilee whom she so adored. Sheryll and Jenilee eventually had families of their own and strong family bond continued.
Sandy loved spending time with her grandchildren as well. She so looked forward to all her visits and anticipated all the moments she could spend with them; especially great-great granddaughter Kylee who she had an incredible bond with. Sandy enjoyed all her family moments, whether it was babysitting, visiting family, attending birthday celebrations, shopping, pool time with family, movie nights or family meals; it was all very special to Sandy. Sandy always loved watching grandchildren Colin and Becky in the pool; she considered this better entertainment than any T.V. show. Sandy was very proud of her great granddaughter Brianna, and her accomplishments; Sandy would often say “there is nothing that girl can’t do”; her great grandson Devin was also included in her accolades. Sandy was also very proud to be part of our family’s 5 generation pictures; 3 times in total. Sandy felt very honoured when her youngest granddaughter Summer Sandy was named after her. Sandy also spent a considerable amount of time with her son Steve and granddaughter Stephanie. Sandy and her husband Gary always looked forward to their weekend visits with them; always full of card games and laughter usually into the wee hours of the morning; the time spent with Steph was one of the highlights of her week.
Sandy always knew her life was very rich and full; she always stated that with so much love around her, she never ever felt alone. Sandy’s level of happiness continued into her later years when, by chance she hooked up with longtime friend Gary Kirkham in 1998 (family friends since the 1950’s); they eventually married. Sandy and Gary enjoyed years of weekly bowling events, monthly card games with friends and family, and many other family events.
Sandy and Gary developed many friendships along the way. Sadly, many of Sandy’s friendships were put on hold due to COVID restrictions. Sandy really missed touching base with her block friends at all the local events in the blocks’ recreation facility. When Sandy and Gary moved into said apartment block it rekindled a relationship with her big brother Jim and his wife Judy; Sandy and Jim developed a very close friendship till her end of life. She knew her big brother was always there for her. Jim was always there to help Sandy with her parcel pickup or car rides; even responding to medical distress calls at times.
In the last years of Sandy’s relationship with husband Gary, things took a turn for the worse. Gary suffered a series of strokes which left him in a weakened state. Sandy now had her hands full looking after her husband. Sandy continued to provide around the clock care to Gary until her own health began to deteriorate; Sandy soon found out she had serious heart problems. Sandy discovered she had only 39 percent heart function. She was about to make one of the hardest decisions she would ever have to make; placing Gary into a care home; Sandy could no longer provide Gary with the medical care he so desperately needed. This was a decision that proved to be hard for both of them.
Darlene and her husband Kevin provided some much needed happiness and relief to Sandy in her last years by spending family time with her out at the Henry homestead park next to her grandfather’s farm. She became reacquainted with many relatives and friends. Sandy loved being catered to and treated like a queen when out at the homestead, and enjoyed her many conversations with Aunt Connie and her many cousins. Her last weekend at the family homestead was one of Sandy’s greatest adventures; a quad ride up to the Hogsback site with Steve and Gord (thanks Steve and Gord); a tour of the countryside, including all the family homesteads and communities was also included.
While receiving an updated heart MRI, a tumor was discovered on Sandy’s pancreas. Subsequent appointments, scans, and a biopsy revealed pancreatic cancer. Sandy was now in for the fight of her life. After Sandy’s initial diagnosis Sept. /2020, Sandy went in for cancer surgery Nov. /2020; chemo was started January, 2021. Sandy fought hard to stay with us however she succumbed to her cancer March 11, 2021.
Thank you, Robin, for making her weekly shower and lotion massage a wonderful part of her week. No more pain, rest in peace. You are forever loved momma. Until we meet again.
The family would like to thank Dr. Van, Dr. Stronger, Dr. Lipschitz, Dr. Gordon & Buller Cancer Care for her care, As well as The Fire department and Police for their care and sensitivity.
When I am gone, release me, let me go…
I have so many things to see and do,
You mustn’t tie yourself to me with tears;
Be happy that we had so many years.
I gave to you my love, you can only guess
How much you gave to me in happiness.
I thank you for the love you each have shown,
But now it’s time I traveled on alone.
So grieve a while for me if grieve you must;
Then let your grief be comforted by trust.
It’s only for a while that we must part,
So bless the memories within your heart.
I won’t be far away, for life goes on;
So if you need me, call and I will come,
Though you can’t see me or touch me,
I’ll be near
And if you listen with your heart,
All of my love around you soft and clear.
And then, when you must come this way alone
I’ll greet you with a smile and say,
Sandy Kirkham’s family kindly requests that all of her friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour her memory by watching the photo-biography above. Please, also consider sharing your own photos, memories, and stories by making use of the comment section on this page.
In Accordance with her wishes, cremation has taken place and a celebration of life will be held at a later date.
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