Sandra Wiley Carlson, 78, passed away in her home in Lords Valley, Pennsylvania, on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019.
Born Sept. 3, 1941, in Norwalk, Sandra went by the nicknames “Sam” and “Sandy” and was known for her sense of humor, her bright smile, her amazing homemaker skills—she could iron, quilt, crochet, sew, cook, garden, and make a home like nobody else.
Sandy loved her family and doted on her three grandchildren — Adella Dzitko-Carlson, Alex Trompetta, Adam Trompetta — who survive her. In her last week of life, she would look at photos of her grandchildren as she made her way to bed and say, “Good night, my beautiful grandchildren.”
She was devoted to her husband, George, and her daughters, Vikki and Sandy, and her son-in-law, Edward Dzitko, who survive her.
— This obituary on Legacy.com was previously published by the Darien Times.
She graduated from Darien High School in 1959 and from the New York Foundling Hospital with a certificate in nursing.
Over the years, she lived in Darien, Stamford, Bethel, Danbury and Newtown before moving to Pennsylvania.
So she could be at home after school while she was raising her daughters, Sandy worked faithfully at the Bethel Friendly’s restaurant, a landmark she put on the map with her warmth, sense of humor, and ready cups of coffee. She came home every day with stories of the latest romances, work opportunities for itinerant photographers and illustrators, and gags between her and her coworkers behind the counter.
Sandy saw the best in everybody, and she encouraged them to see it in themselves. Later, she would take this spirit into her cancer treatment centers, where she was an inspiration to the doctors who ultimately could not help her, even as she told them they were doing a good job.
During those rare times when Sandy wasn’t working, she loved to go boating, sunbathe, read, and to watch her murder mystery shows, and to keep up with people on Facebook. She also enjoyed keeping an eye on the grandchildren through Instagram.
Sandy did not believe in wasting time. She would tell her family, “If you have something to do, go do it.” She liked to be first for all her appointments so she wouldn’t “lose the day”; she loved her home and enjoyed being in it.
She attributed her thriftiness and strength to being an Isbell, a member of a long-established Connecticut family which helped to found the state. She was a strong lady who lived with dignity. Her 20+ month struggle with cancer was an act of pure will; she had more to say, to do, to love.
Among her final words: “I’m the boss,” and, “Hold on, honey.”
A memorial service will beheld at 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Newtown United Methodist Church, Church Hill Road, Sandy Hook.