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Sandra's Story

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Sandra M. Fernandez, 79, passed away peacefully at her home with her daughters by her side, after a lengthy and courageous battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Sandra McLaughlin was born in Port Henry, N.Y. to Robert McLaughlin and Helen Tyrell. She married Louis Fernandez on Jan. 11, 1957, and they raised their three children, Michael, Kathleen, and Kelly, joyfully, with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends in Mineville, N.Y. Their home was a place throughout the years for family and friends to gather. Her employment began at Breen's store in the Village of Port Henry, Wheelock's garage as a bookkeeper, Frontier Town as a cook, and her last 25 years were spent at the Grand Union where we all remember that beautiful smile, and the friendly conversation that came along with going down Sandra's aisle.
Sandy spent many years volunteering on the Town of Moriah Ambulance squad and the Port Henry Alumni Association. She was also an active member of St. Patrick's Church. Her greatest joy came from time spent with her grandchildren, especially the many hours she spent baiting hooks with her fishing buddy, Landon. There was not a lake, pond or brook that the two of them missed. Many sleepovers with Lauren resulted in sharing peanut butter toast for breakfast. On occasion, she would slip a piece or two to her companion, Rusty. Sandy and Lauren also spent many days taking long walks with Rusty, always ending the day with their favorite dish of ice cream.
Sandy's journey with Alzheimer's disease began 15 years ago. Over the years, even the simplest of tasks became very difficult. She enjoyed playing cards, going for car rides to look for deer, going for walks, listening to oldies music and dancing around the dining room with Kelly and Kathy. Throughout the years Sandy was able to stay at home because of the wonderful care that she received from her caregivers, those included Jess, Thelma, Kiera, Lisa, Sandy, and Shelby. In her final days we were blessed to have special angels sent to us, Brenda, Jill, and Darlene and also the caring and compassion of Ash, Sue, and Courtney from High Peaks Hospice.
She is survived by her daughters, Kathleen Thompson and Kelly Cross; two sons-in-law, Brian Cross and Brett Thompson; and three grandchildren whom she cherished dearly, Landon Cross, Lauren Cross, and Gabrielle Fernandez. She is also survived by her longtime friend June Tur; her companion of several years, Bob Rule; sister-in-law, Norma Fernandez; cousin, Kathy Horowitz; and many nieces and nephews.
She is predeceased in death by her parents; Robert and Helen McLaughlin; her husband, Louis Fernandez; and son, Michael Fernandez.
Calling hours will be Friday evening, Nov. 24, 2017 from 4-7pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 11am, St. Patrick's Church in Port Henry.
Harland's Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Donations in Sandra's memory may be made to High Peaks Hospice, Tom Phelps Lane, Mineville, NY 12956 or OIKOS Ministries (Alzheimer's Awareness).
To leave condolences for the family please visit www.harlandfuneralhome.com.
Published on November 22, 2017
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