Sandra Jean Carley
Sandra (Sandy) passed away December 26, 2022 from stroke complications at the age of 83. She was born in Omaha, NE, September 25, 1939 to Victor and Stella Carley. Soon they moved to Iowa where she lived until age 25. In her teens Sandra spent years doing chores and driving a tractor on the farm, operating all the machinery used and winning her county tractor rodeo, then placing 19th competing with 98 men in the Iowa state tractor rodeo. After doing morning chores including washing milk cans, she attended Collins High and then Huxley High where she was a scholar, graduating salutatorian. She was first chair trumpet player in the band and also played baritone, French horn, violin and cello over the years, performed in the state orchestra, was an alto in the chorus, taking a 1 in a state solo competition, and an outstanding women’s basketball player. She played on the first team for Huxley in the Iowa State Girls basketball tournament of 1957 and was selected for an Iowa All-State Team. She was also prom queen and art editor for the school newspaper. While working for the Des Moines Register and Tribune in the traffic and payroll departments and being the R&T ball queen, she was also working for Neumann Construction while attending night school at Drake University. She then started working full time. Sandra graduated in 1965 with a BS in Education, studying English and mathematics, completing it in 3 years. She was also made an honorary member of Kappa Delta Pi educational fraternity.
In 1965 she accepted a teaching contract for the Clark County School District, spending 3 years teaching both English and math at Henderson Junior High School. She moved to Western High School in 1968, where she taught American Literature and English, then Math and English, being selected as the math department coordinator soon thereafter. She remained in that position while also teaching upper level math classes until her retirement. She was nominated by her peers and the administration four times for the President’s Award for Excellence in the teaching of mathematics in the State of Nevada. Other activities included coaching girls basketball, volleyball and softball, leading the Scholarship committee and serving on the Northwest Accreditation steering Committee. During the summers she went back to Drake to work toward an advanced degree.
Sandra was a fiercely independent and patriotic person who was deeply impressed in her youth by WWII with its trials, terrors and deprivations for humanity. She credited her lifelong desire for freedom to the war and her ethical stances to her Midwestern exposure and early religious upbringing. Her lifelong interests included a passion for reading, listening to classical music and 1950’s icons and contemporaries, tending to animals, enjoying British mystery shows, watching documentaries, cooking, traveling, board games, and especially crossword puzzles.
Sandra was preceded in death by her father, mother and younger sister, Dr. Karolyn Grosnickle. She is survived by her younger brother Mark (Pat) Carley of Winterset, Iowa, and her brother-in-law, Richard Grosnickle of Wheatland, WY, an aunt, Joanne Gregg of Fayette, IA along with several nieces and nephews. She also leaves many lifelong friends.
Sandra will be interred in the Fjeldberg (Norwegian) Lutheran Church cemetery, Huxley Iowa, along with her mother and other family ancestors. A memorial service will be held at a later date yet to be determined. Condolences may be sent to Mark Carley, 1792 Millstream Court, Winterset, Iowa 50273.