Sandra Jean Petta

Sandra Jean Petta, born in Milwaukee, December 11, 1945, passed away July 9, 2011.  Sandi was a champion for women’s rights and was a co-founder of the first rape crisis center in the State of Nevada.  Sandi has trained hundreds of volunteers as counselors and advocated for victims of sexual assault for the crisis center.  On December 29, 2000, Kenny C. Guinn, Governor of the State of Nevada, proclaimed that day in Honor of Sandi Petta.  Sandi was a Rehabilitation Supervisor II, a dedicated employee with the Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation in the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation for 27 years.  Sandi never gave up on any of her clients.  She did everything within her powers to make their lives functional and worth living.  Sandi graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1967 with a degree in Clinical Psychology and Pre-Medicine and attended UNLV where she completed two MS degrees in General counseling and in Rehabilitation counseling.  Sandi was committed to improving services for the citizens of the State of Nevada and had the respect of professionals and colleagues that she had worked with over the years.

Sandi’s greatest gift was her ability to love, unconditionally, her friends and family.  She had a wonderful sense of humor and when you were in her presence, you could feel the warmth of her love.  She had the uncanny ability to make everyone she encountered feel important.  She never met a stranger.  She adored her sister Andi.  They had a very special bond and a deep respect for each other.  Sandi also loved her nephew Eric, his wife Lisa, and their son Alec and daughter Jordan.  Sandi shared 30 years of her life with Pat and together they shared a lovely home and a wonderful life.  Sandi had a very meaningful relationship with Pat’s brother Tom and his wife Michelle.  Sandi and Michele shared a bond of both surviving painful childhoods.  When Tom was dying of liver cancer, Sandi stayed with Tom and Michelle for the final eight weeks of Toms’ life.

Sandi had an incredible singing voice.  She was a member of “Silver State Voices”.  She paid tribute to a number of young men who died from AIDS.  She would always sing “Bring Him Home” at their Memorial services.  Her voice was always a source of comfort for anyone coping with the loss of a loved one.  Sandi loved her animals Jasper, Casper, Spartacus, and Savage.  They were her children and she was a great mom.

We all feel a very deep loss but can take solace in knowing that she is no longer in pain.  Her spirit is now free from a body riddled with disease and there are no longer any limitations on where she can go or what she can do.

7 Comments. Leave new

  • Sandi loved life and her greatest joy came from helping others. We shared many wonderful years together. Every Christmas we would share pictures of the two of us and our kids with friends and family. I respected her and loved her deeply.
    Sandi was a role model for me as well as many others. She cared deeply for anyone who’s life she touched and, as a counselor, she saved many many lives as well as a multitude of relationships. She and my mother were very close and the three of us had so many fun times together. I don’t think she ever realized how extraordinary she was. She will always hold a place in my heart. Love Pat
    She will always hold a special place in my heart.

  • Joann Bongiorno & Joan Sommers
    July 19, 2011 11:40 am

    Our Dearest Sandi,
    Our hearts are heavy knowing we will never hear your laughter or your sweet voice in song. You mentored so many and asked for so little. We will carry your smile in our pockets, your generosity in our hearts and your spirit in our minds. If your rainbow could cry, we would be there to catch your tears. Love you forever,
    Joann & Joanie

  • Lesson learned Sandi, I know NOT TO WAIT for that visit or to make a phone call!
    Thanks for the fun memories, your infectious laugh, beautiful voice, and gorgeous spirit. Remembering times at the home on Wilbur…
    Thank You Pat for your kind sprit and generous soul, Sandi was blessed to have you in her life.
    Always, Winda

  • Barbara McDonald Lowe
    July 27, 2011 3:56 pm

    Sandi was not only a good counselor but she was also a genuinely compassionate person. We first met as workers in the District office on Tonopah & Bonanza. Then she helped me when I did my internship at The Rape Crisis Center. Many years later we were together again at the outreach office on Lake Mead Blvd in Henderson. It has been 20 years since I left the Bureau but I have warm memories when I think of Sandi Petta.

  • Toby Schoolman
    July 28, 2011 5:54 pm

    Thirty plus years since we were together but that time has left indelible marks…
    I am filled with sorrow to learn of your passing. Sandi “set the bar” for my future relationships .. Her voice, spirit, laughter, creativity, insightfulness, wisdom, kindness, tenderness, caring, concerns and playfulness have forever left deep foot prints on my heart and soul. How grateful I am to have had a journey with Sandi Jean Petta… You touched so very many … The loss and pain your friends, family and family of friends are feeling are beyond words… Thank you Pat for including me in your heart and memories.
    With gratitude, grace, and love… Toby – aka: “Little Martian”

  • Joann Bongiorno & Joan Sommers
    August 25, 2011 6:15 pm

    Nothing has changed. We still speak of you and wonder if you are eating pasta, drinking wine and just celebrating your love of others. Missing you, Joann & Joanie

  • Dee Anne Bostic
    September 6, 2013 7:54 pm

    Sandi…you were one in a million.
    Miss your fabulous laugh that made me laugh!
    Thank God for memories…
    See you on the other side.
    Dee Anne


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