Marian Thomas Sand

Sand, Marian Thomas 91 02/21/1919 10/31/2010 Marian Thomas Sand passed away Oct. 31, 2010, at age 91, after a long life filled with grace and love. Marian was the matriarch of a close, loving family of 30, nearly all of whom live in Portland today. 

Born Feb. 21, 1919, in Portland, to Orilla and Horace Thomas, she grew up during the Depression with her sister, Betty, and brother, Phil. After graduating from Washington High School in Southeast Portland, she attended Oregon State College (now University). There she joined Pi Beta Phi sorority, which began a seven-time legacy of her daughters and granddaughters doing the same. 

A handsome college suitor described Marian as one of the most beautiful and popular girls at OSC. However, she chose Harold E. Sand, who was the love of her life for close to 50 years before his passing in 1986. They had a true romance and were always devoted to each other. In the years the kids were home, Marian shared a cocktail with just Harold as they discussed the day, and connected prior to spending time with the children. 

She raised three fabulous children, Barbara, Kathie, and Tom. She sewed beautiful clothes for herself and her girls using detailed dressmaker touches for Barb's plays and Kathie's piano recitals. Marian and her son, Tom, built a strong mother-son bond during the many years that Harold was traveling for work and Kathie and Barb were off at college. 

Marian loved her time in Eastmoreland and beyond with the 13 "Birthday Girls" who celebrated every birthday together. This long-standing tradition included her sister, Betty. They loved and appreciated each other and were grateful to be not just sisters, but also friends. 

As Harold rose to executive vice president of Georgia-Pacific, Marian enjoyed a lively social life and exciting worldwide travels. Marian and Harold were active at Waverley Country Club, and Marian was known to host wonderful meticulously planned parties for their friends. In the '60s and '70s, Marian and Harold enjoyed several trips for business and pleasure to Asia and Europe. 

Marian loved to spoil her grandchildren with wonderful gifts at each Christmas and birthday. She gave matching dresses to the girls at Christmas that they wore to the Waverley Christmas party. Using apples from the large Granny Smith apple tree in her backyard, she prepared many delicious pies and jars of homemade applesauce. A number of grandchildren requested her perfectly made apple pie as their birthday dessert instead of cake. In return, the family did special things for her, like the Senior family tradition of purchasing and decorating a Christmas tree for her every year. 

Her family continued to grow when her grandchildren married and added many great-grandchildren who kept her young and smiling at each holiday and birthday gathering. While they may have run circles around her, she found herself giggling in delight. These gatherings became extremely important to her during the 24 years that she lived after Harold's passing. With the additions came a new nick name given to her by her grandson-in-law, Terry. He renamed her GM, which was short for Grandma Marian, yet symbolic of her role as the family's general manager. All family members have embraced the new moniker. 

Marian died peacefully of natural causes. During her decline she continued to show us the incredible grace she exemplified her entire life. She remains forever a shining example of polite graciousness, a non-complainer under adversity, a clever wit, a speaker of the truth, and a classic beauty. 

She is survived by her children, Barbara Strader (Tom), Tom Sand (Robin DesCamp), and son-in-law, Rick Williams; grandchildren, Kristin Senior (Greg), Linda Favero (Terry), David Williams, Melissa Williams (Mike), Laura Randall (Robert Moore), Kendall Sand, Taylor Sand, JT Sand, and Jake Gortmaker; and great-grandchildren, Ryan and Colin Favero, Kieley and Hayden Senior, Mitchell and Emily Williams, Calvin and Claire Williams, and Matthew Moore. She was precede d in death by her husband, Harold; daughter, Kathie Sand Williams; and siblings, Betty Winslow and Phil Thomas. 

A celebration of her life will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010, in Adams Chapel at River View Cemetery, 0300 S.W. Taylors Ferry Road, Portland, OR 97219. Memorial remembrances may be sent to the American Cancer Society (in honor of Marian's husband and daughter), 0330 S.W. Curry St., Portland, OR 97239 or Oregon Hospice Association, P.O. Box 10776, Portland, OR 97296.