Sandra Lea Crain Rowe passed away on December 11, 2017, following a lengthy illness. Sandra was born on February 1, 1945, in Santa Paula, Calif., but lived most of her adult life in the Joplin, Mo. area. At the time of her death, she lived in Broken Arrow, Okla., where she and her husband, Joe, had relocated eight years ago be closer to family.
As a child she lived for several years in South America, where her father's job took him. She also attended schools in California, Arizona, Florida and Louisiana. Perhaps as a result of moving about so much as a child, Sandra put down very deep roots in Joplin.
After retiring from the Joplin School District as a teacher, she was employed by the Missouri State Department of Education as a principal at the Joplin and Monett State Schools. Sandra received her high school diploma from Neosho High School, her bachelor's degree from Missouri State University and a master's and specialist's degree from Pittsburg State University, where she was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and was selected by the education department faculty as the Outstanding Graduate Student in her class. She was a lifetime member of the NEA and the Missouri NEA. She served two terms as president of the Joplin NEA as well as on many district and state education committees. Sandra was also a former member of Peace Lutheran Church.
Sandra was preceded in death by her mother, Ruth Crain, and her father, Raymond Crain.
She is survived by her husband, Joe, of the home; her daughter, Deborah Marouk and her husband, Colin, of Broken Arrow; her daughter, Dana Davidson and her husband, Cord, of Batesville, Ark.; her brother, Rod Crain, of Neosho; and her grandchildren, Madison Marouk, Sydney Marouk, Chloe Marouk, Victoria Davidson, and Josephine Davidson.
Until limited by illness, Sandra led a very active life. She loved playing cards, board games, quilting, traveling, hiking, and camping. She was always the first one in the room to solve the 'Wheel of Fortune' puzzle. She spent hours helping her grandchildren with their homework.
Active in politics, she was a delegate from the 7th Congressional District to the 1978 Midterm Democratic Convention, in Memphis. She was passionate about the environment and organized a number of Outdoor Education Days for Joplin schoolchildren. She also cared deeply about civil rights.
While living in New Orleans during the Jim Crow era, she witnessed racial discrimination firsthand. Those experiences made an indelible impression on her. Concerned for those less fortunate, she served on the board of Habitat for Humanity, as well as a number of other charitable organizations. As a teacher, she saw that every child in her class had a warm coat in the winter, even if she had to buy it herself.
Sandra was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend.
A celebration of her life is planned for Sunday, December 17, from 2 to 4 p.m. at her home on 4517 South Redbud Avenue, Broken Arrow, OK. 74011.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Habitat for Humanity.
Published on December 13, 2017