Sandra Link, a gentle, loving wife and mother has passed quietly in her sleep on August 20, 2023.
She was born on March 22, 1941 to Maurice and Rose Dawson. She had an older sister, Sonia and a younger sister, Sharon. She spent the first 12 years of her life in the small town of Swink, Colorado. The school she attended had an elementary and high school all under one roof. She played clarinet in the school marching band.
Maurice was a management level executive with the Holly Sugar Corporation. In December 1953, he was transferred to help manage the sugar processing plant in Brawley, California. Sandra was enrolled in the 7th grade at Sacred Heart School. There she met Steve Link, who would play a prominent role in her life. They raised a 4H Club steer and took ballroom dancing lessons.
Upon graduation in 1955, her parents enrolled her in Our Lady of Peace Academy, a girls’ Catholic boarding school near San Diego.
Sandra graduated in June 1959 and immediately entered a convent. Her new name was Sister Rose Andre, a sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet.
In June 1964, Sister Rose graduated from Mount St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California (near Oakland) with a Bachelor’s Degree in education. Shortly thereafter, while teaching in an elementary school, the time came for Final Vows. She had to decide whether to remain a nun for life. She chose to leave and returned to her parent’s home in Brawley. She secured a position as a teacher in a nearby elementary school.
Within a few months, she met and married Paul Jones, who was a teacher, as well. They had two children, Jonathan and Juliann. They moved to Oceanside, California, where they were both employed in the school system. Taking evening classes at the University of San Diego, Sandra earned her Master’s Degree in education as well as a Bilingual Specialist Credential. In the mid 70’s, Sandra was offered a teaching position at Mira Costa Community College.
In 1987, Sandra and Paul divorced. Sandra moved to Chula Vista, near the Mexican border where she taught immigrant adults how to read and write at Sweetwater High School.
Steve was about to re-enter her life. Recently divorced, Steve accepted a position as Director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau in Carlsbad, California. A classmate from grammar school days told him about Sandra’s whereabouts. They got reacquainted and in December 1993, were married.
They discovered the joys of international travel. For the next six years, they made six trips to Hong Kong, England, and mainland Europe.
Sandra wanted to live in Europe, so they settled on England. They resigned their jobs and in 2001, moved to the village of Battle, 40 miles south of London. For the next two and a half years they explored all corners of Europe. The declining trajectory of their life savings forced them to end this odyssey and return to the U.S. They settled in Williamsburg early in 2004. They attended St. Olaf Catholic Church. Sandra joined the local chapter of the secular Franciscans. They still traveled to Europe, the British Isles or Asia twice a year until the onset of COVID.
Sandra is survived by her husband, Steve; her sister, Sharon; her two children, Jonathan and Juliann; four grandchildren, Ryan, Jason, Alexia, and Athena; as well as Steve’s children, Steve Jr. and Rick; and his two grandchildren, Jeff and Sierra.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00am on Saturday September 16, 2023 at St. Olaf Catholic Church 104 Norge Lane Williamsburg, VA 23188.