January 14, 2021
In Memoriam: Sandy Vanderslice
Our department would like to remember our beloved friend and colleague Sandra Vanderslice.
Sandy was an integral member of our community, who never hesitated to help others. While Sandy was a superb employee for us since 2017, she was much more than that to us. She filled a special role within our department — she was someone who was always available to provide sage advice or a friendly smile. She provided levity when needed, comfort when it was sought, and a sense of camaraderie to pull us together as a team.
Here you’ll find messages from our Department about our dear friend Sandy:
“Sandy, we will miss your warm smile and caring nature. You made all of those around you feel happier each day and live more fulfilling lives. May your soul be at peace.”- Amol Navathe
“Sandy Vanderslice was the epitome of kindness and thoughtfulness, both at work and outside of work. She was my coworker and my friend, and a great sounding board. During difficult times, I often would ask myself, “what would Sandy do?” or “how would Sandy respond?” Her coworkers and I will miss her terribly, but we will be reminded of her often as she was an important part of all that we do. My thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time.” – Deborah Cousins
“Sandy always saw the brighter side of everything and was my voice of reason. She loved hard, was very compassionate, very loyal, and had a beautiful smile that would brighten up any rainy day. I will remember the joy, laughter, and love she brought to my life. I am a better person because I knew her. I will miss my friend dearly, and she will always have a place in my heart. Love always, Dana.” – Dana Opiela
“Sandy single-handedly inspired me to go back to college after a decade-long hiatus. She sat side by side with me through our first class back (Asian-American history), and we hyped each other up all semester long. The measure of Sandy’s impact cannot be known, but it is far-reaching and will continue to touch people’s hearts for years and years to come.” – Sam Fellman
“Sandy could read me like a book. During a video call, she could tell I was getting flustered, so she sent me an instant message that had us both cracking up. The facilitator stopped the meeting to ask what was so funny, and Sandy totally covered for me. She was a slice of sunshine and sanity. I will miss my hilarious partner in crime.” – Becca Pepe
“Even though we were born in different generations, I truly believed that Sandy V. and I were two peas in a pod. She welcomed me with open arms and together we turned our little office into a cozy space for the Sandys.” – Sandy T.
“Sandy was my co-worker and friend and will forever be an inspiration. She didn’t just reach out to schedule a meeting, she really connected. She made us look inward to find ways to improve our lives at work and home. She connected and brought meaning and laughter into the isolating days of the pandemic. I’ll always feel grateful for our connection.” – Angela Golub
“The last email from her had a smiley face. Every time I think about it, it puts a smile on my face.” – Jiali (Helen) Yan
“Sandy’s wise eyes and warm smile imprinted on me from the first time I met her. My interactions with her radiated with her authenticity and wisdom. She had a deep understanding of so many things. I always valued her perspective because I knew it reflected her open heart and life’s experiences. Of course, Sandy’s love for her family permeated every corner of her being in a way that was so inspiring. She had a way of reminding me of what is really important in life. I miss her deeply and hope her family can find some comfort in the legacy she left with everyone who knew her.” – Amy Ashbridge
“A quote in memory of Sandy: your empathy, friendliness, and genuine smile were more nurturing than you might have realized and will forever be missed.” – Jingsan Zhu
“Sandy was such a joyous and welcome presence in the department. Her generosity at home and at work were legendary. I always looked forward to talking with her at Wednesday tea, and I will miss having her among us tremendously.” – Steve Joffe
“I will forever remember Sandy for her warmth and kindness in every conversation we had, no matter how brief and whether it was at the beginning or end of the workday. Rest in peace, Sandy.” – Harsha Thirumurthy
“I didn’t get to spend too much time with Sandy as I was only in the office for a week or so before we all went home because of COVID. My first and only week in the office was really wonderful though. Sandy V., Dana, Sandy T. and myself had lunch together that first week, and I felt so welcome and included. Sandy was so kind. There were a few times where we had virtual lunches with Dana, Sandy T., and Sandy and those were really nice to talk with her and find out more about one another. It was great talking with Sandy about her son, daughter, and her granddog (son’s dog). She was so easy to talk to and so very very kind. I am so saddened that I won’t be able to talk with her again, but I will always remember her fondly as being a warm and kind soul, and a very giving person as well.” – Jenny Emery
“Sandy was one of the kindest people I’ve met at Penn. She was always available to lend a piece of advice or a helping hand. I will miss her.” – Ravi Parikh
“I have many memories of talking with Sandy in the office. One of the things that struck me the most about Sandy was her dedication to her friends and her family. Sandy offered a lot of support to a lot of people in her life, and she will be truly missed.” – Emily Blecker
“We always appreciated Sandy’s positive attitude and hard work ethic; she brought a warm presence to our department and will be thoroughly missed.” – Laura Schmucker
“Sandy was someone who really made me feel comfortable in the office. She was just so easy to talk to. Every interaction I had with her was positive, and she provided such a sweet, wise, and maternal presence for all of us. I will really miss seeing her face and hearing her warm, comforting voice.” – Meghan Ross
“Sandy was curious about everything and incredibly caring towards everyone. I remember the purple doughnut she kindly set aside for me to commemorate Prince’s birthday, and the annual fasnachts that she brought in. We all miss her and send condolences to her family.”
“Sandy showed a genuine interest in my life and made me feel welcome in the department when I was new and unsure of myself. When my baking attempts turned out less than perfect, she told me she thought that what a cake tastes like is more important than how it looks, and I think that philosophy applies well both to baking and to life.”