Obituary of Sandra Waller
Salisbury – Sandra (Sandy) Miller Waller, 77, of Salisbury, MD died Monday, October 29, 2018 with family by her side. Sandy was born on January 6, 1941 in Paulsboro, New Jersey to the late Wooten Ronald Miller and Louise Bertels Miller.
Sandy graduated from Wicomico High School in 1959 and attended East Tennessee State University. While in college, she married William (Butch) Howard Waller, Jr. of Salisbury, MD. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree, she and Butch moved back to Salisbury and began careers in Wicomico County Public Schools. They also raised one son, Howard Spencer Waller.
Sandy worked at Bennett Middle School and James M. Bennett High School for 38 years combined, teaching civics, contemporary issues, and geography. Her teaching extended to the golf course, where she loved coaching players for over 20 years and won several Bayside Championships and one Class 2A State Championship in 2002. While at both schools, she developed many close and life-long friendships with fellow teachers.
Sandy, perhaps, is best remembered for her deep caring for family, friends, and animals. She was a devoted wife to her husband, “Butchie,” for 55 years, attending hundreds of Wi Hi basketball games, cheering him on in Green Hill golf matches, and keeping life running smoothly behind the scenes. She enjoyed getting to know Butch’s basketball players and their families, and, in early years, cooked spaghetti dinners for his players at their home. She was a loving mother, supporting Spencer’s passion for the outdoors. She helped him find his first hunting spot in Deal Island and encouraged his careers in wildlife management and farming. She learned about planting and harvesting, rode in tractors, helped purchase farm vehicles, and sewed colorful patches on everything salvageable. Sandy was also a doting mother to dogs, and it was a common sight to spy one or two Labrador Retrievers in the back seat of her station wagon. She shared a love of reading and travel with her daughter-in-law, Wendy, and never missed a week of leaving behind Washington Post articles paper-clipped to handwritten notes on her trips to Spencer and Wendy’s farm. Sandy was the oldest of three sisters and was a strong and loving presence in their lives. Through laughter and tears, they remained close.
Friends were very important to Sandy, and she enjoyed celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and other milestones in their lives. One of her favorite places to celebrate was Vinny’s La Roma, and she often tried to imitate Vinny Bellia’s Italian while ordering or commenting on how much she loved his cooking. She also created many special meals and gatherings for family and friends at home. Thanksgiving was her specialty, and she hosted as many people as she could fit around her dining room and kitchen tables. Sandy looked forward to yearly hunting trip visits from Spencer’s fraternity brothers, too. Besides catching up on family news, she adored their singing and lively conversation. Sandy was an avid traveler and made memorable trips with dear friends to Florida, the British Virgin Islands, Scotland, and Ireland. She also found time to volunteer with the Salisbury Wicomico Arts Council, Art Institute and Gallery, and Salisbury Zoo. Additionally, she was a life-long member of Ducks Unlimited.
While supporting others in good times, Sandy could be counted on in the bad. She helped many family members and friends during their illnesses and other personal struggles. She was not afraid of hard work and took on cleaning, organizing home care, and shopping chores as needed. She had a soft spot for older relatives and friends and made a point to check in with them often, bringing food, flowers, or some bit of news.
In addition to Butch, Spencer and Wendy Routenberg Waller, Sandy is survived by two sisters: Lisa Miller Lashley (Francis Crochet) of Charlotte, NC and Diana Miller (Darrell) Pendergrass of Bristol, TN. Sandy is also remembered by her sister-in-law, Patricia Waller Ellison of Princess Anne, MD as well as many special nieces and nephews and their children.
Sandy requested her body be donated to the Anatomy Board of Maryland. The family will lovingly remember Sandy at Green Hill Country Club on Sunday, November 11, 2018 from 1:00-3:00 P.M. All friends are invited to attend.
Memorial donations in memory of Sandy may be made to Salisbury Zoological Park, Attention: Mary Seemann, P.O. Box 2979, Salisbury, MD 21802.
Salisbury: (410) 742-5141
Pocomoke City: (410) 957-0224
Salisbury: (410) 749-3278
Pocomoke City: (410) 957-1083
501 Snow Hill Road
Salisbury, Maryland 21804
107 Vine Street
Pocomoke City, Maryland 21851
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