On Thursday, April 27, 2023, Sandra “San” Louise Wade, 72, transitioned peacefully at home with her loving family at her bedside.
Ms. Wade was born on January 31, 1951, at the family home in Nash County, North Carolina to Lucille Mills and Edward Odom. She completed her secondary education at Booker T. Washington High School, Norfolk, Virginia. “San” or “Miss Wade,” was the mother of Suprenia, Darrell, and Lamont and – and a bonus mother to so many in the neighborhood, community, work, and beyond. She never met a stranger! Our beautiful mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, mentor, caregiver, and friend to so many left an indelible mark on all that she encountered. She walked this earthly journey with a kind and generous heart, a great sense of humor, and a spirit of compassion for those in need.
Sandra married Clyde Wade (deceased) in 1968. She leaves to cherish her memory, one daughter, Dr. Suprenia Wade-Powell (Darryl), Darrell E. Wade, Sr., and Lamont D. Wade of Norfolk, her siblings, Larry Mills of Roanoke, Shirley Boucicaut (Harry) of Virginia Beach, Wilbert Stallings, Jr. (Jeanette), James Stallings, and Tony Stallings of Norfolk, and a host of grandchildren, great grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, cousins, a special friend, Mary Arrington, dozens of “work friend-family members, neighbors, etc.
In Ms. Wade’s formative years, she was a softball and track and field student athlete. She loved to dance, joke, and play board games and cards with friends and family, devour her favorite meal of either-western style BBQ ribs or prime rib with fixings, a slice of strawberry topped cheesecake or soft strawberry ice cream, and wash it down with a tall, ice-cold glass of Diet Coke [no ice]. The Coca-Cola corporation is going to miss her too! In the neighborhood, Ms. Wade counseled and consoled her children, their friends, neighbors, and mentored many of her children’s friends. At work, she organized school fundraisers, founded and coordinated aUSPS “Lunch Bunch,” until illness precluded travel. As her children and their friends aged, she supported adulting by funding extracurricular activities, subsidizing tuition and living expenses, reliable transportation, and even provided her bonus children resources as they left for basic training or college. She lived and passed, promising never to see any family or friend unsheltered. During her most recent hospitalization, in a faint voice, Ms. Wade named family members that, “will need help [when she is gone].”
During Christmas especially, Sandra fashioned a Winter Wonderland in and outdoors for all to enjoy! If her children didn’t have holiday decorations, she would have them delivered to their homes. When she could no longer get out as much for her adored Lunch Bunch for birthday or holiday celebrations, or to embark on another cruise with friends, her hobbies became all things that nurtured and supported her children, grandchildren, and provided a hub for family dinners. Her love and pride for family was evinced in artifacts such as her children’s first-fiftieth birthday parties, the grandkids, family amusement park trips, grade school awards, field trips, promotions, trade school certifications, and even a doctoral tam tassel. When she couldn’t attend, she called for support to attend virtually.
Given Sandra’s affinity for numbers, she completed an accounting curriculum. Her formal occupational endeavors began with Mel Jackson Tax Service, now Jackson-Hewitt, the National Linen Service, Inc., and City Hall of Norfolk as an accounting professional. In support of her school-aged children, she began to work the third shift at the Norfolk Ford Plant for many years and retired from the US Postal Service on third shift due to a job-related injury and failing health. Sandra was a bit of a savant when it came to numbers. If you named a street on the peninsula, she could instantly recite the zip code. As time progressed and most business was conducted electronically, she would use a pencil, a tablet, and her calculator to give you the exact calculations or within $5.00 of the computer’s figures. She said, “when my job requires computers, then I’ll learn them.”
Sandra Wade inspired everyone that she encountered whether young, old, or stubborn, she lived her mantra to work hard, be of good character/integrity and a good steward of your resources. She labored faithfully for more than five decades and when she could no longer write legibly, she called for her scribe and exclaimed, “I gotta get these papers done!” She epitomized selflessness and her compassion was remarkable. Whatever she had to give, she wouldn’t hesitate to bless someone else. Although she provided a myriad of services to others, she expected minimal compensation and would not take anything, if she really knew that it contributed to others’ misfortune.
Known by many nicknames by family and friends. She never preferred “San” or Saundra. To soften the blow, she’d smile and remark, “it’s not Saundra.” She was always direct, but gentle with a sprinkle of humor. She worked hard but often stopped to enjoy the fruits of her labor. Family gatherings and annual trips home for the July family reunions were a must. Gifts and trips for her children were a must, even when her health required her to spend more time in bed than out, she would persevere. Sandra, the family and friends enjoyed cards, board games, line dancing, dining out, and she finally allowed us to support her first and only birthday party, but we still couldn’t reveal her age. A fond memory is seeing her stand up from her walker and dance a gig. She ended the night smiling while in an office chair, bopping to the oldies!
In addition to her love from family, friends, colleagues, and gatherings, Sandra would always say, “God loves me,” then nod and affirm with, “uh huh, He does.” Her ongoing communion with the Lord was evidenced by the way she lived, treated people with loving kindness, and extended a helping hand to those in need, or just because acknowledging the good in all.
We love you so much mom, but God loves you best. We’ll be fine – enjoy your eternal rest in peace. ‘Until we meet again.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sandra Louise Wade, please visit our floral store.