Sandra Babbitt

Obituary of Sandra Sue Babbitt

“Sandy was a loving-devoted wife. We were married for 46 years and she was always an encourager and motivator to me, as well as, her friends. Her vibrant personality inspired everyone who had the opportunity to cross her path.

Sandy was born in Kansas City MO on December 12th 1940 to Dorothy Jane Koerner and Lloyd Lee Bisby. She lived most of her life in California. She grew up in La Jolla before moving to Napa in Northern California and marrying here first husband, John McMillan.

Her love for bowling and ability to coach led her to teach her kids and over 100 other kids on Saturday mornings at Napa bowl, Napa CA. She also worked at the counter at Napa Bowl and eventually to meet me. I asked her to be my coach and she would say she loved to see me move and shake as I played pinball for hours as she worked. We were married on 17 October 1976.

Sandy was my bowling coach and knew my game better than I did. She never wanted to miss a league match or tournament I ever bowled. She would say she loved the crushing sound my ball made when it hit the pins and she could tell if I got a strike without even seeing the ball hit the pins. Many times she corrected my delivery and improved my game. She also had a love of bowling, averaging in the 180s during her best years.

We were married and spent the next 22 years moving around the United States and seeing the world. We saw parts of Europe, when I was stationed at RAF Fairford in England, Iceland, and a tour at the Pentagon. After I retired from the military, she said she wanted me to get a job where we would move every few years like we did in the military. So we lived in St. Peter’s MO, Hoschton GA, Valdosta GA, and finally in Goodyear AZ. When we got to Goodyear in 2010, she said she was done moving because she loved Arizona.

God led us to start a Bible study when we were in Missouri after I retired from the Air Force. We would invite people into our home and Sandy would cook dinner prior to the Bible study for everyone. We used to say: I fed their soul and you feed their stomach. We were never sure if they came for the food or the Bible study, but we knew they were fed twice. 

Sandy wanted to be closer to the grandkids so I accepted a job in Georgia. God, again, opened up an opportunity for a Bible study. Sandy wanted the same format as the Missouri Bible study so she would once again cook dinner as I led the Bible study. We made a great team!

We had the opportunity to visit all 50 states together either as part of a military assignment or visiting on vacation. I would ask to drive to many Temporary Duty assignments and she would go with me. We went on an Alaskan cruise for our 35th wedding anniversary and to Maui Hawaii for our 40th wedding anniversary completing our tour of the 50 states.

Sandy will be remembered by her family as a great cook and seamstress. She loved spending time in the kitchen cooking gourmet meals for her family. She could always make a gourmet meal no matter what food was in the house. During my tour in England, she was selected as manager of a pizza parlor on the military base and made over 2000 pizzas a month with a tomato sauce she modified from the local source. She sewed clothes for her kids and grandchildren. She had a business making leotards during my tour in Texas because she wanted more of the girls’ bodies covered as they flew through the air; especially her granddaughter. 

A tradition Sandy started in our young married life was sending advent calendars to all the grandkids. We were reminded of that by her grandson Dalton. In a 2020 text Dalton sent me, there was an exchange in which Sandy told him she had been doing it for over 40 years. Another memory which came to mind as I was reading the text was a game we started with Sandy’s first grandchild, Jamie. Nana called my credit card “the Papa card”. Sandy would always tell Jamie to ask Papa for the “Papa card” whenever she wanted something and, naturally, I would oblige.

Our favorite song is “She and I” by Alabama, which described our relationship perfectly. We lived in our own little world not worrying about the world outside. We were content knowing all we needed was the two of us. We were rarely seen separately and those around us knew we lived one life. We had an old-fashioned, loving relationship.

Funeral services will be held at Regency Mortuary in Sun City AZ at 10:00am on 20 September. A short burial service will be held at 1:00pm at National Cemetery in Phoenix for anyone wishing to attend. There will also be a Celebration of Life get together after the funeral at 18728 W Yucatan Drive, Surprise AZ 85388. Please donate to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in lieu of flowers. Sandy loved kids and never missed an opportunity to love on them.

She is survived by four of her five children: Karen (Tampa FL), Lori (Goodyear AZ), John (Washington state), and Bob (Charleston SC). Her daughter Peggy (Janesville WI) preceded her in death. She is survived by 15 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.”


If you are unable to join us in person, click the link below for a live stream of Sandy’s Memorial Service.

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Memorial Service

10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Regency Mortuary
9850 W Thunderbird Blvd
Sun City, Arizona, United States

Graveside Service

1:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Wednesday, September 20, 2023
National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona
23029 N Cave Creek Rd
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
(480) 513-3600
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