Sandra Jean Wilkins Ross, 75, passed peacefully surrounded by family on October 5, 2018 in Spanish Fork, UT.
She was born to Firle and Mabel (Colebank) Wilkins on May 16, 1943 in Montebello, CA. She is the youngest of two children. When Mabel passed away in 1975, Firle married LaVean Peterson who had four children.
Sandy was preceded in death by her parents Firle, Mabel and LaVean Wilkins, stepbrother Jon Peterson, and grandson Eric C. Ross, Jr.
She is survived by her loving husband Walter L. Ross, Jr., sister Arlene Wilkins Lassig, stepsisters Charlene Simcox and Vickie Reeves, stepbrother Michael Peterson, and ten children: Shannon and Michelle (Ross) Brown, Stephanie (Ross) Shurian, Sean and Deborah (Ross) Wilson, John and Suzanne Ross, Daniel and Kate Ross, Cameron and Connie (Ross) Armstrong, James and Amy Ross, Thomas and Chelce Ross, Robert and Lindsay Ross, and Eric and Etta Ross. She has 28 grandchildren, 1 great grandchild and one on the way.
Sandy was born and raised in Southern California. In her youth she learned tap, ballet, acrobatics, roller skating, modeling, baton and flag twirling, bowling, water skiing, and tennis. She also played the piano, accordion and ukulele. She had a lovely voice and sang in quartets and choirs. She was introduced to Walt her senior year of high school. She attended Brigham Young University in Provo and Hawaii. Walt and Sandy began dating in 1964 when she was on a summer break from college, and married May 29, 1965 in the Los Angeles Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Together they have ten children.
She raised her children in Southern California, Virginia, West Virginia, Germany and Utah. She also lived in Connecticut and Hawaii. Sandy and Walt loved to travel and together visited most of the United States, Austria, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Holland, Switzerland and the Virgin Islands.
Sandy was the perfect woman to raise ten children effortlessly. The final score: Boys 6, Girls 4. Sandy was extremely patient and loving with her children. She loved being a mother. This became important when her last three boys were triplets, making 10 children in 15 years. She let her kids be kids by discovering their abilities. The family worked hard and played hard. She was always on the lookout for things her children would enjoy. Sandy made the best school lunches. She loved all holidays and planned everything from food, costumes, decor and gifts to make it fun for her children. She encouraged her children to play sports, raise pets, try new things, and be a good friend. It was not uncommon for Sandy to fill the role of loving mother to her kids’ friends.
Sandy loved her grandchildren. She supported them in their sporting events and dance recitals. She enjoyed gathering the family in her home for holidays and special events.
She was fearless. She could go anywhere as long as she was wearing lipstick. It was her super power. Sandy was a no-nonsense, get-it-done kind of gal. She was always very determined and energetic. She was the queen of the five-minute power nap. She was an amazing cook, homemaker, seamstress, taxi driver, and money manager. Sandy made sure that her children had these skills too. She was quiet and graceful with a great sense of humor.
Sandy lived a Christ-like life. She never spoke ill of anyone. She led the family in scripture study, family prayers and Family Home Evening. Sandy spent hours each day helping her kids with homework. Her most important calling was to be a mother and raise her children to actively live a Christ-centered life. All six of her boys served missions for Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All ten children were married in the Temple. She has served in many capacities in her wards and stakes in the Primary and Relief Society. She is the woman who volunteered to be a cub scout leader and nursery leader when no one would accept the call. She served in the Temple. She also served on the PTA board, as the Popcorn Lady, and as a room mother. Later she delivered meals to the elderly for Meals on Wheels.
In her sixties she was diagnosed with Pick’s Disease, a brain disease that causes early onset of dementia. She continued to be active and energetic, loving and kind, always expressing appreciation to those who helped her. Her love of playing the piano increased and continued to be an activity she enjoyed right to the end. Prayers, playing and singing hymns, and a desire to attend church were always important to her. Sandy’s pattern of personal devotion stayed with her throughout her life.
A celebration of Sandy’s life will be held on Saturday, October 13 at 11:00 am at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Legacy building located at 913 N 300 W, Mapleton, UT. Viewings will be Friday, October 12 at the church from 6:00-8:00 pm and Saturday, October 13 from 9:30-10:30 am. Interment is at the Mapleton Cemetery located at 620 W Maple St., Mapleton, UT.
We thank the staff of Senior Partners, Brighton Home Health and Hospice, and Legacy House of Spanish Fork for their exceptional loving care of our mother.