Sandra Jean Lord
Sandra Jean (Fairbrother) Lord, born in Barre, Vt., on March 16, 1941, passed away peacefully at her home in South Acworth on Nov. 14, 2019.
She was known as “Geegee” to her grandchildren, “Sis” to her siblings, “Sandy” to her close friends, “Mrs. Lord” to her many students and “Mom” to her children. She was a beloved mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, dear friend and community member.
She grew up in Fairlee, Vt., on a dairy farm, daughter of Henry and Hazel Fairbrother. Sandy graduated from Bradford Academy and then left Vermont to attend Northeastern University in Boston, where she met William Lord, who she married and had four children with. They lived in West New York, N.J., and later in West Orange, N.J. In 1972, they moved the family to South Acworth, where she was a teacher’s aide at the Alstead Primary School. There she raised her children while simultaneously going to Keene State College, where she graduated with her BA and her Master’s Degree in Education. After 22 years, she retired from the Goshen Lempster Elementary School, where she touched the lives of many students and families. Her powerful insight, along with her innately curious mind and huge heart, made her a natural teacher, which continued through all of her life.
Sandy had a persistent positive outlook and could turn life challenges into opportunities. Sandra was a two-time cancer survivor who loved her independence. She was a hard worker who helped for many years with contract negotiations for New Hampshire teachers and was a member of the retired teachers association. She was passionate about being present for her family and friends in all aspects of life. She drove all around New England and beyond cheering her grandchildren on in every activity they were involved in and held space for her own children in all that they did.
Sandy loved South Acworth, where she was nestled along the river and could walk to the Village Store with bright eyes, always ready to chat with whomever might be around. She loved picking Acworth blueberries and always had a big bag ready for delivery. She spent her winters in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., soaking in the sunshine and walking the beach. Her time at Lake Fairlee, Vt., was special to her, as she sustained old relationships and fostered new ones through memories and stories. She loved visiting and vacationing with her family wherever they might be, reconnecting with relatives and friends. It didn’t matter who you were: Sandy was ready to get to know you and share a story or two.
She enjoyed meeting friends and family for lunch any day of the week, reading a mystery novel, taking care of her beautiful flowers or attending tai-chi or exercise class. Her evenings were spent rooting for the Red Sox or Celtics. She would always find beauty in the colors of the sky and the flowers that grew. This spring she achieved a lifelong goal of travelling overseas with a group of friends to see the tulips in Amsterdam.
She had a way of allowing people to answer their own questions, see their own potential and she always left things better than they were. She was a powerful woman who always made others feel special. She saw and nurtured the good in everybody. She was patient, she was kind, she was selfless and, above all, she was loved and will be missed by many.
Sandra is survived by her sister, Rita (John) Morse of Londonderry, Vt., and her brother, Bob/Hank (Jude) Fairbrother of Sun River, Ore.; her children, Kelly (Rick) Gilligan of Amherst; Bret (Mary) Lord of South Acworth; Valerie (Scott) Igoe of Wilton, N.Y.; and Tara (Chuck) Hafey of Brentwood; her grandchildren, Micayla and Devin Gilligan (fiance Madi Rowan), Madison, Isabelle and Wyatt Lord, Tori Igoe, and Shannon and Abbie Hafey; and her niece and nephews. Sandra was predeceased by her mother, Hazel (Coburn) Fairbrother, and father, Henry Fairbrother.
A celebration of her life will be on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, at the Church on the Hill in Acworth, with the funeral service beginning at 11 a.m. Calling hours will be at 10 a.m. After the funeral service, there will be a reception at the Church on the Hill. Burial will take place in the Post Mills Cemetery in Thetford, Vt., at a later date.
Arrangements are in the care of Fenton and Hennessey Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Fall Mountain Scholarship Fund to help support a local Fall Mountain student. Checks can be mailed to: Fall Mountain Scholarship Fund, Inc., c/o FMRHS, 134 FMRHS Road, Langdon 03602, Attn.: Sandra Lord Memorial Scholarship Fund.