Sandra Engel

1945 ~ 2021 (age 76)


Sandy spent her childhood in Berkeley, an only child to Steve and Helen.  Steve excelled in athletics and influenced his daughter to participate in a variety of sports.  He attended the first football game played at Memorial Stadium at UC Berkeley.  It has been rumored he entered the stadium twice after security discovered he lost his “ticket”.  Sandy and her husband Ron continued the tradition this time as paid spectators for the next seven decades.
A fifth-generation native of California, Sandy would attend UC Davis.  A decision that was based on not wanting to take the same bus line to Berkeley that she had used since elementary school.  There she met her college roommate, Liz, where with minimal training, they “worked” (vacationed) as lifeguards for summer camps in Maine.  That friendship lasted a lifetime and led the families to spend many holidays together in Tahoe.  Sandy and Liz would occasionally make it back to Berkeley for weekend soirees where a mutual friend, Dave introduced her to Ron, her husband of 54 years. 
After graduating, Sandy always wanted to be a PE teacher so naturally she taught science for the next 15 years at Bret Harte. She earned her Masters in education along with her friend Susan, where they volunteered countless nights and weekends.  They received national publicity for a science fair based on inventions created by elementary students.  When schools were cutting back on sports in the late 90’s, Sandy and another Leland parent and friend, Joanne established the Leland golf fund that endowed the sport.  Other sports would soon follow their model.   
Sandy transitioned into administration and became principal of Castillero Middle School and later at Pioneer High School.  She was a mentor and advocate for countless among the community. Approachable and direct would be one way to describe her leadership.  After retiring from Pioneer, proud to note to her sons that they won the league championship over Leland in golf, Sandy was approached to run for the school board of San Jose.  She would continue to serve the community, while enjoying travels with her family and friends whether it be the Margarita Club, 18 hole Ladies group, bridge and countless others.  She is survived by her husband, sons, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. 

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