Sandra Lee Morrison gracefully passed away on October 27th 2021, in Great Falls, MT at the age of 82. Sandy was born in Lewistown, MT to Clifford and Sarah Swift, the oldest of five children. She married Arly Koetitz in 1960, living in Grass Range and Hobson when all three of their daughters were born, later moving to Carter and Lewistown. They later divorced and Sandy, with much help from her sister Judy, went on to raise her three daughters on her own in Lewistown, MT.
Sandy's childhood was rich having lived on a farm in Grass Range, attending a one-room schoolhouse from which she and her sisters rode their horse "Sparky" to and from year around no matter the weather. After grade school, she went to Lewistown to attend high school. During breaks she worked as her dad's hired hand on the ranch using her horse Kenny to become his "Top Hand", never missing a chance to ride, rope, and brand. After graduating from Fergus High School, she attended college in Billings, earning a degree in business. She worked at the Lewistown News Argus for over 22 years, and simultaneously was a bookkeeper for various businesses on the side. She worked so hard but never missed an event involving her three girls.
She attended hundreds of sporting events just to watch her daughters and grandchildren play, cheer or perform. Additionally, there were years of horse shows, 4-H meetings, dance and baton lessons and recitals, and many parades that her children and grandchildren were involved. She was always there.
Sandy loved the holidays, especially Christmas, and her gift giving was epic. She never forgot anyone and worked yearlong on just the perfect and personal gift. She put so much thought and heart into her gift giving no matter the occasion.
Sandy was a classy lady, never leaving the house without her hair done, jewelry on, and a squirt of perfume. No one will ever match her in the kitchen although we all try as she spent countless hours instructing all of us in person or over the phone. She instilled many traditions and values in her family without even realizing it, gifts that generations will carry through for the rest of their lives. She was never on time, but never missed an event up until the last couple weeks of her life.
Sandy will fondly be remembered as a devoted mother and grandmother, always leading with a gentle but guiding hand. Her friends recall her as life of the party, a little spitfire, a cheater at cards and a constant prankster. She will be remembered for modeling how to put family first… ALWAYS… and demonstrating unconditional love. Even though Sandra lived a long life full of incredible challenges, she persevered through even the toughest of times, and nothing could have gotten in her way of being an amazing sister, mother and grandmother. Her granddaughter voiced "grandma would go to the ends of the earth for those she loved dearest".
She is survived and loved so dearly by her three daughters, Debra Koetitz, Vicki (Dave) Bertelsen, and Shelley (Brian) Oswood; and sister Jennie (Terry) Hampsten. She was loved enormously by her four grandchildren, Teryn (Matthew), Taylor (Michael), Spencer and McKenna, and rejoiced at being a great-grandmother to Reid, Parker, Regan and Lucy. Sandy had only recently learned that her great-grandchildren brood would be growing by two with identical twins on the way.
Using the words from a poem from Henry Van Dyke, while we are crying "There, she is gone! There are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: Here she comes!" Sandra is undoubtedly experiencing a grand reunion with much of her family and close friends, including her parents, sisters Penny and Judy, cousins Sharon and Betty, and younger brother Clifford William who was tragically killed in 1968.
A memorial account has been set up in Sandra's name to benefit two nonprofit organizations dear to her heart. Easter Seals, an organization that assisted her financially years ago when her young daughter was sick; and Salvation Wild Mustang Sanctuary, a cause for which Sandra became passionate more recently. Donations can be sent to the Sandra Morrison Memorial, Stockman Bank PO Box 2327, Great Falls, MT 59403-2327. Cremation has taken place, and burial and celebration of life will be in Lewistown in June, details to be finalized and announced at a later date.
The family would like to extend special gratitude to Dr. Thomas Warr, Patsy, and staff for their kindness and care. And yes, they were all on Sandy's Christmas gift list of perfect gifts.
Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com.