Sandra J. Waller, loving daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, and faithful friend went to meet her Lord and reunite with her beloved husband on Sunday, October 1, 2023, at the age of 79.
Sandra was born in Grand Island, NE on June 24,1944 the second child of Lois and Elton Johnson. Her brother, Elton Jr. (Johnny) was 3 1/2 years her senior. She and her family moved to Norman OK where they lived until 1959. They moved to Austin, TX and Sandra attended McCallum High School where she was a very accomplished and popular student. She was voted Most Beautiful her junior year. Once she graduated, Sandra attended the University of Texas Austin in 1962. She was a member of the Delta Gamma sorority. She met the love of her life, Jack Waller, and they were married May 4, 1963. They welcomed their first daughter, Lori, within a year. She changed the trajectory of Jack’s scholastic life, and he graduated pre-med in 3 years. They moved to Galveston while Jack attended medical school and Sandra worked in a medical office to support the family. The next stop was Cleveland OH for Jack’s internship and the birth of their second daughter, Terri.
In 1969, Jack was drafted into the Army. The family moved back to Austin to be close to Sandra’s parents. Jack went to Vietnam in 1970 and left behind Sandra and their two very young daughters. Sandra spent her time taking classes and studying art when not being a single parent to two children.
Jack returned from Vietnam in 1971 and the family moved to San Antonio to complete his residency in Dermatology. Sandra, Jack and family moved to Amarillo, TX in July 1975. Jack joined High Plains Dermatology as a partner and helped grow the practice until his retirement in November of 2009. During this period Sandra was the backbone of the family. She was an active volunteer, business partner, and trusted friend. They loved socializing with friends and were well known for their fabulous parties. The couple were avid travelers. Jack and Sandra travelled to all 7 continents, during which they noticed the needs of the underprivileged. This propelled their energy into missionary work, where they spent a lot of time in Nicaragua helping orphaned children with Saviors Tear. In 2007, they travelled to Israel, where they renewed their wedding vows in Cana and were baptized in the River Jordan. Sandra and Jack were also very dedicated to veterans’ affairs, and they participated in 8 Honor Flights for veterans, taking the men and women to Washington DC to see the memorials and monuments, free of charge.
When not travelling, or serving her Lord and community, Sandra loved going to their ranch and spending as much time as possible with her 7 grandchildren. She was able to attend the wedding of two of her grandchildren in September 2022. Just before her death she was overjoyed to hear that she was going to be a great grandmother times two. This was her dream…
Sandra was predeceased by her parents, Lois and Elton Johnson and her brother and sister-in-law, Johnny and Mary Lou Johnson. She is survived by her daughters, Lori Underwood and Terri Gottschalk, her sons in law Brett Thornton and Darren Gottschalk, grandchildren Avery, Ryan (Alexandria), Ashton & Hayden Underwood, Jordan Gottschalk Smith (Chase), Makena and Sheldan Gottschalk. Plus all those that loved her.
The celebration of her life will at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, October 14, 2023, at the Boxwell Brothers Chapel. A short reception will follow in the parlor.
In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to one of Sandra’s favorite charities:
High Plains Food Bank (www.hpfb.com); Heal the City (www.healthecityamarillo.com); Tunnels to Towers (www.T2T.org); Saviors Tear (www.saviorstear.org); or a charity of your choice in honor of Sandra Waller.