Sandra Marie Thorpe

Sandra (Sandy) Marie Thorpe was born on September 4th, 1953 in Seattle, Washington to Lillian Elizabeth Bennett. Sandy was the only child of a single mother, a pretty rare phenomena during the 1950’s, and Lillian’s strength and independence were deeply ingrained in her daughter.


Sandy’s great grandparents had emigrated from Norway to the United States and her Norwegian heritage was central to her life.  A longtime member of the Sons of Norway, Don often said she was the only Norwegian Nationalist he’d ever known and that she was made in America, with Norwegian parts.


She grew up in Seattle, Washington on Queen Anne Hill and attended Queen Anne High School, Seattle Community College, and the University of Washington.


She met Donald (Don) Michael Horman in high school, attended classes together at Seattle Community College and became lifelong soul mates while attending the University of Washington. First child, Mari Elizabeth arrived in February 1979. A few years later son Michael Ryan arrived in December 1981.Don and Sandy moved the family from Queen Anne to a rental house in Ballard where they lived until 1990. At this time, they purchased a brand new house in Greenwood.


Sandy’s love of travel began for her in her childhood. Sandy and Lillian went on many interesting trips around the U.S. and Canada to visit friends and family, see the sights, and shop. Sandy often regaled her friends and family with amusing tales of their many travels together. Sandy’s passion for travel soon became a tradition for her own family. At first it was a trip to Disneyland This was followed up shortly by a trip to Hawai’i. By that point the passion had grown to where the family was soon vacationing every 3-6 months year round. This tradition of family vacations – one might even say a hobby – was passed on to Mari and Mike.


Sandy had a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and worked as a bookkeeper for various companies, before finally settling down with the restaurant chain Romio’s Pizza & Pasta. She worked there for several years before eventually branching off to start her own bookkeeping company, SMT Enterprises. During the many years in which SMT Enterprises flourished, Sandy developed many close personal and business relationships with numerous restaurants and other businesses around the Seattle area. As the only child of a single mother the friendships she built with her clients from SMT Enterprises helped extend her family.


In 2008 Sandy’s family grew by one more with the addition of a son-in-law. Sasho Dimitrov married Mari in a beautiful ceremony in one of Sandy’s favorite places, one of the sunlit beaches, Anini Beach, on the island of Kauai. Two years later Sandy welcomed her first grand daughter into the world as Ava Danielle was born in July of 2010 to Mari and Sasho. Within less than nine months, Sandy’s family grew again as her son Michael married his longtime girlfriend, Trisha Weber, on the one and only sunny day in March 2011. The most recent addition to Sandy’s family came in the form of her second grand daughter, Alexa Marie, in August of 2013.


Sandy’s family was always an important part of her life. Don, Sandy, Mari and Sasho started living together in 2008 at the large home that Sasho and Mari owned in Shoreline. This living arrangement reinforced the love of family that Sandy had always had, and continued through multiple houses in Shoreline and Seattle until the family settled again in the original house in Greenwood that Sandy and Don had purchased back in 1990. Due to the close ties that come from living in the same house, and later even sharing the same kitchen, Sandy found that she had earned a new best friend in the form of Ava as the pair became nearly inseparable.


In the summer of 2014 Sandy began to show the signs of the growing illness that would later end her life. Officially diagnosed in October with small cell lung cancer, Sandy started chemotherapy and later radiation therapy that continued until January of 2015.  Small cell lung cancer is one of the most aggressive types of cancer, and after the diagnosis Sandy had to come to terms with the fact that her life was now going to measured in a handful of years. Stats would say that less than 2% of those diagnosed with this type of cancer would live longer than 2 years.


At the end of the 4 rounds of chemo and 2 weeks of radiation, Sandy was doing well, feeling stronger and throwing herself into planning a vacation after tax season was over. As tax day (April 15th, of course) approached, Sandy began to have increasing pain in her right side. A CT scan on 4/13/15 showed that the cancer had returned. She began gearing herself up to start chemo and radiation again. On Sunday, 4/26/15 Sandy was readmitted to Northwest Hospital because of intense pain in her abdomen. What at first appeared to be an infection turned out to be the cancer back with a vengeance. She slipped into a coma on Tuesday, 4/28/15 unaware of how serious her condition had become. On Wednesday 5/6/15 at 10:25 in the morning, in the company of Don and her oncologist, Sandy peacefully passed away.


Sandy is survived by her husband Don, son Mike, daughter Mari, son-in-law Sasho, daughter-in-law Trisha and 2 granddaughters Ava and Alexa.


Sandy was a devoted friend, always willing to help or do what needed to be done. Her clients fell somewhere between family and friends or often even a bit of both. She was available to them whenever they needed her, for work issues, help with an outside project or just as someone to talk to. She was an amazing mother, to the point where Mari and Mike would classify her as a  “best friend” as well as a mother. Ava and Alexa knew Grandma Sandy as “Gaga”. Hardly a day went by in their lives when they didn’t see, play with, or share a snack with their best buddy, “Gaga”. She was Don’s best friend forever, loved by him, and loving him until death parted them.


She will be sorely missed by family, friends and all of her clients.

One Response to “Sandra Marie Thorpe”

  • Gerald Thorpe says:

    I just discovered that Sandra Marie was the daughter of Lyle J. Thorpe. Lyle was also my father.

    I wish I had discovered this before 2015. She appears to have been a person of high character. I wish I would have had the opportunity to personally relate to her.

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