Sandra-Lee Mathias

Resided in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Died June 29th, 2019

Sandra-Lee Mathias went to Heaven on Saturday, June 29th, 2019 to make sure her husband, Carl, had been behaving himself. Her health had been in a steady decline over the last few years, due to health complications of diabetes and her love of mashed potatoes, pizza and carbohydrates. She clearly exemplified that “life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather skid in sideways, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, ‘Woo Hoo! What a ride!”

She was born on July 28, 1939 in Chicago and was raised in an Italian/Puerto Rican/Black/Southern neighborhood by her mother, Genevieve Bandy. As a young girl, she learned an important lesson to never name a child with a rhyming name. As a result, young “Sandy Bandy” also developed the ability to form witty comebacks when teased, a skill that would be put to good use for the next 80 years.

Her annoyance with her rhyming name thankfully ended on September 28, 1957 when she married the love her life, Carl Mathias. Although they met in Chicago, they eventually moved to the Upper Peninsula to be near the vast Mathias family. To someone who knew them, that may come as a shock, but as a rebellious city girl, Sandy was so proud to have such an entertaining family to love and annoy at anniversaries, weddings, funerals, etc. for the next several decades. She was so proud to be part of a family that valued fun, laughter and friendship. The Mathias family gave her the sense of belonging she had lacked growing up and all the joys, entertainment and even drama that a large family can bring…and she loved them for it!

She added 7 children to the Mathias clan:  Tracey (Mike) Williams, Deanne Hughes, Ronald (Lisa) Mathias, James Mathias, Andrew (Sandy) Mathias and Sarah (Mike) Thode survive her. Sandy attended St. Michael’s church, the Tops club, and worked at Pinecrest and the Casino. In general, she terrorized Bark River and Escanaba with her wit and sarcasm for several decades. She moved to Grand Rapids a few years ago to be near Ronald and his family.

Honestly, she was known for ruffling feathers, but now she has flown home. She was known for her blunt and often sharp tongue, but now her heart is softened in the Presence of the Lord. She was known for sometimes being offensive, but now those offenses have been forgiven. She was known for her fierce and loyal love and has now been reunited with those she has missed so much: her husband Carl, her mother, brother and sister, her mother and father in law, brothers in law John Mathias, Jr., Ron Mathias, and Warren and Dennis Meintz, her daughter Carla, her daughter in law Donna (Ron) Mathias, her son in law Jack (Deanne) Hughes, her grandson Gary, and several unborn grandchildren that she will meet for the first time in Heaven.

In addition, she was a naughty influence on her 25 surviving grandchildren, teaching them to be rebellious to their parents and possibly scarred them for life. She shared a special bond with her grandson Adam Shinnaberry and his wife, Anita, whom she spoke to daily and considered her best friends. She also has 12 great grandchildren.

The visitation will be held on Monday, July 8th at 10:00 a.m. (EST) at Crawford Funeral Chapel in Bark River. The funeral service will follow at 11 a.m.

A message of condolence may be directed to the Mathias family by visiting

2 Tributes to “Sandra-Lee Mathias”

  1. Dear Family members. I knew Sandy through James and then here at Bishop Noa Apartments. I appreciated her honesty and wittiness. She said things out loud that I would never have the courage to say. God Love Her! I have already missed her for a long time because when she left our Apartments, she took a ray of sunshine and laughter with her. Now, May She Rest in Peace!

  2. Dear Family,
    I had the amazing pleasure of taking care of Ms.Sandra lee during her time at Heartland/SKLD. She was definitely feisty but I loved her to pieces! She always asked me about my big family we loved to talk about it. She used to joke with the AMR drives that I was her B**** because I would always be there for her. I am saddened I was not able to say goodbye but I am so grateful that she is no longer in any pain. I will miss asking her how’s shes doing today and she said to be Fat and Sassy. I love you Ms. Sandra fly high and stay feisty!

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