Sandra Cecilia Hamer
May 6, 1948 ~ May 24, 2016
Born in: Guyana
Resided in: Decatur, Georgia
Sandra Cecilia Hamer, Sandy, died May 24th 2016 in Decatur Georgia with her life partner and wife Jill Spisak holding her hand and their friend Lisa Federico nearby. Sandy was from Monroe, North Carolina and is also survived by her brother Gene Hamer and his daughter Olivia Rice who live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Her parents, Dr. Eugene Hamer and Winnie Simmons Hamer RN predeceased her. She attended Saint Mary’s College and received an associate’s degree in nursing. She stayed in touch with friends from her youth and many friends from her home town as well as members of her large family throughout her life. Sandy became one of the first women in the crafts and trail blazed that path for contemporary young women who now take for granted that they can go into the field of work that they choose with few restrictions. In the early 1970s she completed a journeyman apprenticeship in cabinet making in Washington D.C. where her mentor left all of his tools to her when he passed. These tools stayed with her wherever she went for the rest of her life. Sandy went on to work on many homes in Georgetown as well as to work in a cabinet shop where she built a box that went to the moon! And, she worked on windows at the Smithsonian Museum. She was also proud of having done picture framing for Shirley Chisholm when that trail blazer was in congress. She and her life partner/wife met in Washington, D. C. in 1982, and later moved to metro Atlanta, Georgia where they lived until Sandy’s death. She was Gran-San to Jill’s five grandchildren and her loss is mourned by the entire family. In Atlanta Sandy acquired and renovated homes entirely on her own, mastering plumbing and electrical and teaching herself that she could do most anything so long as she put her mind to it and used leverage. She once changed the hard drive on her computer just by following the directions she had looked up. As executrix of attorney Lee Presson’s estate she simply studied the law books left in the attic and probated the complicated estate herself. She was a great proponent of reading instructions and as she put it, a member of the look-it-up club. At the end of her life she had assets to rival any businessman, all accomplished with only her own resources. She was a hard headed woman who seemed always to be able to accomplish any task she assigned herself. She inherited 14 dogs and three cats, one cat survives her. Many of her friends have fond memories of her walking the entire pack of dogs on leashes, and of her paddling at her home on Lake Lanier in Cumming, Georgia with a string of dogs swimming along with her. She was part of a couple who created a life together for thirty four years, which is also an accomplishment to celebrate. She is very much missed.
Sandy was a loving, caring person and a faithful friend. Our mothers were friends in a little group who went out to eat together. Sandy would join the group if she were in Monroe, just as Laurence and I did on occasion. Many times Sandy visited my mother as she suffered with cancer. I wish I had had more time with Sandy because I really enjoyed being with her. It saddens me that she had to suffer so much with cancer. She was highly successful in whatever she chose to do; she was not only highly intelligent, but
also extremely motivated. Sandy made her mark in this world, and she will always be remembered for the beautiful woman she was in every way. I feel that she is now in heaven where she will spend eternity. God bless her.
Although Sandy was a childhood friend, we did not not stay in touch. Then a couple of years ago, I had contacted her to check about her father whom I had a lifelong crush. We had planned to lunch together some time when she was going to Monroe but we couldn’t get our schedules to coincide. Now I’m stunned to see she has passed away. That is a life lesson about procrastination fore life is indeed brief. My condolences to Jill and all of Sandy’s loved ones.