February 23, 2021
September 1970 – February 2021 ~ Sandi was an engaging, bright personality; whose laughter, dedication and sharp intellect was enjoyed by family, friends, co-workers and fellow volunteers. Sandi was at peace when she passed away on February 23 at Bulkley Valley Regional Hospital from cancer. She is dearly missed by her family and many others, and the path forward is much harder without her wit, great planning skills, service to others, thoughtfulness and love.
Sandi was born in Vancouver to Elvira and Henry Wiens in 1970, and grew up in Ladner BC among close friends, with memorable visits to extended family in the Fraser Valley and Tuc-el-Nuit Lake in Oliver. Growing up in a Mennonite household in small town BC helped ground her with Christian beliefs from loving parents and siblings and a deep capacity for compassion, hospitality, friendship, loyalty, outreach to others and strong work ethic.
Friends and family defined her early years, with Teen Town dances, Crescent beach bike rides, and adventures around Ladner anchored by church, school, and a solid family upbringing.
Sandi’s sense of adventure, desire for knowledge and drive to bond with people helped her complete a Political Science degree at Simon Fraser in the mid-1990’s. Travel was important to Sandi. Journeying across Canada by rail while in high school exposed her to Canadian multiculturalism, dramatic geography, diverse peoples and Prince Edward Island.
She did a solo adventure to South America just after finishing high school to connect with her extended family in Paraguay and meet some of her 65 first cousins, practice her German skills and appreciate her family’s Mennonite roots, and the pioneering culture.
Travels to the Seattle Flower Show, England, Paraguay, Cuba and South Africa reflected her desire to see extended family and experience those cultures together. Those adventures lived on with many stories, pictures and laughs later in life.
Volunteering has always been part of how Sandi viewed her place in this world, and she put her talents to work on many fronts. She contributed to organizing film festivals, immigrant settlement, helping neighbors, church support and helping people in need as a recent volunteer with Emergency Social Services in Smithers. Of the different languages of love, Sandi exemplified ‘doing’ as her way of showing her love and connection to family, friends and even people she never knew.
Marriage to Steve in 1996 stimulated more adventures and a move from the Vancouver area to Terrace in 1997 where she started a fulfilling, 18 year career with ICBC, anchored by the strong bonds and respect with many of her ICBC coworkers. Joining the Terrace CRC church and Coffee Break club around the time when son Cole and daughter Sophie were born in the early 2000’s helped Sandi connect to a strong network of new friends and families. Sandi was baptised as an adult at the Terrace CRC Church which reflected a pivotal belief.
Moving to Smithers, BC, in 2007 meant connections to ICBC, the Smithers CRC Church, and new neighbors who became friends. Her excellent planning skills, high motivation and determination to do a job right were admired, and will continue to be an inspiration for people who knew her. Those skills helped to achieve trips and activities which would not have been possible if left to her husband’s ‘think-about-it-a-bit-longer’ approach.
Family bonds were a core part of Sandi’s life, both her immediate family and extended Mennonite relations in Canada and abroad, but also her family relations by marriage in Ontario, England and South Africa. Brother Vic and sisters Conny and Brenda (predeceased in 2007) were always a very important part of Sandi’s life and loved very much by her. She valued the diverse relationships and time spent together.
Sandi is survived by husband Steve, son Cole and daughter Sophie in Smithers; mother Elvira (Hans) in Abbotsford, brother Victor (Lori) of Squamish, sister Conny (Steve) in Mission, brother-in-law Stacy (Tracy) in Surrey, in-laws Heloise and Alan in Sudbury; brothers-in-law Sion (Sheila) in Ottawa, Ivor (Pam) in Toronto, Neil (Chalaine) in Maple Ridge, Serena (Glen) in Hamilton, nieces/nephews and many cousins and relatives in BC and Paraguay. Sandi is predeceased by dad Henry (1997) and sister Brenda (2007).
Sandi’s family is very grateful for the support, cards, meals, calls, texts, emails and kind words from many people during this difficult period. We thank the health care, pharmacy and hospital staff in Smithers and VGH, and the many people who have extended their help over the past year.
A memorial service and Celebration of Life will be held Sunday August 1 at 1:30 pm at the Smithers CRC Church located at 4035 Walnut Drive, Smithers.
For those not able to travel to the service, please contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org for a link to watch the service on Sunday Aug 1.
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