Cover photo for Sandra Hastings's Obituary
Sandra Hastings Profile Photo
1936 Sandra 2010

Sandra Hastings

April 4, 1936 — April 5, 2010

Sandra Hastings died of cancer and associated complications in Bozeman on Monday, April 5, 2010, the day after her 74th birthday. She was born in Polson on April 4, 1936, the first daughter of Ellsworth B. and Kirsten E. (Walseth) Hastings, formerly of Billings and Glendive. Sandra is survived by her younger sister, Lynn Kirk and brother-in-law, Dwight Kirk of Pahrump, Nev.; and her younger brother, Eric Hastings and sister-in-law, Jean (Schauer) Hastings of Bozeman; as well as numerous cousins, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. Sandra graduated from Gallatin County High School (1954), Montana State College, microbiology (1958), and University of Washington, comparative literature (1966). Never married, she lived in Ann Arbor, Mich.; San Francisco, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Whidbey Island, Wash.; and Bozeman. She was a Campfire Girl, a Rainbow Girl, a Pi Beta Phi Sorority Sister, a member of the MSC Spurs, and a Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society member. She completed a career as an English and comparative literature teacher at Seattle Community College, moving to Whidbey Island to a retirement of massage arts, weaving and quilting. After losing an eye and a breast to cancer in early 2008, she moved back to Bozeman to be with family. She particularly loved her cabin, her studio, the trees, vistas, eagles, whales and beaches of southern Whidbey Island. And in Bozeman, she loved Hyalite Canyon and Palisade Falls ever since her first picnic with family and Bluebirds and Campfire Girls camps. A prickly, independent, empathetic, intelligent, funny and stout-hearted soul, she made her own way through many challenges, especially loving her son (guardianship over a young boy, Marcus Cook). She also loved her four nephews, Chris and Kelly Hastings and Sean and Darrin Kirk, with abandon. She had a habit of overwhelming you with her enthusiasms, be it politics, cooking, literature, weaving, native cultures, massaging, quilting, or challenging social norms and supporting prison reform. A Shiatsu massage therapist, she learned Lomi-Lomi in order to provide 10 years of free, therapeutic massage to HIV-AIDS sufferers in Seattle and Whidbey Island. The last 20 years of her life were a mixed blessing after she retired from teaching college and moved to Whidbey Island, Wash. Suffering from an intensifying and terrifying descent into schizophrenia, she still made many new and loyal friends, soldiering on with love for her family, all the while surviving through her acerbic wit, independent spirit and fundamental sympathy. In her hey-day, she was a beautiful, caring woman and a motivating teacher; in her later years, she was an exceptionally creative artist in weaving and quilting - every one of them handwoven, sewn and now prized by their owners. She is at peace and will be missed.

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