Life Story / Obituary
Sandra (Sandy) Janette Gartelman (Watson), of Gaylord, passed away at the age of eighty four, gaining her angel wings on Wednesday, March 30, 2022. Born to Leon and Mary Janette (Soper) Watson on February 25, 1938.
Sandy worked as a teller at the Wayne Oakland and City National banks in Royal Oak and Hazel Park respectively, for many decades until her retirement. While expanding her love for learning and caring for the elderly, she attended classes at Wayne State University where she maintained an A average. She then moved to Gaylord, Michigan with the love of her life, Edward (Eddie) David Gartelman Sr., often traveling the road with Ed in his moving van, working alongside him.
From a young age, Sandy’s passion for theater began with performing and organizing neighborhood plays in Ferndale, Upon retirement, she was a cofounder of Gaylord Community Productions and served on the Board of Directors for many years. She directed and performed in many plays, her favorite role was portraying Miss Hannigan in the production of Annie. She enjoyed including her grandchildren in summer performances and loved working with actors young and old. She also enjoyed performing in murder mysteries and directing The Kids in Theater Program though Gaylord community schools. She even landed a minor role in the movie “The Invitation”, and walked the Royal Oak Theater’s red carpet at the movie’s premier. Culminating her career in theater, she received many accolades including an award and special tribute from Governor Granholm for her donation of countless hours, sharing her unique talents as teacher, mentor, friend and theatrical director to hundreds of individuals. She helped raise contributions of nearly $80,000 dollars for the maintenance and enhancement of the Alan L. Gornick Auditorium and served as community leader promoting creative expression through the arts serving as co-director of a multitude of productions in Gaylord.
Sandy’s membership and role of Worthy Advisor in the Ferndale Chapter of the Rainbow Girls inspired her passion of doing unto others and included dedicating and volunteering countless hours to the puppets program, performing read alouds in the Gaylord Public Schools, gathering and distributing Coats and Toys for Tots in her community, and judging performances at Alpenfest for many years.
Sandy found great pleasure in being an artist and was beloved by her family, friends and community. Sandy resided in Holland, Michigan for the past five years with her daughter. Friends could often see her artwork, proudly displayed in the windows of her home during the holidays for the neighbors children to enjoy.. Sandy was a performer on stage and off, always had a story to tell and loved to make people laugh. She sparkled wherever she went. Most of all, Sandy was a loving and dedicated wife, mother, sister, grandmother, aunt and friend to all who knew and met her. She will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by all who knew her.
Sandy is survived by her children, Edward (Skip) David Gartelman Jr. and daughter Terry Lynn Gartelman; grandchildren, Angela, Mario and Amber; brother Leon (Bud) and many beloved nieces and nephews, cousins and other extended family members. She was preceded in death by her high school sweetheart and husband, Edward (Ed) David Gartelman; parents, Leon and Mary Janette, and sisters, Marilyn and Winifred.
Sandy’s family will plan a celebration of her life at a future date in Gaylord, Michigan. She will be buried next to her beloved Eddie in the Otsego County Cemetery in the early summer. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice or a tree may be planted in her honor. Arrangements were entrusted to the Dykstra Funeral Homes of Holland, Michigan.