Sandra King James
Sandra King James, age 75, died of cancer on October 16, 2016 at her home in Spring, Texas.
Sandra Eileen King was born to Louie and Isabell (Kovarik) King in Faith, SD at the Kinney Maternity Home on May 28, 1941. She attended seven years of Faith Elementary School and the eighth grade in McLaughlin SD, as her parents had moved to Kenel, SD, in the summer of 1954 to manage the store and post office there. When the first day of school came in McLaughlin Public School, Sandra and her sister, Marg, were awestruck by the size of the big McLaughlin school. She exclaimed, “We never could have made it without each other”. While there Sandra became good friends with Marlene Dieterlee and Betty Wolfer.
After moving with her parents to Plainview, SD, in 1956, Sandra completed four years of high school at Faith High School where she played basketball and was secretary to Supt. DeWitt Butler for two years. She roomed with Audrey Rohrer and they along with Ruby Dustman, became life-long girl-friends.
After graduating from high school in May of 1961, Sandra joined the U.S. Army, became a nurse and was stationed at different stations in Europe and the United States. Sandra’s mother, Isabell, was always concerned that, “Sandra would end up somewhere with no money and would not know what to do”. While stationed in Hawaii, she met Don James who was also in the Army Medical Corp and they were married in 1970.
Sandra and Don moved to Houston, TX, where she worked as a surgical nurse until their kids were born. The surgeon she worked for hated losing her as his surgical assistant. Sandra and Don had two children, Don Terrell James Jr. and Tina Eileen James. She loved being a Mom and always welcomed her kid’s playmates into their home. When Sandra became a single parent she baby sat and took care of youngsters to make ends meet. In 1990 she and her daughter, Tina, moved to Sturgis, SD where she resumed her nursing career working at the Ft. Meade Veteran’s Hospital for many years. She was blessed to be able to care for her veteran father, Louie, when he became a patient in the geriatric department at Ft. Meade until his death in 1996. She also cared for her mother, Isabell, who died in 1997 at the nursing unit of the Sturgis Memorial Hospital.
Sandra’s hobbies, beside her kids and her grandkids were reading, watching movies, playing cards and fixing fancy meals. She knew every Broadway musical by heart and had copies of them, and was thrilled when her daughter, Tina, starred in Jesus Christ Superstar in Sturgis. After her retirerment she returned to Houston to live near and greatly enjoy Tina, Zack and the grandkids.
Most important in Sandra’s life was her Faith in the Lord and being part of the Catholic Church Community. She prayed regularly and said the Rosary daily as a devotion to the Blessed Mary for Mary to watch over her family. She attended Mass faithfully and had asked for a Mass after her death. Her favorite Psalm was Ps 27:1-5. Sandra had a special love for God’s Angels and turned to them for protection for her and for Don Jr. and Tina and grandkids.
She is survived by her son, Don Jr. of Atlanta, GA.; her daughter Tina (Zack), her children Hunter, Savannah, Presslee, and Cosette of Houston; sister Betsy (Keith) Lehman of Ft. Morgan, CO; sister Marg (Carv) of Omaha, NE; brother, Bill (Janice) King of Scottsbluff, NE, many cousins, nieces and nephews, and her special friend, Cindy Gray, of Sturgis.
Sandra was preceeded in death by her parents, Louie and Isabell King, grandparents and aunts and uncles, in-laws Bette and Cy Hurst, nephew David Lehman and niece, Gayle Van Dam.
A memorial in the name of Sandra King James has been established to the M.D. Anderson Childrens Cancer Center in Houston, TX. at www.mdanderson.org/gifts or mailed to Tina Buus, 20134 Pine Haven Lane, Spring, TX. 77379, or donated to your own church or charity in Sandra’s name.