Sandra J. Eyres
May 19, 1935 – September 6, 2020
Sandra Joy Eyres~ May 19, 1935 – September 6, 2020
Sandy Eyres, beloved sister, aunt, friend, and teacher died quietly at home in LaQuinta, California on September 6, 2020. She was born and raised in Iowa and moved to Minnesota to attend nursing school. After graduation she migrated to New York and worked in public health among the underserved in Harlem. Her love of public health led her to pursue a Masters and PhD in Epidemiology and she joined the Public Health Service in Washington DC. There she monitored grants around the country for the USPHS. It was on one of those oversight visits that she fell in love with the Northwest and eventually moved to Seattle, joining the faculty at University of Washington School of Nursing.
Sandy spent over 25 years at UW serving in various positions from Department Chair, to Director of Research, to Associate Dean. She was instrumental in the development of the doctoral program within the UW School of Nursing. However, her first love was always teaching. Sandy was passionate about effective teaching and helping other faculty improve their teaching skills. Her own teaching earned her awards both within the School of Nursing but also as one of five faculty chosen annually for recognition among the whole University. The School of Nursing named an award in her honor to be given annually to a faculty member who excelled in graduate teaching.
For years she worked with faculty across UW to share ideas and programs to improve teaching methods.
She was a humble woman who shunned academic titles and always introduced herself as “Sandy” rather than “Dr. Eyres”. Students, faculty, and staff all loved Sandy. She is remembered for her mentoring, her wisdom, her ability to listen and always to leave people with a sense that they were valuable. She had a good sense of humor and a radiant smile. Her warmth and wisdom helped many a graduate student, especially those who struggled with English, to believe that they could make it through the program.
Sandy’s care extended to School of Nursing staff as well as students and faculty. She was so beloved that an award was named for her by Staff members to honor one faculty member each year, chosen by Staff, for his/her support.
In 1996 she identified that LGBTQ students, faculty and staff frequently felt isolated within the School. She created a ‘salon’ for members and allies to exchange stories, enjoy time together and form a support group within the School. In so doing, she created a safe space for conversations to occur and set the stage for the School of Nursing to deepen the journey toward a more inclusive community.
Sandy retired in 2000 and in 2004 she joined with several other women to form a small supportive community. Her dream was to read widely and travel, which she was able to do until she began to experience the effects of dementia. With her typical grace and good humor, she accepted this diagnosis and modelled for those around her how to live in the moment and find pleasure in what she could experience. At the end of 2019, Sandy and her community moved to Southern California where she could enjoy sun and warmer weather.
Sandy will be missed by many and she left wonderful memories. Her life had an impact on thousands of patients and many healthcare systems through the nurses she educated.
She is survived by her sister, Nicky Immel; her nephew, Chris Immel (Christele) and their children; her niece, Shelly Immel (Tom); her community Pat Hogan, Jude Jackson, Ella Clarke, Margaret Parry, Kathie Hogan; countless friends; and faculty, students and staff from UW School of Nursing.
Sandy will be cremated in California and buried at a later date in Seattle.
"Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." St. Teresa of Calcutta
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.weaver-mortuary.com for the Eyres family.
- Nicky Immel, Sister
- Chris Immel (Christele), Nephew
- Shelly Immel (Tom), Niece
- Pat Hogan, Jude Jackson, Ella Clarke, Margaret Parry, Kathie Hogan, Community
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No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Sandra J. Eyres
September 15, 2020
Sandy was an incredibly warm, compassionate, and talented human being with a huge heart and even larger sense of humor. She made the world a better place every day by treating each person with dignity and respect, no matter their role. She left me - and others - feeling valued and strengthened for having interacted with her. When School of Nursing staff created an award in her name, it was to recognize faculty members who treated them as colleagues and partners - as Sandy did. When students were feeling discouraged and distraught, Sandy would listen and help them reflect on possible next steps. When faculty members had a conundrum they could not solve, Sandy offered wise counsel without judgment. In short, Sandy was a role model of deep caring whose memory I will cherish with fondness.
Marie Annette Brown
September 13, 2020
Sandy made a big difference for me in the quality of my worklife as a young faculty member. She was my lifeline to someone who valued teaching in a research intensive environment. She opened my mind to important seminal pieces of writing like the book Women's Ways of Knowing. She inspired me to try classroom activities that touched who our NP students were as human being and supported me in my belief that growing the students' self-reflection abilities made them a better nurse practitioner. I could go on and on about how much I cared about her. Until she moved out of WA I had her address and would send her Christmas cards and write more about how she inspired me. She was like a salve on the academic mantra of more is better. Sandy was a beautiful soul who gave her heart to her work and we are all better off for that.