Sandy Sela-Smith

October 14, 1944June 6, 2021

Dr. Sandy Sela-Smith, 76,

passed away at the Life Care Center of Evergreen CO after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer three years earlier. She was born in Seward, Alaska October 14, 1944 to Clarence P. Keating Jr. and Laura E (Strieble) Keating. At age 10 her family moved to Seattle WA where she graduated from the University Of Washington with a BA in Political Science. After teaching high school for 10 years at Kings Garden in Seattle she joined her husband in his business before she started a counseling service. At the age of 51 she went back to school and earned an MA and PhD in Psychology from Saybrook Graduate School on July 29, 2001.

She is survived by her 3 sisters, Kathryn Day of Edmonds WA, Jo De An Keating of Hayward CA, Jan Keating of Seattle WA and her brother Pete Keating of Seattle WA as well as 3 nephews and 3 nieces and 7 grand nieces & nephews.

Sandy’s legacy as a therapist was her ability to guide people through the tragedies, the pain and injustices in their lives that hampered their growth and help them see who they really are so they can move forward from their past.

Sandy’s love and positive, caring and giving energy will truly be missed by many. Rest in peace sweet Sandy.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Sandy Sela-Smith

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jerold Smith

July 30, 2021

Sandy was so much to so many people around the globe, but to me she was my sister since I was 12 years old. She began dating my brother, her future husband, and that began a relationship for me that lasted 50 years. She always allowed me to call her Sam or Sammy and our special bond was so important to my soul. In 1966, as Sam finished her final quarter for an education degree at the University of Washington, she had to accomplish student teaching which she did at her alma mater West Seattle High School. Both her brother Pete an myself were in her first-ever teaching class. Quite fun. Sam went on over time to garner her Masters and PhD and was an accomplished teacher, professor, therapist, psychologist, and author. We kept in close contact over the decades and while she was a university professor in Florida, Sam joined myself, my husband Ian, and my extended Miller family in Tampa for Christmas dinner one year. When she moved to Colorado. we saw each other often as I had merged my Seattle-based publishing company with a Denver-based publisher. We had brunches and dinners in Denver, and often met at a quaint restaurant in Morrison for dinner. What Sam and I shared was an open, honest, and soul-searching relationship. We laughed, discussed life, family issues, and destiny with a realism that few people ever attain. In the last months of Sam's life, we often chatted on the phone, texted regularly, and frequently emailed. While she had a date many years away for her passing, I believe in the end she realized the cancer had overtaken her frail body. She was a fighter and kept her spirits as strong as humanly possible. I admired her courage and strength. Thanks, Sam, for being who you were, expressing to so many the challenges of life, and being a spirtual guidance to me and others.

Brittany Strickland

July 9, 2021

Sandy was dearly loved by my son and me. We all shared our positive energy and love for one another. I could not have made it through grad school without her and my son could not have made it through his undergrad years.

She has left an impression on our lives forever. Blessings and comfort to all of her loved ones and family.

Terry Waters

June 20, 2021

Condolences to Sandy’s friends and family

Sandy is my heart-sister. We shared our homes in Florida during transitional periods in our lives and Sandy became part of my family. I treasure times and memories made with her.

Terry Waters

Esther Klein

June 14, 2021

My sympathy to Sandy’s family

Sandy was one of those special people who had insight, compassion and love for the world. I am so grateful she was part of my life. When I visited her in Colorado, we went to the person who inspired her to write her trilogy. We also went up in a hot air balloon. My home was her’s when she returned to visit in Florida. I miss her with all my heart.

David Robinson

June 12, 2021

My heart is broken right now. You know you can count on one hand the brilliant teachers in your life and Sandy was one of them for me. I was one of her high-school students at King's Garden and became one of her friends in recent times. She taught her classes with such integrity -- like taking a college class in high-school. We texted once a week. She was such an amazing person, great animal lover, terrific writer, had the most soothing voice, and was compassionate and empathetic. She was a mentor, a very spiritual woman and helped me more than she ever knew. Just amazing. I am so grateful. Sandy, you will be missed, but your imprint is large and profound.

Judith Forsyth

June 9, 2021

My condolences to Sandy’s family as well.

It is near impossible to express how much Sandy meant to me. She was my touch stone, my North Star. I will miss her laugh, her love, her wisdom! I am not sure I would still be on this earth if it weren’t for this authentic, vulnerable, insightful, kind woman. I have been listening to Go Rest High on that Mountain non stop since I heard the news.

I know your life
On earth was troubled
And only you could know the pain
You weren't afraid to face the devil
You were no stranger to the rain

Go rest high on that mountain
Sandy your work on earth is done, (for now)
Go to heaven a-shoutin'
Love for the Father and the Son

Yeshe Forsyth

RIP my dear dear friend. I will love you forever!

veronica isaksen

June 9, 2021

My sincere condolences to Sandy's family.
Sandy’s passing is such a great loss. People come into our lives I believe as stepping stones to a higher place. Sandy, for me was an entire foundation. She was a powerful force in, my coming to a place of acceptance and love for myself. When I felt no one could hear my pain anymore Sandy was always there open heartedly listening. Her style wasn’t to give you advice instead she shed light on your inner knowing and allowed you to find your way at your own pace. All along she was right next to you if you should need her. It felt at times she was holding my pain for me so I could have some peace. She was one of my greatest companions on this sometimes very tumultuous human journey. Today my life is mostly one of peace and joy. And when things are not so easy I always have the foundation Sandy helped me build to move through those tough times.
Thank-you Sandy. Your spirit lives on in me and the life you so lovingly helped me design.
Till we meet again…..Love, Veronica

Tracey Fitzgerald

June 8, 2021

My deepest condolences to Sandy's family.

Words will never capture the magnificence that was Sandy. She touched so many of us in deep and profound ways. She was a life changer, a loving force for transformation and inner freedom. She graced me with so much... I am the woman I am today because of Sandy's love, friendship and brilliance. She will remain in my heart forever... God speed on your new journey my friend.