September 21, 1938 – September 13, 2020
Sandra Moss passed away on September 13, 2020 at the age of 81. She was a vibrant, extraordinary woman with a beautiful soul. A beloved mother and grandmother, a treasured and true friend for so many, and a passionate advocate for children in our community who need special care.
Sandra loved art and travel and fashion and people. Most of all, she loved her family and her many friends. She exuded an energy that was immediately engaging. She always looked you directly in the eye and welcomed you with a smile. Her classic greeting was, “Hi honey.”
Born Helen Sandra Rusetos on September 21, 1938 in Chicago, Illinois, Sandra and her family moved to California in 1949 where she attended Van Nuys High School. She also won the beauty pageant title of Miss Panorama City. In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, Sandra appeared in television shows, movies, and commercials as Sandy Williams. During this time, she met and later married Jerry Moss, a young record executive who, with his partner Herb Alpert, created what would become the largest independent record label of its time, A & M Records. Because Sandra was one of the few people who could make Herb smile, she appeared on two Herb Alpert and Tijuana Brass album covers, South of the Border and What Now My Love.
Sandra’s interest in the theatre led her to become an investor in La Cage Aux Folles and co-producer of Beethoven’s Tenth, A Woman of Independent Means, and Blithe Spirit on Broadway. Always looking for a way to express her love of fashion, she later became a partner with the clothing designer, Mark Zunino.
In 1988, Sandra married Lew Hyman. They traveled to Southeast Asia, Cuba, and many parts of the United States and Canada. They had a lakefront home in Montana where she would indulge in baking and making jams and preserves. She won a prize ribbon for her carrot cake at the Montana State Fair.
Sandra’s commitment to “community” and to helping others was part of her DNA. In 1972, she joined SHARE, an organization of women dedicated to raising money to support services for children with special needs and developmental disabilities. Sandra later became the President of SHARE, earned their “Member of the Year Award,” and helped guide SHARE’s expansion to include support for the special needs of other children in our community, including treatment for sexually abused children.
In the mid-1970’s, Sandra answered a call to help the Rape Treatment Center. Her leadership and contributions have been extraordinary. She had a major role in bringing the issue of rape and the needs of victims, long-hidden and surrounded by shame and secrecy, into public consciousness. She was fearless about asking people to support what she believed in. At a time when rape was rarely spoken about in public forums, she brought 20 men together in her living room – executives in the record industry and the motion picture industry – to talk about the issue and to inspire support for the treatment of victims. In the early eighties, she became a founding member of the Board of The Rape Foundation. And, in the late 80’s, when the Rape Treatment Center needed to extend its reach to child victims, she had a leadership role in creating Stuart House, now an international model for the treatment of sexually abused children. The Rape Treatment Center and Stuart House are forever part of her legacy.
Sandra is survived by her three children, Ron Moss (Rhonda Moss), Jennifer Moss Cohen (Scott Cohen), and Harrison Moss; her grandchildren, Madison Moss, Mason Cohen, Asher Cohen, Maia Moss, and Atticus Moss; her step children, Terry Hamermesh, Jim Hyman (Leslie Weisberg Hyman); her step-grandchildren, Tessa Hamermesh, Alexander Hyman, and Gideon Hyman; her great grandchild, Maverick, her sister, Jeannie Valvo, her niece, Lisa Balelo (Nez Balelo), her nephew, Joey Valvo (Cheryl Valvo), and her many loving friends.
A memorial service and a celebration of her life will be held next year.
Donations in Sandra’s honor may be made to The Rape Foundation for Stuart House, which she helped create and cherished as part of her legacy.
October 7, 2020
I don't know her or the family. I just happened to see her obituary photo. She is one of the most beautiful woman I've seen. My sympathy on your loss