Sandra Maria Smith
November 13, 1945 – September 2, 2019
Sandi passed away on September 2, 2019, less than three months before her 74th birthday. Several dear friends and beloved family members stopped by in her final days, bringing her peace and comfort while she rested in her Novato home. Sandi treasured the spectacular views from her home; she was resting near a window that overlooked one of her favorite views when she passed. Sandi was born in San Francisco to Joe and Rose Sardina. She was an only child but far from alone in childhood. Her tight-knit Italian family included many aunts, uncles, cousins and other family nearby – some truly just steps away in neighboring homes. Her early adolescent years were spent in Daly City’s Westlake neighborhood, where she formed what proved to be lifelong friendships and relationships. One of her best childhood friends was Luann Seelig, a classmate from elementary school through high school. Sandi caught the eye of one of Luann’s two older twin brothers, Michael, who began courting his sister’s friend. In 1960, the Sardina family moved to San Rafael, but the distance meant nothing to Sandi and Michael – they married in 1963. Eldest son Joe was born in 1964, Mark followed in 1967, youngest son Scott arrived in 1968 and three years later the family was complete when daughter Stacy was born. Sandi was a stay-at-home mom during her children’s earliest years. After she and Michael divorced, she began working for her father; he ran “Sardi’s,” a bar supply business. In the early 1980s she transitioned to the bookkeeping business and joined an up-and-coming restaurant at Larkspur Landing: Scoma’s. Sandi was no stranger to the Scoma family. Sandi’s family had been friends with Al Scoma since the 1940s. Rose was bookkeeper at the Sausalito Scoma’s. It was a busy time for Sandi – and a happy time as well: she met the love of her life, James “Buck” Smith. The two would eventually marry and settle in Novato with Joe, Mark, Scott and Stacy – and many beloved pets over the years, including Peanuts, Rosy, Peaches, Jasmine, Becky, Samantha and Gigi. Amid a full and bustling home life, Sandi made another important transition: when Rose retired from the Sausalito Scoma’s, Sandi took her place. And, so began a fulfilling two-decade career at the baby blue-hued restaurant on the San Francisco Bay waterfront. Some of Sandi’s best memories involved her daily 5:15 a.m. arrival at work and that first cup of coffee on the deck while she soaked up the sunrise. Sandi developed friendships with the entire restaurant staff – friends that endured a lifetime. In 1998, Buck was diagnosed with cancer. Instead of surrendering to the fear of the unknown, Sandi and Buck did what they always did – they lived life to the fullest. It was during this time that they took trips, visited with friends and savored time with the four now-grown Seelig children. Buck passed away in March 2000, devastating Sandi. The grief was immeasurable, but Sandi found solace in the love from her children and the grandchildren that had since become a part of her family. She busied herself with work, joined a bocce ball team and maintained many special friendships along the way. Eventually, Sandi retired from Scoma’s – a bittersweet decision about a job she so loved. After contemplating what her “second act” would be, the relatively shy retiree surprised even herself when she “forced herself,” as she said in her own words, to join the Novato Senior Citizens Club. She worked hard to overcome feeling like an outsider, eventually immersing herself in the day-to-day activities of the club and eventually became its president. The Novato Senior Citizens Club and its “home base,” the Margaret Todd Senior Center, became Sandi’s passion. She adored all its members and took special interest and joy in hosting Sunday bingo events. Sandi was equally passionate about the San Francisco Giants, and was often watching baseball games on TV or in person. She loved art and created many charcoal drawings. She was quick-witted, humorous, loved to clip comics out of the newspaper to share with family and friends. She never missed a friend or family member’s birthday. In her final years, Sandi was diagnosed with COPD – caused by years of smoking. She spoke openly about her regret of that habit and made a point of discussing the dangers of smoking with others. Sandi was preceded in death by Rose and Joe – she took loving care of them during their final years. She is survived by her four children: Joe (Patti), Mark (Jennifer), Scott and Stacy. She was a beloved “Grammy” to her six grandchildren: Tori, Drew, Jordan, Olivia, Emme and Sophia. Friends and family are invited to celebrate Sandi’s life at 11:00 a.m. on September 7, 2019 at Keaton’s Mortuary, 1801 Novato Boulevard, Novato. In lieu of flowers, Sandi would delight in knowing that friends and family donate to a nonprofit of their choosing. Some of Sandi’s favorite charities included The American Civil Liberties Union, The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank and The Marin Humane Society.
- Celebration of Life Saturday, September 7, 2019
Sandra Maria Smith
September 8, 2019
Sandi, I thank you for taking me under your wing those many years ago at Scoma's in Larkspur Landing. You were always so altruistic, and mentored me on more than one occasion. I will always remember the epic tour of Marin, West Marin and Sonoma with you and Buck that you took me on that one Saturday. Thank you for the big hug at your retirement party at La Toscana.
"By chivalries as tiny, a blossom or a book,
the seeds of smiles are planted, which blossom in the dark"
RIP my sweet, and know that your kindness and care brings smiles in the memories of so many people that you touched. Bunker
September 6, 2019
Sandi loved to share memories and experiences of her family.I think she loved it the most. She always listened and never criticized.And when she gave advice it was always words of wisdom ❣️
September 5, 2019
Sandi, you will be missed. Novato Seniors has just lost one of the best.