Sandra F. Murch, 78

SACO — Sandra Foster Murch, 78, of Saco, passed away on Friday, July 24, 2015 at home.

She was born to Catherine and Arthur Foster on April 22, 1937 in Portland. Sandra grew up in Scarborough and graduated from Scarborough High School with honors. She received an outstanding scholarship to the University of Maine in Orono, where she studied Journalism.

Sandra married Charles Murch of Franklin. They had a son, Frederick Murch and lived in Wilton, N.H., where they owned a 500-acre apple farm.

Sandra was a fabulous cook and hostess, as evidenced by the many gatherings that she and Charles hosted for family, especially her many nieces and nephews who came to ski in the winter and hang out and relax on the farm in the summer. Sandra was known in the family as the best pie-maker and would be asked to bring one to all family gatherings.

One of her greatest joys in life was reading. She was a gardener and a gatherer. She enjoyed canning her vegetables and making wild berry jellies. She was creative and made beautiful velvet elves, which she shared as gifts for family and friends. She loved walking on the beach and collecting shells, which she used to create wreathes and Christmas ornaments as gifts.

Sandra and Charles divorced and Sandra remained a single mother. She went back to college in New Hampshire and earned a degree in Business. She became a HUD housing manager and continued in this field until her retirement in 2008. She took great pride in inspiring young people in her housing projects to learn healthy parenting skills and to further their education.

While living in New Hampshire as a single mom, Sandy met Leni Mendoza and her daughter Sarah. They became an extension of Sandy’s family. After Frederick’s graduation from high school, Sandra saved her money and traveled to Europe numerous times with Leni, who now lives in Germany and called Sandy every week.

Sandra moved back to Scarborough in the 80s and lived with her sister, Sally, in Scarborough and then in Saco. After retiring from managing property, she became a caregiver for elderly and disabled people.

Sandra enjoyed vacations to Delhi, N.Y. with her niece, Julie, visiting another niece, Candice, and her husband Paul on their 500-acre dairy farm. She was a beloved aunt to her nieces and nephews. When the family needed a caregiver or friend, Sandra was there. She especially enjoyed weekends at West Pond in Parsonsfield, resting and reading with her sister-in-law Lois Pence.

Sandra was predeceased by her son, Frederick in 2013; and her half-brother Gordon Guest of Saco.

Sandra is survived by her younger sister Sally Plummer Howe of Saco; her half-brother Carrol Guest of Saco; a foster brother, Bruce Michael Taylor of Medway, Mass.; a daughter-in-law Kim Murch of Bridgton and Kim’s three daughters; a great-granddaughter; many nieces and nephews.

Sandra requested a private family memorial service later this summer. Cote Funeral Home in Saco is handling arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Beacon Hospice (54 Atlantic Place, South Portland, Maine 04106).

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