Sandra Saunders Traw passed away September 7, 2020 at her home in Middleton, Idaho.
Sandra was born September 22, 1945 in La Grande, Oregon to Leotis “Buck” and Donna (Evans) Saunders. Sandra grew up in Richland, Oregon. She had fond memories of riding her horse, Big Enough, and helping in sheep camp. Sandra graduated from Eagle Valley High School in 1963. She attended freshman year at Oregon State University and was a member of Sigma Kappa sorority. Love then came calling… literally. Donald Traw, hometown sweetheart, called Sandra at her sorority and proposed. Sandra married Don May 4, 1964 in the OSU campus chapel, Corvallis, Oregon.
Sandra and Don spent their first years of marriage traveling the western states on sheep-shearing jobs. They made their first home in Hermiston, Oregon and had three children; Clinton, Raquel, and Aneke. They eventually returned to Eagle Valley where they ran their cattle and worked the ranch with Sandra’s dad, Buck. Sandra rode for cattle, branded calves, cooked many a great meal for the “hands”, and raised the kids. She also worked as an EMT, which sparked a passion that eventually became a 30-year nursing career.
Sandra attended TVCC School of Nursing, earning her LPN license in 1979 and RN in 1981. Sandra worked at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Baker City, Oregon for 20 years. In addition to her professional service, Sandra provided medical support to those in the valley. Blood pressure cuff and stethoscope in hand, she was counted on to put people at ease or say the words, “Get to Baker now…I will meet you there.”
After selling the ranch in 1999, Sandra and Don moved to New Plymouth, Idaho and later to Western Oregon. Sandra continued nursing and spent the last years of her career as a prison nurse. She also served on several medical missions to Honduras.
Sandra retired from nursing in 2008. She and Don moved to Montana to enjoy the solitude of the mountains, their cabin in the woods, and exploring new territory on horseback. In 2015, Sandra and Don decided it was time to hang up the spurs and moved to Middleton, Idaho to be closer to family.
Sandra was many things; nurse, cow hand, ranch wife, camp cook, and champion of the downtrodden. She will be remembered for her sharp wit, her faith in God, and for being of service to those most in need. She supported her kids and never missed a ball game, awards ceremony, a rodeo, or a concert, of which there were many! She could be counted on to listen and not judge. She will be missed.
Sandra was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by: her husband of 56 years, Don, and their children Clinton (Susan), Raquel (John) Blom, and Aneke (Matt) Binford; 7 grandchildren, Dustin (Kristen), Mallary (Jonathan) Taylor, Jake (Shahayla), Adam Binford, Kyle Blom, Logan Traw, and Kori Blom; 6 great grandchildren; sister Glenda (Clinton) Randall.
Due to COVID-19, a backyard memorial was held to honor Sandra.
Contributions can be made to the Eagle Valley Ambulance Service or the Halfway-Oxbow Ambulance Service through Tami's Pine Valley Funeral Home & CS - PO Box 543 Halfway, Oregon 97834. Online condolences may be shared at www.tamispinevalleyfuneralhome.com
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