** DUE TO FORECAST WEATHER CONDITIONS - The Funeral Mass originally scheduled for Thursday, February 18, 2021 has been rescheduled. See below -
On February 7, 2021, Sandra Lee (Sandy) Carlsen passed away at 75. Survived by her husband of over 52 years and best friend, Bob; children - Carolyn (Eric Johnson) and Rob (Deborah), sibling - Joe Sagona. Predeceased by her parents Joseph and Frances (Gagliardo) Sagona. Her children and grandchildren were the greatest joys of her life. Brenden, Rylie and Luke - Nanny loved you with all her heart.
Sandy was born in Washington, DC and spent most of her life in the Washington Metropolitan/Maryland area except for a few years that she lived in Montevideo. Her dad was in the Foreign Service and was stationed there for four years. When she returned to the states, she was a senior in high school. She needed one course to graduate, American History, and she graduated from the old Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. She then attended Montgomery College (it was a Junior College then) in Takoma Park where she graduated with an Associates of Arts Degree.
She started her secretarial career in the State Department and subsequently took a similar position at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
Sandy and Bob were married on May 11, 1968. Once they started a family, Sandy was a stay-at-home mom for their two children, Carolyn and Rob, until both started school. She then pursued one of her real passions, working with children. She first took a part-time job in a pre-school and then moved on to being a part-time teacher’s aide in an elementary school. She always worked part-time so she could be home when her children went to school and was able to be home when their day was finished.
Sandy loved sewing, arts, and craft activities. When Carolyn was little, she often made outfits for her. She was a good cook. The house was always neat and tidy thanks to Sandy. In one house, there was a kelly green carpet which showed every spot. Before going out for the evening, Sandy would vacuum the rug just in case folks were invited back to the house. The carpet had to be spotless.
Sandy was proud when both Carolyn and Rob graduated from college. They are both school teachers. They are happily married and are raising families of their own.
Sandy loved to entertain and have parties at the house. She always encouraged her children to bring their friends home. Often there were lots of teens at the house on weekends. Rob held a Wiffle Ball tournament in the back yard for several years. It drew a big crowd and an all day party. Sandy became the official photographer for the tournament. When Rob and Carolyn got married, the rehearsal night dinners were at the house. Rob and Deborah’s rehearsal night dinner had the largest crowd with about 50 guests. It was a blast. Sandy’s priorities were faith, family, friends, entertaining, cooking and crafts in that order. Sandy was kind, considerate and caring. She faced dementia with quiet courage.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00am on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Olney, MD. Guests attending Mass will be seated by COVID guidelines. Private interment for immediate family at Gate of Heaven Cemetery will be at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Sandy’s memory may contribute to the Children’s Inn at NIH or to the Alzheimer’s Association (follow the links below).
The Children's Inn at The NIH
7 West Drive, Bethesd MD 20814-1509
P.O. Box 96011, Washington DC 20090-6011