Sandy McDowell obitSandra McDowell, 64, of Waitsfield died peacefully on January 5, 2021, in Shelburne.

Sandy grew up in Shelburne and graduated from Champlain Valley High School. She attended the University of Vermont for a semester, but decided school was not for her and began working.  Starting as a bookkeeper at her dad’s business, McNash Motors, to the hospitality business where she traveled back and forth from Kennebunkport, ME, to Delray Beach, FL, with The Colony Hotel. Upon moving to the Waitsfield/Warren Valley she worked at Jennings Real Estate, The Battleground Condominiums, Beggar’s Banquet and Darby, Laundon and Stearns where she spent the last 15 years doing title searches.

At Sandy’s first house in Fayston is where she discovered her love of entertaining, hosting many impromptu after-work dinners with her friends. She loved planning, organizing and cooking countless holiday dinners and events for both family and friends. Dubbed the queen of hors d’oeuvres, she was also famous for her varied and always delicious cheesecakes, cookies and pies. As entertaining was synonymous with her name, Scrabble was her game. Countless matches were played by the family pool as we all tried to beat her, but she always capitalized on those two- and three-letter words with a Q, X or J (you know the ones) and would place them on a triple letter/word square. Take it from Barbara, Susan and Maryanne, it was maddening.

Sandy’s door and heart were open to all. Her narrow shoulders were broad enough to help countless friends bear their burdens. She was a rock and confidante to all lucky enough to be her friend and that was a great number, indeed. She made her home everyone’s home. Sandy will be sorely missed by family and friends who became family.

Sandy is survived by her mother Barbara D. McDowell of South Burlington, sisters Susan Stevens (Stuart) of South Burlington and Maryanne Bianca of Jasper, TX, as well as her brother T.J. McDowell (Deb Wehrlin) of Shelburne. She also leaves two nieces and four nephews. She was predeceased by her father Richard P McDowell, brother Christopher D McDowell and ex-husband Bradley Worde.

Many thanks and much appreciation go to our sister-in-law Deb who took the lead on managing Sandy’s care and creating a warm loving space for her final days. We are so happy she is part of our family.

Due to COVID restrictions, a celebration of Sandy’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Mad River Community Fund

To send online condolences to her family please visit