Baby Child 10


March 3, 1961 ~ October 24, 2021 (age 60)


Sandra Marie McCollum, 60, of Albion WA lifted to heaven on flamingo wings from her home on October 24, 2021, with her wife, fur babies and sister-in-law by her side.

“I always lived a rich and full life filled with family, extended family and many, many friends. After I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic cancer in July, people were asking what was left on my Bucket List. Honestly, nothing. My list was short yet I lived life and accomplished more. I experienced New York City, spent time with family in Missouri, toured Mt. Rushmore, Custer’s Battlefield, Devils Tower and Yellowstone all in a 2-week trip, I experienced southwest National Parks and Monuments during a trip to Albuquerque, we traveled to Arizona, Oregon and California for WSU women’s basketball games, we traveled many times to drag racing mecca, Famoso Raceway, in Bakersfield California, and we were able to make grown men cry when we cruised in our 1969 Dodge Charger RTSE.

I was born in Twin Falls, Idaho, on March 3, 1961, to Paul and Eileen McCollum. I was their 4th child as mom and dad kept trying for the perfect child which they finally got! My wonderful mother passed away unexpectedly when I was 12 then I was sent to live with my brother Ray and his family in Idaho Falls and later in Jackson, Wyoming. A year or so later I was air mailed to live with my sister Paulette and her family in Coquitlam, B.C. and from there we moved to Sunnyside, WA. On January 1, 1976, we moved into our last home at Troy, Idaho. When asked if we were military since we moved so much, I just reply “no, my family are fugitives”. My nieces and nephews were closer to my age, so we were more like siblings, and I love them as such to this day.

I graduated from Troy High (Go Class of 1979!) and had the opportunity to make lifelong friends while attending the U of I, while working as Kitchen Manager for the Mark IV Restaurant and Main Street Bar & Grill. I love to cook, to create dishes that make food an experience rather than a drudgery. I worked my way up through custodial services at WSU over 26 years, eventually making Custodial Supervisor position. I worked the night shift all of those years so I could attend classes during the day, earning a Bachelor’s degree with Honors in Sociology in 2003 at WSU (my Alumni Tile at the Alumni Centre reads “Finally 2003”).  And yes, I’ve always been a night owl, the neighborhood Night Watch much to the chagrin of those who dare to do dastardly deeds in the night.

Early in 1983 I met the love of my life, Annette, and we made our home in Moscow until 1989 when we bought a ‘fixer-upper’ in Albion and are still fixing it. Annette made me a She Shed where I sewed quilts, knitted baby blankets, made sock monkeys, crafted garden herb sprinkles and vinegars, made candles, made special bird houses, built wooden urns, cooked up glycerin soaps and hand-stitched leather belts, shoes, hats and holsters. I just love making things that make others happy. I hand painted a 6 X 8 ‘We Love Our Cougs’ banner that Annette and I carried out to WSU football, women’s basketball, volleyball, rowing and swimming events. I know no strangers. Parents of students often came to my office to thank me for being the mentor or counselor for their struggling child when they were many miles away and couldn’t help. I’m writing this while in the hospital for the first time in my 60 years on this earth. I feel blessed to have been Aunt Sandie to so many of our nieces and nephews and greats. Annette’s family treated me as their own and she and I enjoyed many travels, celebrations, family reunions, births, camping, Wizard of Oz marathons and ‘How Hard Can it Be’ projects over nearly 39 years. We wrote for CruZin’ Magazine for nearly 30 years and love our car show and drag race family as well. Cancer has taken the wind from my sails, but I’ve survived disco and a volcano and I can survive this.”

Sandie left us while in her home as she wanted, surrounded by love, family and friends on her last day. No one word can ever describe her. She was an organ donor and gave the gift of sight so others can see through her eyes as brightly as she did.  We are genuinely better people because of her and we will continue to help others in her name.

Sandie was preceded in death by her mother Eileen, her father PK, her brother Harold, her sister Paulette, her nephews Scott and Walt, her beloved aunts and uncles. She is survived by her wife Annette, her fur babies Lacey, Mika and Ashley, niece Hope (William), niece Karah (Jason) and great nephew JJ, her niece Tazia, her brother Ray (Lynn) and their children, her niece-in-law Joan and her children, her sister-in-law Adonna (Aaron), brother-in-law John (Arlene) and their families. Her many amazing friends will always be in our hearts.

A Celebration of Life will be held later in the spring or summer. She would like to see donations in her name go to Rescue4All in Spokane or to your local Humane Society or Wildlife Rescue. The family would like to thank the staff at Pullman Regional Hospital, Dr. Brenna Harris, Colleen, Dr. Leslie Robison, Dr. Srijana Rai, Rachel Ensley, Kindred Hospice, Albion EMT’s, and Colfax EMS for their care and compassion. Thank you to the wonderful people at Kramer Funeral Home of Palouse for taking care of our Sandie Cheeks.

Kramer Funeral Home of Palouse, Washington is caring for the family.  On line condolences may be left at


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