Sharon Louise (Frederickson) Sandusky, a longtime resident of Montclair and advocate for senior citizens, died at home surrounded by her family on May 14, 2021, after a battle with cancer. She was 81.
Mrs. Sandusky was born in Minneapolis and spent her early years primarily on her grandparents’ farm in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Her later youth was spent living on multiple Air Force bases in the southern U.S. and Japan.
After high school, she married and moved to Lockport, New York, where she began her family. Subsequently divorcing, she moved to Denver in 1971. In 1977 she moved to Montclair, where she spent the majority of her adult years.
Mrs. Sandusky worked as an administrator in various venues in government, education and business. She was a strong supporter of higher education, especially for women, and was instrumental in developing a women’s program for women students at Bloomfield College in the early 1980s, where she served as the director of Women’s Programs/Evening Student Services from 1984 to 1986. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in public history in 1984.
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She resided at Pineridge of Montclair Independent Living Residence for the past 20 years, serving as the residents council president for 16 years. She was an advocate for senior citizens and local programs to support them and was a member of the Montclair Senior Citizens Advisory Committee from 2006 to 2018, serving as president from 2010 to 2013.
Over four years Mrs. Sandusky contributed to the creation of 100 videos for Montclair cable TV34 “News & Views, SCAC,” a news program produced and hosted by seniors for seniors, garnering two Jammie Awards for the program.
In January 2020, she was honored by Montclair Township as Senior of the Month. She was a charter member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Mrs. Sandusky was a voracious reader from a very early age, starting with Zane Grey westerns and expanding to any book she could get her hands on. Her personal library was extensive and diverse.
She enjoyed writing short stories and poetry, frequently focused on her childhood and family. Some of her works were published in Farm & Ranch Living magazine, Senior Poetry Group-Lifelong Montclair and Sensations magazine.
She was a self-professed “people watcher” and enjoyed engaging in conversation with people from all walks of life on a broad range of topics. Of particular importance to her were opportunities to encourage young people to “read about the world and strive to do their best and keep on trying always.”
Mrs. Sandusky dearly loved her family and close friends and was diligent in keeping in touch by phone, mail and email. Her family will remember her as “the matriarch” and “story and joke teller of the family.” Her greatest pleasures in life were educating others, making them laugh or cooking for them.
She is survived by her daughters, Aurora Sandusky of Pennsylvania and Karen (Sandusky) Schine (Michael) of Virginia; siblings, Gary Frederickson (Cynthia) of Mississippi, Elmer Frederickson Jr. (Janice) of Colorado, Diana Maples (Samuel) of Colorado, Juanita Frederickson (sister-in-law, James) of New Mexico and Beverly Cayton (Jay) of Panama; grandchildren, Matthew Sandusky (Melissa), Benjamin Brower (Laura), Daniel Brower and Angellica Bryan; great-grandchildren, Aaron Sandusky, Katherine Sandusky, Corinne Brower and Emmett Brower, and several nieces, nephews, cousins and treasured friends.
Mrs. Sandusky was predeceased by her parents, Elmer A. Frederickson Sr. and Shirley (Haskell) Frederickson; her brother, James Frederickson, and a niece, Kimberly (Frederickson) Browning.
She desired that any donations be made to Connections at Home, which provides computers and technical support to senior citizens in New Jersey (cahnj.org), your university or high school, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, or for one (or many) trees to be planted in a park.
Arrangements were by Altmeyer Funeral Home & Crematory in Chesapeake, Virginia.