Sandra “Sandi” Kay McLaughlin Richard Wood, age 66, of Talmage, passed away on April 18, 2022, at her home. She was born on August 13, 1955 in Lodi, Ohio, the daughter of Wayne A. and Mary J. (Seaman) McLaughlin. She graduated from Norwayne High School (Creston, Ohio) in 1973 and went on to get her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Education at The University of Akron (Akron, Ohio) in 1977. After several years of teaching, she completed a Master’s degree in Mission Education at Eastern Mennonite Seminary (Harrisonburg, VA) in 1983.
From 1983 to 1992, Sandi served with Mennonite Central Committee in Botswana. During this time she also completed post-master’s Bible training in England. One of the highlights of her term with MCC was leading a youth team, giving programs in churches and schools all across the U.S., Canada, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Transkei and Botswana.
In 1992, Sandi moved to Akron, Pennsylvania. She taught at Linville Hill Mennonite School (Paradise, PA) until she married Phil L. Richard in 1999. Phil and Sandi made East Petersburg, PA their home and Sandi worked for Mennonite Central Committee. She especially enjoyed serving a three-month voluntary mission term in Bethel, Alaska, in the summer of 2001. In 2002, she and Phil moved to Hesston, Kansas, where they served at Hesston College until Phil’s death in 2009.
After Phil’s death, Sandi returned to Pennsylvania in 2010 where she lived in Talmage and taught at the Diamond Street Early Childhood Center (Akron, PA). On Sept. 27, 2015, Sandi married to Norman H. Wood. She retired from teaching in May of 2021.
In addition to traveling and reading, Sandi enjoyed preparing for and leading children’s moments at church, leading children’s music, teaching Sunday School and hosting people in her home. She was an excellent cook and many people enjoyed her delicious meals.
Sandi was an active member of Akron Mennonite Church, Akron, PA. Sandi loved children and made each child feel special. She will be fondly remembered by her step-grandchildren, her nieces and nephews, her former students, and the children she served in her ministry at Hesston Mennonite Church (Hesston, KS), Akron Mennonite Church (Akron, PA) and the Diamond Street Early Childhood Center (Akron, PA). Sandi lived a life of service – service to her Lord, service to church-related organizations, service to her students, service to her church and service to her husbands and families.
Sandi is survived by her loving husband, Norman H. Wood; Cecil, her cat; two stepchildren, Mickey L. (Meredith) Wood of Lewistown and Brian R. (Kimberly) of Beavertown; four grandchildren: Mason, Cameron, Tyler and Makayla; her father-in-law, Elmer Richard (Creston, Ohio); brothers- and sisters-in-law, Sidney (Sandi) Richard, Goshen, Indiana; Kristina (Steve) Gerber, Creston, Ohio; and Kent (Rita) Richard, Talmage, PA; and numerous nephews, nieces, great-nephews and great-nieces. She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers and two sisters-in-law, Jack (Deb) McLaughlin and Ron (Sherry) McLaughlin.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at Akron Mennonite Church, 1311 Diamond Street, Akron, PA, on May 15, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. with services conducted by pastors Rachel Nolt and Matt Carlson, at Akron Mennonite Church, followed by a time of visitation and a light meal. As a final act of service, Sandi donated her body for ALS research. In lieu of flowers, contributions to her memory may be made to Mennonite Central Committee, Akron, Pennsylvania.