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Sandra (Bauhan) DuBois
May 19, 1936 ~ December 16, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old
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Sandra Bauhan DuBois of Pine Bush, NY passed away in Middletown, NY on December 16, 2023 at the age of 87. Born in Montclair, NJ in 1936, she was the third child of Oscar and Alice Bauhan.
A socially outgoing and vivacious person, Sandy made friends wherever she went. She was quickly on a first name basis with waiters, store clerks, and hospital aides. She would travel and socialize with book group friends, fellow church congregants, high school classmates, first and second cousins, neighbors from Pine Bush, other art class students, and colleagues in the counseling community. She brought humor and a sense of joy to social gatherings. One of her favorite annual gatherings was Christmas Eve – when family and friends would come over for Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce, Swedish spinach, rye bread, other sides and an array of Christmas cookies for dessert. There was laughter, good wine and great stories. And the leftovers were divine.
Like her father and grandfather before her, Sandy was a painter. Before she left college to elope with her first husband, David S. Ritter, she was an art major at Skidmore. The years that followed were consumed with family – David and Sandy had five children in the first seven years of their marriage – Karl, Andrew, Gretchen, Matthew and Alexander. So there was little time to paint. But the arts always called to her. She had her kids make colored eggs for Easter and create homemade ornaments for Christmas. She collected leaves, dried flowers, and other plants to make table arrangements. There were also the trips to museums, studios, as well as vintage clothing and antique stores. Eventually, she began drawing and painting again and spent several summers in her seventies taking classes in Wallkill. Her subjects were animals, nature and people. She had a spectacular sense of color. Her children and grandchildren value her art.
Besides her family, Sandy’s other great love was animals. When her kids were growing up, there was a menagerie of dogs, cats, gerbils and occasional snakes or turtles. The pets had distinctive names – like Grandma, Aunt Maude, Zazu, Amos, Haus, Banana (that was the turtle), Pippa, Jessie, Tucker, Martha and Lulu. Travelling on family vacation meant a station wagon full of two adults, five kids, three cats, and one dog – you can imagine the chaos that ensued. Later in life, after she married Warren DuBois (the great and final love of her life) and lived with him on his farm in Pine Bush, NY, she also had goats as pets. Her grandchildren loved to visit in the summer and go for walks through the fields with Nini (their name for Sandy), Phoebe and Phyllis (the goats), Callahan (the black lab) and one or two cats.
After Sandy and David divorced in the early 1970s, she went back to school and finished her bachelor’s degree at Empire College, while supporting herself waitressing. She eventually went on to get her Master’s in Social Work at Adelphi University and became a certified counselor. She was part of a joint practice for many years and then eventually moved to a solo practice at home, continuing to see clients into her late 70s. She also did volunteer work through her church and other local community organizations.
Sandy was a congregant at the Reformed Church of Shawangunk in Wallkill, NY for some four decades. There she met Warren DuBois, whose family had been part of the church for generations. They married in 2001 and lived happily together for the remainder of their lives. They were committed to their church, their families (Warren had three adult sons and several grandchildren, as well as siblings in the area), and the work of the farm. After Warren passed away last year, Sandy missed him terribly. Her family takes comfort in the thought that she will rejoin him in the afterlife.
Sandy is survived by her children and their spouses, Including son Andrew (and wife Karen) Ritter, daughter Gretchen Ritter (and wife Amy Fairchild), son Matthew (and wife Leslie) Ritter, and son Alexander Ritter. She is also survived by her step children and their families, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband Warren, her parents Oscar and Alice, her brother David, her sister Carol, and her son Karl.
We are grateful to her caregivers, Billie Joe Torrentino and Christine Cappelletti, who looked after her for much of her last couple of years.
There will be a memorial service for Sandy on January 27, 2024, at 10am at the Reformed Church of Shawangunk, 1166 Hoagerburgh Road, Wallkill, NY 12589. A livestream will be available of the service, please email the funeral home for the link to the livestream- email@example.com.