Cover photo for Sandra "Sandi" Philips's Obituary
Sandra "Sandi" Philips Profile Photo
1940 Sandra 2023

Sandra "Sandi" Philips

August 19, 1940 — November 11, 2023


Sandra D. “Sandi” Philips, 83, of Gulf Breeze, Florida, formerly of Oak Hill/Herndon, Virginia died Saturday, November 11, 2023, at her home; The Beacon Assisted Living Facility. Services will be held at a later date at Lincoln Memorial Park in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Sandi was born on August 19th, 1940, in Lincoln, Nebraska to Raymond A. and Minnie A. “Mitzi” (Hellbusch) Darling. Survivors include her sister, Sharon “Shari” Keefer of Alexandria, Virginia; son and daughter-in-law, Jamie, and Robyn Philips; granddaughter; Hailey Philips; grandson, R.J. Philips all of Gulf Breeze, Florida. Sandi was preceded in death by her parents and her former husband of 30 years, Ronald Jon Philips.

Sandi graduated from Lincoln Southeast High School in 1958. She graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1962, with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, and was a member of the PHI MU Sorority. Sandi enjoyed many extracurricular activities early in life that stayed with her, like her passion for horses.

Throughout her lifetime she rode, bred, and traveled to see these animals that were often intertwined with the literature she used as an educator. A true animal lover, her favorite two furry, four legged companions later in life were Darby and McDuffy; Carin Terriers with big personalities and big hearts.

Sandi was an avid reader throughout her life. Her collections of literature spanned many genres both fiction and nonfiction, and a memory that could recant these stories, characters, or facts in detail. This passion for reading was very pronounced in her esteemed teaching career for 30 years in the Fairfax County School System. Sandi was never afraid to correct you, in private or in public, if you were to use poor English.

Sandi was an A.P. English and World Civilization Teacher at Thomas Jefferson and Oakton High Schools in Fairfax County Virginia before retiring due to health issues. She taught on topics such as Greek, Roman, and Egyptian history; traveling later in life to many of these beautiful destinations to connect with the history in the books she lectured with in her classes. She took many trips after retirement to the Mediterranean, visiting the shores of Greece and the ancient temples of Rome. 

An admirer of the arts, this also expanded to the creative realm of music and production. For quite some time, Sandi was a frequent attendee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts assemblies. As well as to Wolf Trap – The only United States National Park dedicated to the performing arts. She attended countless productions and concerts at these venues, with many stories she would share to all with a listening ear. She also enjoyed her annual vacations to the Eastern Shore in DL-MD-VA with good friends; Sandi enjoyed bringing her camera to document these love of beach adventures and took great joy in sharing these memories. These trips also expanded down to the Emerald Coast as her grandchildren grew up, spending part of her summers on the sugar white sand.

Sandi moved to Gulf Breeze, Florida in 2018, to be close to family. Her love for literature and the arts continued still as she experienced southern culture and created art with new friends. She brought with her countless treasured memories from her adventures abroad and domestic, timeless pieces of art, literature, and an immense collection of music and programs on tape.

A special thanks to the staff at Gentiva Hospice and those at The Beacon Assisted Living Facility, and Rose Lawn Funeral Home for their care and compassion for our beloved family member. 

Sandra Philips Obituary 2023 - Rose Lawn Funeral Home (


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