Sandra “Sandy” Kalriess, longtime Ridgefield resident who was passionate about her profession as a registered nurse, passed away July 4 after a 20-month battle with sarcoma, a rare cancer, which she fought with determination, bravery, and humor. Her husband of 41 years, Richard Kalriess and their two daughters, Lauren Howland of Ridgefield and Cara Manion of Denver, Colorado along with family and close friends gathered by her side at Danbury Hospital to express their love and say their farewells.

Sandy was born in Cherry Point, North Carolina on August 25, 1953 and is the daughter of Jean DeQuila and the late Vincent DeQuila of Staten Island, NY. She graduated from Staten Island Community College in 1973 with a nursing degree, and then took a position at the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital. During that time, Sandy met her husband, Rich, at a water sports shop on Lake George, NY while pursuing their mutual interest in scuba diving.

Sandy and Rich moved to Ridgefield with their two daughters in 1986 where Sandy worked for several years as a visiting nurse, before becoming the nursing supervisor for Western Connecticut Home Health Care. She is remembered as a dedicated and committed caregiver who worked right up until her death.

Sandy loved to plan trips and was a seasoned traveler, extensively visiting Europe. She enjoyed planning family vacations including an annual visit to Hilton Head, South Carolina. Sandy would insist on going for a “ride” with Rich on nice weekends to discover local destinations in their blue convertible. She loved to entertain and throw parties outside surrounded by her flowers and the garden that she enjoyed tending. She was known to insist on alfresco dining regardless of the temperature; if the sun was shining, her preference was to be outdoors.

After becoming a breast cancer survivor, Sandy helped initiate as co-chair the Ridgefield chapter of Relay For Life, which continued for several years raising funds and awareness for cancer research. Sandy also supported numerous local charities, particularly Ann’s Place which provides support to people living with cancer and their loved ones. It was Sandy’s nature to always strive to help others.

Sandy was considered among her loved ones as the matriarch of the family, selflessly committing her time and energy to organizing events and caring for elderly family members in their illnesses. Above all, it was her passionate and nurturing nature for which she will always be remembered.

Sandy is survived by her husband Richard Kalriess, her daughter Lauren Howland and husband Richard, her daughter Cara Manion and husband Tucker. On Sandy’s side, she is survived by her mother, Jean DeQuila, her brother Joseph DeQuila and wife Donna, her sister Peggy Libretti and husband Joseph, her sister Jeanie Higgins and husband Jim. On Richard’s side, she is survived by her brother in law Bill Kalriess and wife Barbara, and brother in law Ted Kalriess and wife Debbie. In addition, Sandra is survived by 13 nieces and nephews.

Her beautiful life will be celebrated by a memorial mass on Saturday, July 14, 10:15 a.m. at St. Mary’s Parish, 55 Catoonah St., Ridgefield. Interment will be private. Contributions in Sandy’s memory can be made to: Ann’s Place, 80 Saw Mill Road, Danbury, CT 06810 or at annsplace.org.