On May 8, 2021 Sandra Lee Rexroat died peacefully at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston with her devoted daughter at her side. She was 72 years old, and is survived by her daughter Amy O’Neill and her fiancé, John O’Keefe, her brother Barney, her mother Philomena, and many wonderful neighbors and friends.
She is preceded in death by her husband, John “Jack” O’Neill, and her father, Joseph “Joe.”
Sandra was born on April 13, 1949 in Ponca City, OK. She loved reading and books from a young age, graduating salutatorian from Valley Center High School in 1967. Sandra went on to earn her bachelor’s degree at Friends University and a master’s degree at Rhode Island College, where she then began a career of over 40 years in higher education administration. While at Rhode Island College, Sandra met and married John (“Jack”) O’Neill. They had one daughter, Amy. Sandra later worked at the State University of New York at New Paltz (SUNY New Paltz), Metropolitan State University in Denver, and Texas A&M University-Kingsville (formerly Texas A&I).
After Jack passed away, Sandra and Amy shared many adventures. Together, they saw Garrison Keillor live, numerous Broadway musicals, the ball drop on New Year’s Eve in Times Square, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando and Harry Potter Studios in Great Britain, Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, and two operas at Lincoln Center.
After Sandra retired from higher education, she invested much of her time working to address the significant homeless pet population in Kingsville. Not content to sit back, Sandra began to rescue and TNR cats in her neighborhood. In addition to animals, Sandra loved Pentatonix, Harry Potter, American and ancient history, traveling, PBS, and Astrophysics lectures.
Sandra was cremated according to her wishes. The family plans to hold a memorial service in Kingsville at a later date. To honor her memory, read a good book, support your local library, or adopt a homeless pet.