Sandra Jane LaPierre Huffman, Age 63, born September 23, 1959, in Manchester, New Hampshire, was one of 2 children, that were adopted into the loving home of both the late Mr. Cliffton LaPierre & Mrs. Kathlene LaPierre of Hopkins, Massachusetts’s; departed this life on Thursday June 8, 2023 at the Grand Strand Medical Center after an illness.
Sandi, as she became affectionately called was raised and cultured with her adoptive brother (Allen LaPierre). Sandi enjoyed many happy and care free days swimming out on the family lake. This lake quickly became Sandi’s favorite sanctuary where she treasured numerous memories of time spent there swimming and soaking in the sun.
Soon after graduating from high school, Sandi felt the desire to travel as well as serve her country. Out of these two desires was birthed her decision to join the United States Air force in 1983. Her dream to travel was realized when she became stationed in Hawaii; where she met and married the love of her life, fellow enlisted man, John Lee Huffman (Aynor, SC). Eleven years later in, 1994 when Sandi left the Air Force she had obtained the rank of E-5.
To this blessed union, one child, Gabriel Sean Huffman was born. Sandi doted on Gabriel as any loving mother would of her children and most precious treasures. Soon she became affectionately known as “Mother Bear”. Sandi did not hesitate to bring out her claws (if necessary) to protect her young son. Motherhood became first –nature to her.
Sandi, was great at everything that she set her mind to doing. Sandi, had the most beautiful and infectious smile, that only reflected the beauty in her heart. Some of the things that she is known for is her baking skills, a novelist, a jewelry maker, a nurse, a counselor, an on demand childcare giver, a Secret Santa, a home interior designer, an unofficial uber driver to friends, a ride or die sister; whatever she knew that you needed, even when you didn’t realize it yourself.
Whether it was making her famous brownies that made your mouth water and your heart melt; or the most beautiful of jewelry that she would design, you’d feel like a Queen! You would always hear our joyful exclaim, “Just For Me?!” Sandi always showed up with a smile and a plate of brownies. She would often times do so after having tried a new recipe that she wanted the family to try. Sandi knew that we’d love it…and we always did! She took the time to know us, each and every one of us. She knew what we liked and didn’t. She asked questions and listened to our answers. We were never disappointed by her thoughtfulness and I pray that we didn’t disappoint her.
Sandi had the ability to be there when you needed someone. Often times just to listen to you and love on you as you opened up and talked. She was ready to help-always-no matter what. Even when she was not physically able to do so. Often times she demonstrated this to her startled nieces & nephew, when her voice would come out of nowhere it seemed, telling whoever it would be, that they “had better stop misbehaving or else.” Not knowing that she had been on the phone & listening to them “act-up” in the background the entire time. Being on punishment and not being able to go to Aunt Sandi’s was devastating to them to say the least.
Sandi’s love of reading started when she was a child and lasted her entire lifetime. No doubt, this love fueled her desire to travel as well. Her last trip that she was able to enjoy, before her health truly begin to decline was when she and a much younger Gabe, went to Sea World. She was so excited about the trip and spending time alone with her son. The two swam with the dolphins and she felt as if she was in heaven sharing that experience with him. She often talked about it as the years went by as one of the happiest times of her life.
Sandi would often spend time curled up to her favorite Authors’ latest ‘best seller’ and shopping Amazon for well thought out gifts ideas that she had to get for you. Some people have a lot and give very little, Regardless of what Sandi had, she gave a lot. A lot of love, care, understanding, honesty, forgiveness, thoughtfulness, truth, etc. Although her physical heart was failing, her spiritual one only grew more exuberated with all that was good and pure and true. It is amazing and leaves us who truly knew her, all in awe, of how her one human heart could give so much. It was because she had a heart that only God himself designed.
Sandi made the simplest of things seem royal. Through her eyes, you only saw the beauty in everything. In people and in animals, in nature & yes, in things. Regardless if it was a simple pair of curtains, a nice pillow to match her curtains, tie backs or boutonnieres, book marks: Sandi put her own personal touch on these things and the result was beautifully exceptional!
Whether it was the coyotes in the novel that she wrote, her dogs (Shaley, BJ), birds outside her window eating out her newly installed bird feeders or the squirrel that came to visit, ate and played at the bird feeder, then ran off with the food and a ‘chuckle’ from Sandi; her care of you came in many ways and forms as we all knew. For instance, like a new Nome or Stitch t-shirt or the next TMNT shirt that she could send to Gabe that she knew he’d get a kick out of and would picture him smiling when he would open it up. She thought not of herself, but the people she loved. Oftentimes, you’d get a phone call telling you to be on the lookout for a package that she was sending you. All the time, beaming with excitement for you. Something she knew you would love the moment she saw it. Such love Sandi gave always to everyone she loved.
Sandi, leaves to cherish her memories, her husband/friend of 38 years, (20 in home & 18 out of home) John Lee Huffman. A devoted & loving son, Gabriel (Sarah Mills) Huffman, of Easley, S.C.
One Granddaughter (Zoey Gabrielle Huffman, 2.5 yrs. old). Of Easley, SC. To Zoey, Sandi was known as “GiGi” (not Grandma!) because Sandi said, “I like the sound of it and it fits me best”. “Gigi” gushed always and doted upon Zoey every moment she could. From the moment that Zoey was born, Sandi was enthralled with her new granddaughter. She would spend hours on Amazon picking out the cutest, cuddliest, endearing gifts for Zoey. One grandson, (Gregory Livingston Luna, 13 yrs. old) of Phoenix, Arizona whom she loved dearly. Also, Two Sons-n-Love, Michael Huffman & Mark Huffman of Sumter, SC.
She also leaves to cherish her fond memories, her Mother In Law(Love), Sarah Mae Huffman, whom loved her as her very own. A BFF in Laura Halferty of Sumter, SC. Laura’s daughter Liz Goff, a very special young lady that ‘Momma Bear’ took under her wings as a daughter through love and who in turn loved her.
Seven Sister-n-Loves & Four Brother-n-Loves: Leola Huffman Hazel, Barbara(Sammie) Huffman, Lorrie Huffman, Debra Ann(Huffman) White, Sarah D.(Don)Huffman(Gerald), Reese (Huffman) Grayer, Lolesha(George) Black, Elijah Lightnin Huffman. Four brother-n-Loves (Maverick Huffman & Don E. Huffman, Donald L. Hazel Sr. & Allen White) preceded her to her grave.
Nieces: Lynette Foster, Angela (Kenneth)Johnson, Ebony (AL) Smith, Avianne (Boseri) Harper, Madison Huffman, Elisha Huffman. One special niece, Tiffany Danielle Huffman preceded her to the grave.
Nephews: Lawrence Huffman, San Migel Huffman, Princeton(Courtney) Huffman, Quinton (Jada) Dewitt, Jonathan Dewitt, Detrel L. Huffman, E.J. Huffman, Emanual Huffman. Two nephews; Donald Leon Hazel Jr; Donald Lee Gerald Jr.(her favorite) preceded her to the grave.
Sandi also leaves to treasure her memories made with each of us, a host of great-nieces, great nephews, family, & close friends & neighbors.
A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, June 24, 2023, at 4:00 PM at Johnson Funeral Home.