Sandra Elise Houchen, age 59, passed away peacefully at her home on January 5th, 2017, surrounded by her family. She fought a courageous 20-year battle with breast cancer, for which she was an inspiration to many. Sandy was born in Kansas City, Missouri on November 27th, 1957, to Klaus and Eva Frank. After an idyllic childhood in Prairie Village, Kansas and graduating from Shawnee Mission East High School in 1975, she proudly attended the University of Kansas. In 1981 Sandy relocated to Clinton with her then-husband Gary Cover, where she enthusiastically embraced the community that she would call home for the rest of her life.
Sandy was very fulfilled by her work as a kindergarten teacher, director of community relations for Pathways Behavioral Health, as well as the proprietor of Ebertings Main Street Central, which she owned and operated alongside her husband Jim Houchen. Over the last 35 years Sandy’s many activities, organizations, and causes included, but were certainly not limited to, Olde Glory Days, the Clinton Regional Airport, Clinton Main Street, the Clinton Chamber of Commerce, Cub Scouts, Golden Valley Swim Club, Red Ribbon Week, Bunco Club, Clinton High School athletics, Study Club, numerous cancer events and charities, the Golden Valley Memorial Hospital Foundation, and many more.
Above all else, Sandy’s greatest joy and accomplishment was her family. She was united in marriage in 1998 to her loving husband and constant supporter Jim, who survives her. She also leaves behind their children James Houchen and wife Kelli of Newton, Kansas, Julia Stone and husband Jeff of Clinton, Jeremy Cover and wife Kira of Lee’s Summit, Nicholas Cover and wife Brooke of Greenwood, and Chelsea Karle and husband Andrew of Greenwood. She is also survived by twelve cherished grandchildren, Allison, Kamryn, Karlyn, Avery, Lillian, Jack, Jillian, Liam, Davis, Jackson, Lindy, and Brady, who will miss their “Nana” but always hold her in their hearts. In addition, she leaves behind her sisters, Susi Erwin and Sylvia Atencio, both of Denver, Colorado, who loved and adored her, as well as nieces, nephews, cousins, and all of her extended family, along with many dear friends who she considered to be family. Sandy was preceded in death by her beloved parents and her brother, Ken Frank.
A visitation will be held on January 12th from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. at Bradley & Hadley Funeral Home in Clinton. The family will also receive friends beginning at 12:00 P.M. on January 13th at Clinton United Methodist Church, followed by a memorial service at 2:00 P.M. Interment will take place on January 16th at 4:00 P.M. at Englewood Cemetery in Clinton, with a celebration of Sandy’s extraordinary life immediately following at the Clinton Elks Lodge. Arrangements are under the direction of the Sheldon-Goodrich Funeral Home.
Sandy’s family is eternally grateful to the doctors, nurses, and staff at MD Anderson Cancer Center and Golden Valley Memorial Hospital for the time, energy, and resources that they devoted to her.