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Sandra R. Thompson-Colyer

April 13, 1951 – Feb. 10, 2015

Sandra R. Thompson-Colyer, 63, Altoona, passed away Tuesday at UPMC Altoona surrounded by her loving family after a brief, yet brave, battle with cancer.

She was born in Altoona, the oldest of four daughters of the late Lester R. and Lulu (Papas) Thompson. After meeting in 1973, Sandy recently celebrated 41 years together with her true soulmate, James R. Colyer.

She leaves behind her one and only "Jim"; a daughter, Kristina (Ryan) Zlupko, who was the light of her life and to whom she often referred as "the best thing that ever happened to her"; and two grandchildren, who fondly referred to her as their "Yaya": Mia Jayne and Dominick James Zlupko. She is also survived by three sisters: Constance (Larry) Whitman, Sharon (Gary) Roudabush and Karen (Mike Wiener) Consalvo.

She will also be greatly missed by special family members, including two nieces: Tara (Donny) Wertz and Erin Whitman; a nephew, Larry Whitman Jr.; along with various other extended family members whom she loved very much.

Sandy graduated from Altoona Area High School in 1969. Upon graduation and after working briefly at the Naval Department in Arlington, Va., she worked for the majority of her career at Butterick/Vogue as a customer service representative and switchboard operator. She remained with them until the very last day the Altoona plant was open in 2001. From there, she worked briefly at Sel-Lo Oil, then at Altoona Regional Health System as supervisor of the communications department, then as supervisor of Greeter Services at Station Medical Center, where she greatly enjoyed her position and eagerly greeted every visitor with the happy smile and disposition she was widely known as having.

Sandy was not only a devoted spouse, an extremely loving mother and "Yaya," and a kind and caring sister and family member, but she also had the biggest and most selfless heart a person could possibly have. She adored her daughter, Tina, and supported her in every endeavor she pursued. She was her grandchildren's biggest fan, especially while watching Mia dance on the Mishler stage "just like her Mommy used to" and watching Dominick as he practiced his skills to be a "professional WWE wrestler," which they both shared a mutual love of watching together.

Sandy, however, took greatest pride in watching her husband, Jim, play his bass guitar in many bands over the years, and she was his absolute biggest fan no matter what he played or where the venue was located. She could always be found right in the front section enjoying every second of the music they both loved and fell in love to over all those years ago.

Sandy will be greatly missed by all who knew her and by those whose lives she touched in her selfless and caring way.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, 2015, at Santella Funeral Home, where a funeral service will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015.

As Sandy was an avid Penn State fan and supporter of THON, in lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Sandy's name to the Four Diamonds Fund, whose mission is to conquer childhood cancer by assisting children treated at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Children's Hospital and their families through superior care, comprehensive support and innovative research. Donations should be made out to Four Diamonds and mailed to Maureen Kilian, 104 IST Building, University Park, PA 16802.

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