Sandra “Sandy” Marie Gutierrez
Sandra Marie Gutierrez, age 68, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on March 5, 2022 at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, New Jersey. She was born April 18, 1953, to her mother Almeirinda Costa and her father Manuel Costa in Ludlow, Massachusetts.
In 2014, Sandy retired after 39 years as a beloved elementary school teacher at Hooper Elementary School in Toms River, New Jersey. Teaching kindergarten, first, and second grade over the course of her career, Sandy loved molding young minds, with past students and coworkers often keeping in touch long after her retirement. These coworkers and students were like a second family at “The Hoop.” After she retired, Sandy’s passion became her three grandchildren: Braelyn, 5, Cayden, 4, and Deegan, 1. Sandy cherished watching her grandchildren grow, taking them to the park, sporting events, and sharing her favorite activity, decorating Christmas cookies. She similarly treasured her time with her beloved husband, George, with whom she ran their family farm, traveled the world, and visited campsites in their RV. At the first signs of spring, you could find Sandy gardening in her backyard, and she took pride in each flower that bloomed. She found joy and purpose in the animals that were born each year on the Gutierrez Farm, where she would name all the newborn lambs. Sandy took the saying “counting sheep” quite literally. She loved checking on her animals every morning.
Whether it was her animals, students, or grandchildren, Sandy exemplified absolute devotion and an unrelenting commitment to the people and endeavors that she cared about. She was as loyal as they come, always putting her close friends and family first. Even in the most challenging moments of her illness, never once did Sandy lose hope. She was resilient, strong, and courageous to the very end. Her torch will be carried on by everyone who loved her.
Sandy is survived by her husband, George; her three children, Elena Zeller and her husband Corey, George Gutierrez and his wife Laura, Deana Gutierrez and her fiancé Aidan Quest; and her three grandchildren.
Celebration of Life in Honor of Sandra Gutierrez
Sunday, March 20, 2022
Toms River Country Club
419 Washington Street
Toms River, NJ 08753
If those who are attending would like to do so, the family is requesting you bring your favorite childhood book, which will be donated to Hooper Avenue Elementary School in Sandra’s name.
As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions on behalf of Sandra may be sent to Hooper Avenue Elementary PTO.
Hooper Avenue PTO
1517 Hooper Avenue
Toms River, NJ 08753