Sandra Joyce Gilbert Allen

Sandra Joyce Gilbert Allen, 78, of Orlando, Florida, passed away on March 18, 2024. Daughter of Alfred and Stella Gilbert, she was born in Norwich, Connecticut.

Her family moved to Homestead, Florida in 1954. Sandi established herself in the South Dade High School marching band as a majorette. As a senior, she had the opportunity to lead her band in an Orange Bowl Parade.

A proud Seminole, Sandi earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Florida State University. Although she had no formal dance training, Sandi successfully auditioned for a part in Florida State’s “Evening of Dance” performance. This university event provides an opportunity for dancers to present their work to a wider audience and for the community to experience the artistry of dance. While home for summer break, Sandi met Herbert Allen, an Army lieutenant stationed at Homestead Air Force Base. They began dating and later married on April 27, 1968. For a time, the young married couple lived in Gainesville, Florida, and later Princeton, New Jersey. In 1972, Herb and Sandi moved back to Florida and settled in the Conway area of Orlando.

Sandi busied herself with PTA volunteering at Shenandoah Elementary School, playing tennis at Fort Gatlin, serving as Eucharistic Minister at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, and being the chief chauffeur for her three children, Matthew, Gregory, and Julie. In her later years, Sandi embraced the role of a grandmother, finding immense joy in the love shared with her five grandchildren. She especially enjoyed breaking out in an occasional dance party with them.

Sandi was preceded in death by her parents, Alfred and Stella Gilbert, brother Alfred Gilbert Jr., and nephew Michael Gilbert. Sandi is survived by her husband of 56 years, Herbert, sons Matthew and Gregory, daughter Julie Lahti (Christopher Lahti), granddaughters Abby Allen, Grace Allen, and Caroline Allen, grandsons Matthew Lahti and Alex Lahti, sister Jane O’Brien, nieces Erin O’Brien (John Kileen), Elizabeth Lewis (Carl Lewis) and Karen Barker (Garry Barker), and nephew Kevin Gilbert.

The family extends its deepest gratitude to the compassionate staff at Memory Lane Cottage of Oviedo and the dedicated care team from Vitas Hospice. Their unwavering dedication and tender care provided solace and comfort to Sandi during her final days.

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