Sandoval McNair, beloved daughter, sister, and friend, passed away Saturday, January 25, 2014 in Portland, Ore. from complications of flu and pneumonia, at the age of 53. Sandoval was born October 3, 1960, in Klamath Falls, Ore. to her parents, James (deceased) and Carol McNair. She graduated from Ashland Senior High School in 1978 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries Science from Oregon State University in 1983. After earning an M.Ed. teaching certificate at Western Washington University, she taught biology at Ridgefield High School in Ridgefield, Wash. from 1992 through 1997, and later worked for Portland-area businesses, including Standard Insurance Company.
Sandoval had a life-long passion for natural science and the beauty of the animal world. She was an avid bird-watcher and keeper of birds and she always had at least one or two small pet dogs, which she cared for with great devotion. She was a voracious reader, especially of science fiction and fantasy novels and she enjoyed writing poetry and prose. Sandoval was very creative, and her favorite artistic activity was making wall-hangings and soft animals from felt. She was an active member and former president of the Aurora Colony Handspinners Guild, much loved for her humor and kindness. Entertaining friends and family was another great source of happiness, and she loved to cook and decorate for parties. Christmas was the highlight of her year, and she loved to do it all: play music, prepare holiday food, make decorations, give gifts, receive gifts, and wear Christmas-tree pins and Christmas sweaters. Sandoval was never without friends. She loved people and her warm, kind spirit drew people to her. She was invariably generous, always eager to help, and would instantly rush to defend anyone she saw as an underdog.
She is survived by her mother; her step-father, Robert DeVoe; sister, Amy McNair; her step-brothers, John DeVoe and Mark DeVoe; and step-sister, Laura Boone; as well as her aunts, uncles, and cousins. The Aurora Colony Handspinners Guild is planning a memorial exhibition of her work. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Humane Society.