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Sandy L. Alston

Sandy L. Alston

Sandra Lee (Boyden) Alston passed away gracefully Saturday, May 6, 2006 at Rogue Valley Medical Center after a long and valiant struggle with ovarian cancer. Funeral Mass will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, May 12 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 10th and Oakdale in Medford. Memorial contributions may be made to Sacred Heart School, 431 Ivy Street Medford, OR 97501.

Sandy was born in Medford, Ore. on December 31, 1954 to Mark and Joan Boyden. A lifelong resident of Medford, Sandy graduated from Medford Senior High School and Oregon State University. She was active in 4-H from a young age and continued her work with 4-H until the time of her death, serving as an assistant leader with the Westside Rabitteeres and also as a member of the 4-H executive committee. She loved animals and young people and the two fit nicely together as she raised three children in a 4-H family. She worked as a technical coordinator at Bear Creek Corporation, now known as Harry and David for almost 20 years and developed an extended gathering of friends there that meant the world to her. Sandy was also very involved in the Catholic Church, Saint Mary's High School and Sacred Heart Elementary School. Along with her family and her unwavering faith in God and Jesus, the friends she made in those schools, Harry and David and 4-H made it possible for her to face a devastating and painful illness with a smile that was always noticed and will never be forgotten.

Sandy was active in beef cattle, horses, dogs, cooking, poultry, forestry and just about every imaginable club she could find to better her head, heart, hands and health. As a young woman, she showed cattle, dogs and poultry up and down the west coast and took pride in breeding and raising some of the best animals and birds on the circuit at the time, including Non-Bearded Silkies, Cochin bantam chickens, several varieties of Guinea Fowl and Registered Horned Herefords.

Before starting a family, Sandy traveled extensively around the world, including South America, Europe and Canada. After starting her family, some of Sandy's greatest joys were watching her children compete in sports and other extracurricular activities, taking annual spring break vacations to Disneyland and Maui, family reunions at the Oregon Coast and spending many summer weekends at the family cabin at Howard Prairie Lake.

Sandy met her husband, Delbert (Bud) Alston, while showing animals during the summer of 1980 at the Oregon State Fair. After their relationship grew from friendly competitors to true soul mates, they married in October of 1982, resulting in a marriage lasting over 23 years that will continue throughout eternity. This union produced two devoted sons, Nick Alston, 22, of Oregon State University, James Alston, 20, of Oregon State University and one adoring daughter, Katie Alston, 10, of Medford. In addition to her children, she is survived by her father, Mark Boyden of Medford; her brother, Dan Boyden and his wife, Julie of Hood River, Ore.; as well as their three sons, Josh, Nate and Luke. She was preceded in death by her mother, Joan Neil Boyden.