SUN VALLEY, ID - Sandy McKew died in her sleep, in the mountains she loved in Sun Valley, Idaho, on July 18, 2019.
Born Mary Sandra Rechtsteiner in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 2, 1947, she and her beloved husband of 49 years Walter Martin McKew had been residents of Hudson, Ohio for 30 years. She is preceded in death by her parents, Carl & Ruth Rechtsteiner, and her older brother Steve Rechtsteiner; and survived by Walt, her daughters Quinn and Molly, adored son in law Rob, grandchildren Tiernan and Tristan, and siblings Mark and Carol.
Mischievous and independent from the start, Sandy graduated from St. Mary’s College with a degree in political science and a minor in music, which she studied during a year spent abroad in Vienna, where she also discovered the magic of pastry. During her travels in Europe, she hitchhiked to Israel with a friend, arriving just in time for the Six Day War — a story she never told her parents.
An ardent feminist and activist her whole life, she had a long and successful career as a city planner and civil engineer, and would grumble to anyone in the car with her about poorly designed traffic flow.
Sandy discovered Sun Valley on her first day in Idaho in 1980, dragged along by her Hemingway-obsessed husband — and immediately fell in love. She would often let her young daughters play hooky from school for day trips, searching out all the best pools and hot springs and trails for spring wildflowers. She taught her daughters, both graduates of Western Reserve Academy, independence and stubbornness, and was proud to see them pursue careers full of challenges and adventures.
Idaho was also where Sandy discovered her other passion — cooking — and she became an accomplished home chef. She readily gave out her recipes, but they were always missing ingredients, and you could never be sure if that was on purpose or not — but hers always tasted better, regardless.
The McKews moved to Hudson in 1989, where Sandy ran a city planning/civil engineering consultancy that contributed to projects in Hudson, across northeast Ohio, and far beyond. In retirement, they spent more and more of their time back in Idaho, surrounded by friends and beauty. Sandy loved to watch the sunset from the pool at the Bluffs, waiting for the ducks to fly over, wherever they were going. She made it back for one last sunset.
A memorial service will be held at St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church in Sun Valley, Idaho at 10:00am on Thursday, July 25, and is open to friends, especially those in Hawaiian shirts. Memorial donations can be made to the Community Library in Ketchum, Idaho (www.comlib.org). Condolences can be sent via PO Box 1235, Sun Valley, Idaho 83353, (HH 07/28/19).