we’ll miss you, sandy

i first met sandy and rolly richert in 1986, at first baptist church in wheaton, illinois. jeannie and i started attending there and volunteering with the junior high ministry. rolly was the interim worship leader — i can still remember him leading a verse of a song, then pulling out a trumpet from behind the pulpit (very ‘magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat’) to play a little interlude! sandy was one of the key high school ministry volunteers, and their daughter lesa was one of our junior highers.

i ended up becoming the part-time junior high pastor at that church, and got to know rolly and sandy well — they were very important supporters for me. in the years since, rolly and sandy have played recurring key roles in my life: from being critical references in my next two hiring processes, to getting me involved in leadership for the new junior high track of dc/la in 1991 (and spending time with them at every dc/la event since then), to seeing rolly and sandy move to detroit and start attending my home church (and their children graduating from the same high school as me!), to bringing their daughter lesa out to pasadena as my summer intern. and in the last 7 years, since i’ve been at ys, i’ve been blessed by spending time with them multiple times every year, as rolly directs our mainstage for all of our conventions, and sandy handled artist management and green-room hosting.

every musician who has played at a ys convention in the past several years knows sandy. and like all of us at ys, they love her.

sandy fought a very fierce battle with cancer over these past two years, ending saturday evening. i can say this with 100% honesty: sandy richert was one of the best humans i have ever met in my life — fun, gentle, loving, passionate, interested and interesting, thoughtful, highly competent, dependable, humble. 6 of us from ys are flying to detroit on thursday for the memorial service, which happens to be at my home church.

we’ll miss you, sandy. the imminence of god was clear when you were with us.

8 thoughts on “we’ll miss you, sandy”

  1. Marko,
    Please pass my thoughts and prayers to Rolly. I had the pleasure of working with them during the NYWC several years ago and then Sandy and Rolly “coached” me through the Emergent gig. Our prayers are with their family.

  2. Thanks for sharing the kind thoughts about Sandy. I heard this news earlier today in an email from my mom in Chicago. I grew up at FBC during those years and have really great memories of the Richert family. If you think of it could you mention that I’m praying for them here in Ireland? Thanks.


  3. I am deeply saddeded to learn of Sandy’s illness and subsequent passing. I had the privilege of being in the “SOUNDS”, a musical performance group that they also were a part.
    Please let the Richert family know they will indeed be in my prayers.
    Thank you for providing this vehicle of communication.
    JBU ’73

  4. Rolli, I was so dissappointed when I learned you would not be able to be at the “Sound Reunion” I was even more saddened that the reason you could not come was because of Sandi’s illness. You have always meant so much to me. Your friendship, leadership and love of God were never doubted. I which I had something to offer to sooth your familie’s grief. No matter who you are God hasa plan. He has a plan for you Rolli and for your kids. Trust in him and listen for that divine giudance in your lives. I know that with my illness, God has a plan for me. I never felt so close to the lord and his love for me than when the Sound took a few minutes and prayed with me and for me. My heart had never felt so full of love for our Lord. I trust that in the days to come you can find the relief I found at the reunion Oct.06. My prayers will be offered that you might find a place of comfort for your great loss. DR. Thomas A. Dodd

  5. Marko,

    Please pass along my love and encouragement to Rolly as well. Sandy’s smile and kindness will reside with me forever. She was the sweetest, most genuine woman I’ve ever known. In November, while discussing her prognosis, her smile could STILL radiate a room. Her positive outlook on her situation will remain a source of strength for me no matter what bumps in the road of life I face. I always looked forward to her refreshing joy at the Youth Worker Conventions.

    God, she will be missed.

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