Former Howell businesswoman remembered as community activist and generous benefactor

Former Howell businesswoman remembered as community activist and generous benefactor

A former Howell businesswoman and one-time Fantasy of Lights Grand Marshal is being remembered as a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and community activist.

Sandra (Sandee) Greene, surrounded by family, passed away Aug. 26th at her home in Honor, Michigan following a long illness. She was 77. Born in Detroit on Feb. 7, 1946, Greene’s parents, Gerald and Edna Sauer, were World War II Army veterans who had met and married in Paris, France following the Allied liberation. 

A 1964 graduate of Redford St. Mary’s High School, she relocated to Howell with her three daughters in the 1970s, and married the love of her life, Don Greene, on April 4, 1980. Sandee managed Don’s busy optometry practice (The Vision Shoppe) in Howell for 33 years. She also turned her deep love of Christmas into a thriving business, Greene’s Christmas & Gifts Gallery, which she ran from 1991 to 2001, a source of great pride; as was joining her husband as grand marshals of the Fantasy Lights Parade in Howell in 1995.

For many years, Sandee and Don enjoyed vacations, often surrounded by family, at summer and winter places on Mackinac Island and Ormond Beach, Fla. They retired nearly 20 years ago to a home on Big Platte Lake in Honor, where Sandee and Don reveled in their garden, and in visits from parents and from their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

Sandee was active in community service, including: LACASA, an organization that provides shelter and services for victims of domestic violence; the Howell Jacettes; and the Cass Community Social Services (through St. Andrews Church). She also spent several summers managing the Point Betsie Lighthouse gift shop in Frankfort.

Sandee also made numerous contributions to non-profits and causes dear to her heart, including (but not limited to), Dr. Lonnie E. Duncan Memorial Scholarship Fund, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, the Autism Self Advocacy Network, Julianna’s Wishes, Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), the American Cancer Society, and the American Humane Society. Sandee was also a proud Democrat.

According to an obituary, central to Sandee’s life for more than 57 years were her beloved family members.

“Time with her family was precious, with endless games and laughs and “mandatory fun time!”

Sandee Greene is survived by: her children, Kim Witt (husband Mike); (Jennifer Hibbard (husband Tom); Marc Greene; Stacey (husband Ron); her brother Mark Sauer (San Diego, Ca.); sister Linda Schultz (Howell, Mi.); eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. 

A memorial will be held on Saturday, September 30th at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Beulah, MI. Family visitation is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. with memorial service at 11:00 a.m. A luncheon wil follow at St. Andrews. 

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