Sandra Francis

Sandra Lindsay Francis

Tuesday, August 27th, 1940 - Friday, August 14th, 2020
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Captain Sandra L. “Sandy” Francis, USN- RET, age 79, left for the “Final Frontier” on August 14, 2020 in Palatka, FL. Sandy, while a resident of Fredericksburg, VA, snow birded every year to Interlachen, FL for the winter.
Born August 27, 1940, eldest child of Col. Arthur C. Peterson (USA) and Dorothy W. Peterson (Shannahan) in Worcester, MA. As an “Army Brat,” Sandy grew up all over the United States. She graduated valedictorian of Antilles High School, San Juan, Puerto Rico. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at the University of Florida, where she was a member of Sigma Kappa Sorority. Sandy decided to join the US Navy and attended Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Newport, RI where she was commissioned an Ensign in the US Navy. While in the Navy, Sandy also earned her Master’s Degree in Personnel Management from Pepperdine University.
Highlights of her 27-year Navy career that she was most proud of included:
Commanding Officer, Naval Communications Station, Treasure Island, CA Executive Officer, Navy Recruiting District, New Orleans, LA Commanding Officer of Navy Recruiting Station, Houston, TX Department Head, Equal Employment Office, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Washington, D.C. during which time she worked with the Defense Advisory Committee for Women in the Service, (DACOWITS) traveling with them around the world in support of equal rights and opportunities for Navy Women. As her last duty station, she was assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency where she promoted equal employment opportunities for members of all the branches of the military. She retired in 1990.
In retirement, Sandy went back to school and got a second Master’s degree in Education from George Mason University. Upon graduation, she tutored middle school age children in math and reading at Sylvan Learning Center. She was a voracious reader and using the Harry Potter series of books instilled a love of reading in her students.
Sandy was an avid Star Trek fan and enjoyed many Star Trek themed cruises and conventions with her friends and family. She loved to travel and camp, towing her Coleman Popup camper all over the US. She also enjoyed playing duplicate contract bridge and played in bridge clubs in Fredericksburg, VA and Palatka, FL
While on active duty and in retirement, Sandy spent many years as a Girl Scout Troop leader supporting many girls and young women through Girl Scout trips, activities and fundraising She continued as a scout leader even after her daughter, Samantha, graduated and left scouting. Sandy had a passion for mentoring and promoting confidence in young people.
Sandy is survived by her daughter, Samantha Francis of Brunswick, MD, and partner Karl Musser, sister Karen Liebel of Houston, TX, niece Kristen Naumko and husband Andres of Houston, TX, sister-of-heart and best friend Lise Faircloth, two great-nephews, and many friends, Naval buddies, traveling companions, graduated Girl Scouts and many others whose lives she touched.
She is predeceased by her parents and her ex-husband, Nigel “Doug” Francis, LCDR, USN-RET, and her other sister-of-heart, Faye Olsen.
Due to COVID, a memorial and final burial in Arlington Cemetery will occur in 2021. A virtual wake may also be scheduled. Email to be notified of details.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Women in Military Service for America Memorial (WIMSA), aka the Women’s Memorial, would help to preserve the rich history of women’s military contributions, including Sandy’s career. Learn more at
An additional option for donations would be the American Lung Association, at

Memories and condolences may be expressed to the family at Sandy’s Book of Memories page at .
Arrangements are under the direction of Johnson-Overturf Funeral Home in Interlachen.
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Larry 'Woody' Woodbury

Posted at 08:46pm
I was greatly saddened to learn that Sandy has passed away.!!😢

I was a high school classmate of hers at Antilles High in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Sandy Peterson was very well liked and was very smart, as evidenced as her being the class Valedictorian. I always liked being with her. The photo shows an award that she received which only went to the top 1/2 % of all the nation's high school seniors.

I was pleased that she served in the US Navy. I did also - as a carrier pilot with two deployments to Viet Nam and was not shot down.

Her obit shows that she lived a full life and had accomplished many important things.

My heart felt condolences are sent with love to her family and close friends.

Larry Woodbury
8585 W Rioja St.
Star, Idaho 83669

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