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Sandra Suzanne Pollino
August 2, 1937 to January 31, 2010
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On January 31, 2010, Sandra Pollino, re-joined the love of her life and husband of over 51 years, Thomas, in heaven.

Sandra was born just outside of Oklahoma City, to parents Lloyd and Vera Gerber. She spent her early years in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and upstate New York. Her step-father Ken Harkema was “Dad” to Sandra and when he moved the family to Crescent City, California, Sandra became the belle of Del Norte High School. Sandra’s popularity was a direct result of her warmth and love of people. She was a yell leader, the best dancer and the campus queen.

Sandra struck off for the big city of San Francisco after graduation in 1955 to attend San Francisco City College. Soon she met a recent graduate of the University of San Francisco, Tom Pollino. Tom and Sandra continued a lifelong love of San Francisco and visited many times over the years. Their romance blossomed as Sandra worked her way through college and Tom started law school. When family responsibilities brought Tom back to his hometown of Manteca, the couple were engaged and soon married on June 23, 1957. Sandra was instantly adopted into the extended Italian family in Tom’s hometown where the couple settled down to start a family.

Sandra’s love of children was legendary. She started her teaching career in 1957, when she was only 20 years old. Sandra became “Mama” Pollino for the first time in 1958. Everyone was welcome in her home and she was Mom to far more than her own four children. There was never a shortage of food on the table or love in the home.
In 1968, Sandra and Tom moved their family of 6 (plus Tom’s grandmother, Sarah Pollino) to Mount Vernon, Wash., from Salinas, CA. They made the most of the challenges this brought by embracing their new community and giving of themselves. Sandra supported Tom’s charitable endeavors and participated in various civic organizations and charitable activities.

In 1974, she went back to college to obtain her teaching certificate to teach in Washington. Despite caring for four children on a full-time basis, she obtained her BA and began teaching primary grades in Conway, Washington, in 1977. She moved to the Burlington School District in 1979, and continued there until her retirement in 1992..

Sandra is survived by her four children, Tom Pollino, Regina Hedin (Michael), Chris Pollino, John Pollino and grandchildren Santina, Sarah, Gianna and Grace Hedin, Taylor, Joseph, Lindsay and Susie Pollino, Gabrielle and Vincent Pollino and Richard, Keith and Laurilee McBride and her brother Kenneth Harkema. She was predeceased by her husband Thomas J. Pollino and her sisters Donna Ira and Mary Gholston.

Services will be held at Immaculate Conception Church on Friday, February 5. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Thomas and Sandra Pollino Memorial Scholarship for Leadership and Public Service in care of Skagit State Bank at PO Box 285, Burlington, WA, 98233.
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Friday, Feb. 5, 2010