LEXINGTON — Sandra Rae “Sandy” McFarland, 73, of Lexington died Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, at Avamere in Lexington.

A celebration of life will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Avamere in Lexington with Chad Boling officiating.

Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington is in charge of arrangements.

In honor of Sandy her family would like you to wear purple, her favorite color, to the service.

Sandy was born Oct. 22, 1946, to Beulah (Petersen) and Calvin Alderman in Kearney. Beulah and Calvin divorced in 1956. Beulah married Stan Dowers in 1958 when Sandy was 12 years old. She grew up calling Stan “pops.” Calvin later came back into her life and they would write letters back and forth. She went to Central Elementary in Kearney and to Kearney High School. She quit school in the 10th grade, but later received her GED, which she was very proud of.

She married Sherman Burkey in July of 1963. Sandy and Sherman had three children: Tammie, Charlie and Robyn. They moved around for Sherman’s work, but wanted to settle in one spot once Tammie started school. They bought a house and land north of Elm Creek. They lived there until they were divorced in 1979. Then Sandy moved to Elm Creek until 1984 after Charlie graduated. Sandy then moved to Kearney to be closer to her parents.

In 1985, she moved to Scottsbluff where she met and fell in love with Kenny McFarland. They were married in September of 1986. They lived in Scottsbluff until they moved to Glenwood Springs, Colo. They moved back to Kearney in 1995 to be closer to family. In 2003 she moved to Lexington after Kenny became ill and passed away that August.

Sandy moved to East Lawn in Lexington until 2017, then moved to Avamere in Lexington. She was so excited to move to Avamere. She made friends there because she attended activities and Tammie worked there and she loved seeing her every day. Sandy made more friends and enjoyed her life. She would joke with the staff on a daily basis. Even in her final days she was still joking with them. She could often be heard asking other residents as she walked down the hall, “Are you coming?” “Come on.” Sandy and a couple of her table mates became very good friends. She really enjoyed their friendships and they enjoyed teasing each other.

Sandy really liked bears, pigs, fudge, puppies, kitties and of course, Elvis. She had a dog named Mikey and cats named Tabby and Hurley. One of her favorite animals was Jet the therapy horse. He gave her so many hugs and kisses. He came to visit her not that long ago and she smiled and gave him a big hug and he gave her many kisses, which made her day. Her favorite color was purple and she loved watching her birds out her window. Her favorite tradition was going to the pumpkin patch and celebrating her birthday. The grandkids had to carry their pumpkins all the way back or they couldn’t get them.

Sandy was a very hard worker. Her occupations consisted of working in the Kearney Laundry along with her mom. She was a housewife, did housekeeping and was a bartender. Her favorite occupation was being a mom, grandma and great-grandma. She tried as hard as she could to provide for her kids and give them a good life; it was not always easy. When she started to have grandkids, she loved them in her own special way. They will always cherish the memories they have of her. She loved to tease them and give them a hard time, sometimes even sticking her tongue out at them.

Sandy was a strong woman. She went through a lot in her life, including the death of her parents, a granddaughter and a husband. She had a stroke and a broken leg and worked hard to recover from both of them. She had cancer surgery and went through radiation for eight weeks like a trooper, then a broken tailbone and pelvis. The pain of this was too much and took its toll, but she kept trying to be strong and keep her sense of humor to the very end.

Sandy will be missed by so many, but we know she is no longer in pain and will be reunited with her loved ones.

She is survived by her children, Tammie (Steve) Hinrichs of Kearney, Charlie (Kelli) Burkey of Lexington and Robyn Lange of Lexington; seven grandchildren, Brandie (Marcus) Smith of Kearney, Hunter (Abby) Hinrichs of Pleasanton, Jennifer Burkey, Jessica Burkey and Curtis Refior, all of Kearney, Kris (Dayna) Burkey of Lexington, and Nikkia (Tye) Sage of Overton; seven great-grandchildren, Quinten, Ethan, Grayson, Dylan, Elexa, Topher and Breckin; and extended family and friends.

Sandy was preceded in death by her parents, Beulah and Stan Dowers and Calvin Alderman; husband, Kenny McFarland; granddaughter, Tarah Refior; and ex-husband, Sherman Burkey.

Memorials are suggested to her family for later designation.

Share online condolences with the family by visiting www.reynoldslovefuneralhome.com.

To plant a tree in memory of Sandy McFarland as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.