The last family owned funeral home in Thurston County.

Woodlawn Funeral Home Obituaries

Sandra Lee Haddad-Graves , Age: 74
March 21, 1948 - March 19, 2023

Sandra “Lee” Haddad Graves passed away peacefully on March 19th, 2023, just a few days shy of her 75th birthday, succumbing to complications from a near lifelong degenerative neuromuscular disease.  Sandra grew up in Detroit, attending high school and completing a Bachelor’s degree at Oakland University.  She acquired a Master of Arts in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Michigan.  


One of Sandra’s strongest characteristics was her quiet independence, and her determination in the face of a challenge.  Not one to be limited by her impairments, she moved with her husband to Washington State, where she began a career in state government, providing counseling, guidance, and vocational rehabilitation services to individuals who were returning to work or changing careers after an injury.  She was guided by her unique perspective on disability as she championed the rights of others to work, during a time when employment rights for people with disabilities were in their infancy.  Her determination and positivity in the face of difficulty inspired those who knew her.


Sandra was also known for her enormous heart.  She sought opportunities among her large extended family and friends to provide meaningful mentorship to those just establishing careers and families of their own.  More than just a good listener, she had a gift for connecting with young people, and recognizing their individual strengths, which she always found a way to nurture and support.  She had an uncanny knack for meeting people exactly where they were in life, and lifting them up.  


After she retired, Sandra devoted herself to one of her early passions, writing short stories and novels.  Her writing ranged from an allegorical novel to a whimsical story about two bears who travel to Washington D.C. to pursue politics, to stories set in the Detroit of her youth.  Almost more important than the writing itself, she joined and hosted a local community of writers in regular writer’s groups, supporting others in honing their craft.  When she wasn’t writing or reading, Sandra spent time outside her home in the woods; she cherished listening to the rustling of the leaves and watching the forest find its rhythm.  


Sandra was devoted to her husband Glenn Graves, and to her family. She is survived by her son Jonathan, his wife Ami and their three children, sister Bonnie Ann Schulz, brother Tony Haddad and his wife Gwen, and countless nieces, nephews and cousins.  Sandra will be deeply missed. 


In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

Views: 0