Farewell to Stacie Sandifer, Attorney, Mother, Wife, Sister, and Friend
With many roles, in locations spanning coasts and desert, Stacie Victoria (Sonnek) Sandifer brought common themes to everyone she encountered: kind-heartedness and infectious joy. With a playful spirit that belied her decades of wisdom, Stacie had a way of making everyone in her life feel as if they were the most important person (or dog) in her world.
Born in Oswego, NY, to Warren (Bob) and Sage Sonnek, Stacie was the eldest of three sisters. She graduated from Metuchen High School in NJ before migrating to Charleston, SC, for undergraduate studies. At the College of Charleston, Stacie joined the Chi Omega sorority, majored in English and History, and met her late husband, Frank Sandifer, who shared her passion for poetry and songs.
Moving to northern Virginia, Stacie started as a 4th grade teacher, hand creating word games for her students to help them grow vocabulary and understand grammar. She went on to a 25 year career as an award-winning North Atlantic real estate broker. While in VA, Stacie had a daughter, Austen Elizabeth Sandifer, and son, Drew SonnekSandifer. She was an active mother, volunteering in classrooms, supporting after-school activities, and being present for her children’s passions, joys, and sorrows. She also nursed and nurtured Frank when he became ill and ultimately passed.
Bravely starting a new phase of her life and love, Stacie moved to northern CA, in the East Bay area. With the support of her husband, Alan Petsche, Stacie began a new career trajectory as a computer analyst. She also became a stepmom to Steven and Joe Petsche, both of whom she loved. Late in life, Stacie decided to follow a long-postponed dream, going to graduate school to obtain her law degree; she passed the California Bar on her first attempt. Stacie published an article on graffiti as copyrightable communications in John F. Kennedy University Law Review. She practiced family and elder law, as a pro bono attorney.
With her husband, Alan, Stacie started the non-profit organization Comfy Creek to gather donations of teddy bears and send them to children in need, whether because of natural disasters or illness. One of their biggest drives was in response to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Stacie retired with Alan in Goodyear, AZ, where she resided upon her passing. She loved playing games (especially word games), singing songs as a family, swimming, making greeting cards for loved ones, and taking photographs of nature.
Stacie passed peacefully on July 7, 2022, surrounded by her family. She was preceded in death by her late husband, Francis H. Sandifer; her sister, Desra Sonnek; and her father, Bob Sonnek. She leaves behind many who love her, including her husband, Alan Petsche; her children, Austen Sandifer, Drew Sandifer, Joe Petsche, and Steven Petsche; her beloved grandson, Brody Sandifer-Williams (to whom she was “GranaTacie”); her mother, Sage Sonnek; her sister, Kristie Kinsman; two nieces, Kyle Myers and Kendall Kinsman; two nephews, Brent and Blake Sonnek-Schmelz; and her sweet dogs, Gabriella and Macie Mae.
Stacie will be interred at Fairview Cemetery, in Westfield, NJ, with services at Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home at 1:00 p.m. on July 18. In lieu of flowers, please send donations of money or stuffed bears in Stacie’s honor to: Phoenix Children’s Hospital (Phoenix, AZ) www.phoenixchildrens.org or Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments (in East Bay, CA) save-dv.org. Also, the next time you wish on a star, think of Stacie twinkling down on you, reminding you to believe in wishes and find your smile.
For additional information or to send condolences, please contact www.higginsandbonner.com.