Sandra L. Stuban, LTC, USA, Ret.
- October 1, 1956 - June 14, 2012
- Fairfax, Virginia
of Sandra's Passing
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Memories & CandlesPrevious
We were so sorry to find out about Sandy's passing. We have a friend who was just diagnosed with ALS and were looking for the book Sandy...Read More »
1 of 23 | Posted by: John and Barbara Tokar - VA
“Sandy and I were ROTC Nurse Counselors together. I remember what a great example she was, how excited she was when she met Steve. I've since retired...Read More »
2 of 23 | Posted by: Barbara Gilbert - Honolulu, HI
“dear stuban family,
i got to know sandra via the newsletter and her wonderful informative articles that were always so uplifting and helpful.i...Read More »
3 of 23 | Posted by: dr.shoshanna fachima
“So sorry Steve. Take comfort in the other members of your family and your friends. Don't let depression take control. As hard as it is, ask for help....Read More »
4 of 23 | Posted by: Robert Thomson - Melbourne, FL
“I read Sandy's book and was touched and inspired. I'm also an RN with ALS. My deepest condolences to Sandy's friends and relatives.
5 of 23 | Posted by: Claudia - Muncie, IN
“I met Sandy in 1995 at Tripler Hospital at the Keiki Co-Op, where I was a care-giver for Nick. She would come in after a long day with the biggest...Read More »
6 of 23 | Posted by: Lisa Karambelas - Annandale, VA
“Steve, you are a warrior, and Sandy you are his jewel. God bless you both, and Nick. Sandy and I were stationed at Tripler together, both Head...Read More »
7 of 23 | Posted by: Anita McCowen - Colorado Springs , CO
“My initial introduction to Sandy was as a Speech Pathologist while I was working at the VA Medical Center in Washington, DC. She invited me to join...Read More »
8 of 23 | Posted by: Zilpha T. Bosone - Vienna, VA
“From the moment I met Sandy Stuban in 2011, I was inspired by her incredible strength, courage, and devotion to family and community. She was a...Read More »
9 of 23 | Posted by: Megan O'Brien McLaughlin - VA
“I have known Sandy since we were both Army Nurses stationed in Augsburg, GE. We had some great times working at 34th General Hospital, traveling...Read More »
10 of 23 | Posted by: ma - leavenworth, KS - friend
“My deep condolences Steve and to your extended family. I so enjoyed seeing these wonderful photos of Sandy and your life together. She was a...Read More »
11 of 23 | Posted by: Catherine Lorenze - McLean, VA
“My sincere and deepest condolences to the Stuban and Lesher families for their great loss.
Sandy was both beautiful and couragous. I have been...Read More »
12 of 23 | Posted by: Roberta Noppe - Macomb, MI
I wish we had met years before and had the opportunity for our families to share many experiences together.
Your accomplishments as a...Read More »
13 of 23 | Posted by: Roger Kaplan - Vienna, VA
“Thank you for your determination to make a difference for others. Your courage and willingness to share your story are an inspiration that will live...Read More »
14 of 23 | Posted by: Sheree Brown-Kaplan - Vienna, VA
It was a pleasure and an honor to have served two tours with you. May your message of strength and courage continue to shine and peace...Read More »
15 of 23 | Posted by: Kristen Palaschak - Springfield, VA
While I did know you personally, I can only imagine that we would have been good friends. Your wiliness to serve others in need through...Read More »
16 of 23 | Posted by: Brian Schultz - Clifton, VA
“Sandy, may you rest in peace in God's lovng hands with Nick. Although i didn't get to know you I'm sure your life with my little buddy Stevey was...Read More »
17 of 23 | Posted by: Mike DiGiovanni - Seymour, CT
“The story of Sandra is touching and compelling. Her courage, compassion and strength are a lesson in how to live life to the fullest possible and...Read More »
18 of 23 | Posted by: Michael Pierson - Fredericksburg, VA
“Your story story touched our lives. Our prayers are with you. Rest in peace.
19 of 23 | Posted by: Joe & Debbie FitzHarris - NC
“Sandy, you have taught me so much about courage, tenacity, laughter, kindness, and love. I cherish all the wonderful times we had together. It...Read More »
20 of 23 | Posted by: Susan Jackson - Falls Church, VA
“Sandy was such a remarkable woman and I feel lucky our paths crossed through Bethlehem Lutheran Church. What a beautiful collection of pictures -...Read More »
21 of 23 | Posted by: Kristin Haynes - Annandale, VA
“Dear Sandy will always remain a cherished, loved and irreplaceable link in our extended family. Her remarkable life and the messaging she emanated to...Read More »
22 of 23 | Posted by: Lydia Antoniou - Potomac, MD
“Sandy and Steve have been inspirational to their many friends and us personally. We will forever remember their boundless love, devotion, and faith...Read More »
23 of 23 | Posted by: Stephen & Kathleen Jones - VA
Sandra L. Stuban, 55, passed away on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at her home with her husband at her side. Sandy had been living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease) since being diagnosed in 1995 while serving as an active duty Army Nurse Corps Officer.
Born October 1, 1956 in Harrisburg, Pa, Sandy was the middle daughter of Robert M. and Lois Lesher of Elizabethville, Pa.
Sandy completed her education as a nurse at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) in 1977. She subsequently earned a BS in Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania in 1981, a Master of Education degree from Boston University, and Master of Nursing and Master of Health Services Administration degrees from the University of Kansas. Most of Sandy's studies were pursued with the support of full scholarships.
Following her initial professional work as a medical telemetry nurse at HUP, Sandy received a direct commission as a US Army Nurse Corps Officer in 1981. Her military assignments included tours of duty at the Tripler Medical Center in Hawaii, Ft. Hood in Texas, 34th General Hospital in Augsburg, Germany, and as a senior Nurse Corps advisor for the Army's ROTC programs. Her final military assignment was as the Chief of Patient Education at Tripler Medical Center. In the course of her military career Sandy received numerous military awards and decorations, earned the Expert Field Medical Badge, graduated from the US Army Command and General Staff Officer Course (with honors) and was selected for early promotion to Lieutenant Colonel. It was in 1995 that she was diagnosed with ALS and subsequently medically retired from the Army in 1997.
In the years that followed, Sandy focused her attention on raising her only child, Nick, who was 2 years old at the time of Sandy's medical retirement, and on advancing awareness of and research into treatments for ALS.
Sandy was active with the ALS Association and its annual "Walk to Defeat ALS" event held at the National Mall. She authored a monthly column entitled "Advice from the Trenches" for the ALS Association's national newsletter, pieces for the Post-Polio Health International's International Ventilator Users Network newsletter, was published in the American Journal of Nursing, wrote an autobiography entitled "The Butcher's Daughter: The Story of an Army Nurse with ALS", was the patient representation to the International Ventilator Users Network, and lobbied Congress along with the American Legion to advocate for increased Aid & Attendance Allowance support for severely disabled veterans so that they had an option to remain with their families instead of being institutionalized. This last effort was particularly timely given the increasing numbers of veterans suffering life-altering injuries while in service to the Nation.
A long-time member and local chapter officer in Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing, Sandy received their Inspirational Award in 2004. Sandy also received a Special Recognition Award from the Alumni Association of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 2011.
Sandy was predeceased by her son Nick who died in January 2011 following a protracted school disciplinary proceeding that has been widely reported in the media and served as a spark for long overdue reforms in the Fairfax County Public Schools system.
She is survived by her husband, Steven M. F. Stuban; her parents, Robert and Lois Lesher of Elizabethville, PA; her sisters Teresa and Mario Accardo of Lincolnton, NC, and Sheila and Tony Shaw of Halifax, PA; her in-laws Frank and Helene Stuban of Seymour, CT, Susan and Tom Monks of Trumbull, CT and Lydia and Christos Antoniou of Potomac, MD; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins; and, eleven nieces and nephews on both sides of the family.
Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a plot shared with her son Nick (Section 64, Site 2301) on Monday, July 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM. Please assemble at the Administration Building by 1:30 PM. A funeral service will be conducted beforehand at 12:00 PM at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Fairfax. A reception will be held at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial following the burial service.
In lieu of flowers, Sandy would wish that those who knew, or knew of her, would instead take a moment and do something special to celebrate life with their family and friends. For those who wish to do more, she would ask that they consider donating to any organization that addresses teen depression and suicide prevention - one such organization serving Northern Virginia and the National Capital Region is CrisisLink - or one of the several organizations supporting research to discover a cure for ALS:
- ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI):
- Program for Neurology Research & Discovery at the University of Michigan (designate for ALS research):
- The ALS Association (designate for ALS research):
- The Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins: