Although she sometimes said that she had no real passion in life, those who knew her knew better. Sandy's passion was her ohana-the family, friends, and strangers she loved and cared for so well. A devoted daughter, a forgiving wife, a fiercely loving mother and grandmother, and a true friend, Sandy's passion was a gift.
A child of Hawaii, Sandy was born on February 19, 1959 in Honolulu, the eldest daughter of the late Roy Shimabukuro and Florence Nakasone Shimabukuro. She is the sister of Jill (David) Palmer and Scott (Kathleen Chu) Shimabukuro, and the beloved aunt of Lindsay, Robin, Sky, and Toby. She graduated Punahou School before attending the University of Michigan, where she graduated in 1981. She subsequently earned an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.
A woman of Pittsburgh, Sandy lived in western Pennsylvania since 1983, where she created a home and family with her husband of 37 years, Daniel J. Buysse. Sandy is the beloved mother of Caitlin (Abdullah Kandil) Buysse, Allison Buysse, and Evan Buysse, and the proud grandmother of Layla and Rayan Kandil. She instilled values of family, education, responsibility, and independence in each of her children.
In addition to her family, Sandy held decades-long friendships from every phase of her life. She worked for 9 years as a "cuddler" in the Magee Womens Hospital NICU, and taught English as a second language. She was a voracious reader, enjoyed travel, and made sure her family was steeped in the setting, culture, and family values of her native Hawaii.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Sandy's ashes will be scattered at Leahi (Diamond Head), overlooking Honolulu and in sight of her childhood home. Donations can be made to Animal Friends of Pittsburgh, the International Rescue Committee, or the charity of your choice.
A hui hou makou, aloha makou ia 'oe.