Nadine Marie Sand

Aug. 25, 1935 – July 17, 2020

Nadine Marie (Bunker) Sand, 84, Buffalo, went home to her Lord and Savior July 17, 2020, with her family at her side after a brief illness unrelated to COVID-19.

Nadine was born Aug. 25, 1935, in Wolf Point, Roosevelt County, Montana  to Raymond (Ray) Earl and Vera Emily (Byxbe) Bunker. She was the second child of five.

Nadine attended primary school at Lake Blaine School and graduated from Flathead High School. She completed her nursing degree at St. Patrick’s Hospital School of Nursing in Missoula as a registered nurse.

Nadine married Jerome Mathias Sand on Dec. 4, 1954, in Kalispell, Montana. From this marriage Nadine had two children, Raymond and Colleen.

She shared many stories about growing up on the farm, located north of Lake Blaine, and having her paternal grandparents nearby. Nadine enjoyed adventures with her siblings, swimming, hiking and simple sibling shenanigans, such as hiking up Blaine Mountain to see the avalanche the family had watched one morning. She just had to see it up close! Friends who hiked with the Bunker kids would complain about those “Bunks” and their long legs. One time, the five kids went to pick huckleberries on the mountain. For the trip down they decided to fasten the boxes full of berries to their backs. When they got home they had juice running down their backs. All the kids said they came down the mountain at usual speed and they guessed it was just a bit too rough. As an adult, family was most important to her. She loved to share her Lake Blaine property as well as her home to family and friends. Her family will always treasure the many picnics, swimming, water skiing, snowmobiling, holidays and trips with her. She loved her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and shared how proud she was of them with everyone.

Over the years, her career paths changed. She enjoyed the challenge of working with Dr. Lipenski as a surgical nurse. After his retirement, she continued working as a nurse for Dr. Sapp. Being a nurse for a pediatrician wasn’t her calling. Nadine retired as regional office manager for the State of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. In her retirement and after her divorce, she enjoyed living in Gilbert, Arizona where she loved the sunshine and daily walks to the park. She could be found regularly in the stands watching baseball games and cheering the teams on. The last five years, she resided with her brother, Mark, and sister-in-law, Joan, in Buffalo. She enjoyed the close small town environment where everyone does know your name. She felt it was important to stay physically active. When COVID-19 forced the senior center to close, she missed her twice weekly exercise classes. She continued to walk 2 miles a day until the last week of her life. 

Over 20 years, Nadine opened her home to more than 60 foster children. She was honored with an award from the Montana State Foster Parents Organization for her untiring efforts. Life was never dull with a house full of children, and she wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Her family would love to hear from any of those who would like to reach out.

Nadine is survived by her son Raymond (Jeanne) Sand, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Daughter Colleen (Doug) Bowman, Pasco, Washington. Grandchildren, Christina Sand (Jeremy) Wilke, Nicholas (Alyssa) Bowman, Christopher Bowman, Holly Bowman and Lydia Bowman. Great-grandchildren, Tanner Wilke, Lexi Wilke, and Ryleigh Bowman. Brothers, Kenneth Bunker, Kalispell, Montana, sister-in-law Geraldine Bunker, Kalispell, Montana, Mark (Joan) Bunker Buffalo, sister Barbara (Mark) Hayes, Missoula, Montana and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Nadine was preceded by her parents Raymond and Vera (Byxbe) Bunker; brother Donald Bunker; grandsons, David and Benjamin Bowman; nephews, Justin Carstens and Pernell Baga.

Memorial and interment will be announced when COVID-19 permits.

Thank you Mark and Joan Bunker for the amazing care given to our mother. Thank you friends and citizens of Buffalo for your kindness and caring.