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Sandra Rose LaRocco-Johnson, age 63, passed away on Thursday September 6, 2018 with her husband at her side.
Sandra was born in Torrington CT on September 2, 1955, the daughter of Elia Michael LaRocco and Eva Ann D'Amato LaRocco. She attended Saint Peter Catholic School, Torrington High School, and was an active member of the YMCA where she a became a Leaderette. While at the Y, she taught swimming and gymnastics, and was a lifeguard and a member of the "TRI HI Y". Sandra loved the time she spent at the Y and would often talk fondly of her experiences there.
Before starting her college career, Sandra took some time off. She got her license to drive an 18-wheeler and traveled to many parts of the US. She then attended the University of Connecticut and later transferred to Rivier University in Nashua New Hampshire where she earned a BS in Business Administration. Sandra also completed several teacher education courses at the University of Hartford in Hartford CT.
On August 24, 1986, Sandra married Todd F. Johnson in Torrington, CT. During this time, Sandra was employed by James Morris School in Morris CT as a teacher's assistant working with children disabilities. While there, she also helped to coach the girls’ basketball team.
Sandra loved to walk and often challenged herself to go above and beyond the typical stroll. While living in Winsted CT, she walked 100 miles over 6 days from our house to Misquamicut RI. She carefully planned the route and places to stay along the way and was supported by her family, arriving at the beach to a celebration in her honor. When living in Oak Island, Sandra decided to walk 30 miles in a day. She and Todd determined that meant traversing the island twice plus another half mile or so. She started early in the morning and finished after the sun had set, it was a proud achievement for her and her family.
Sandra loved to garden and was a member of the Chatham County NC Extension Master Gardener for several years. Sandra was the consummate hostess when entertaining family and friends. Whether she was giving a party or hosting overnight guests, Sandra always took care to make her guests feel at home. Her attention to detail mirrored the finest hotel.
In 1995, Sandra and Todd moved to Oak Island NC. They lived there for five years dodging multiple hurricanes with their three dogs. In 2000, they moved to Pittsboro, NC and soon afterwards traveled to Ukraine and brought home their son smiling eyes Sergei who Sandra loved dearly. Drawing on her teaching assistant experiences and education coursework, Sandra home schooled Sergei in 3rd and 4th grade. Not surprisingly, Sandra infused gardening, cooking, and walking into the curriculum. These hands-on learning opportunities served to strengthen an already close mother son bond.
She was preceded in death by her parents Elia Michael LaRocco and Eva Ann D'Amato LaRocco; paternal grandparents Angelo (Giuralarocca) and Rosa Diazo LaRocco; maternal grandparents Joseph D'Amato and Jennie Rinaldi D'Amato; uncles Anthony LaRocco, Willard Fritch, Chester D'Amato, Frank D'Amato, and Henry Roy; aunts Anna Negri, Rose LaRocco Ferrier, Katherine Roy, Betty LaRocco Anderson, Grace LaRocco, and Luci LaRocco.
Sandra is survived by her husband Todd Frederick Johnson; son Sergei Elia Johnson; siblings Joanne LaRocco Murphy and Dr. Diana Joyce LaRocco of Torrington CT and Miss Karen Elia LaRocco of Pittsboro NC.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the cancer charity of your choice.
A private gathering is planned for a later date.
Online condolences may be made at www.knottsfuneralhome.com
Arrangements by Knotts Funeral Home - Pittsboro, NC