Obituary for Sandra Elaine Walsby Kesselman
November 29, 1936 – July 18, 2020
Sandy was born on November 29, 1936 in Newark, New Jersey. She resided there with her parents Lou and Sally, her younger brother Alan, and her Aunt Clarise until the family moved to Los Angeles, California.
Sandy attended North Hollywood High School and later went on to attend UC Berkeley. She became a beloved and respected teacher with a long and successful career. She worked in a variety of schools in the inner city of Los Angeles, Jewish day schools, and finally at the distinguished Buckley School before her retirement. She was a mother who encouraged the creativity and achievements of her own children. Sandy was ahead of her time, campaigning for the right to equal opportunity and justice for all ethnicities, races, and religions. Sandy learned to speak fluent Spanish as an adult simply to become a better teacher. She was a political activist who worked with the Los Angeles Teachers Union as well as various Temples throughout the city.
Sandy was a free spirit; never afraid to express her opinions and beliefs no matter where she was. She was an avid reader and a published poet. She loved to dance — especially Improvisational dance in Venice, CA — despite the vigorous objections of her children. In her later years, she bravely traveled alone through Ireland and parts of Europe purely for adventure.
She is survived by her dedicated husband, Jerry Pawl, 89 years young. Sandy is also survived by her four children through her former husband, Jack Kesselman (deceased). She was proud of her three sons and one daughter. Beth Elliott, (married to John), is a classical musician and violist. David Kesselman, (married to Angela) is a commercial airline pilot. Josh Kesselman (married to Hallie) is a Hollywood producer and manager. Jonathan Kesselman, (married to Suzanne) is a screenwriter, film director, and college professor.
Sandy is also survived by her grandchildren Cole, Jorge, and Michael.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the non-profit Kadima Conservatory of Music for “The Sandy Kesselman Award”, (SKA) which will be providing music scholarships for low income families in Los Angeles. The SKA is given in the spirit of providing equal access to opportunity for all.
Sandy passed away peacefully on July 18, 2020 at home surrounded by her family in Salt Lake City.
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