Sandra Kaye Baines Spivey

Published 5:41 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2022

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Sandra Kaye Baines Spivey, 71, was born on March 6, 1951 and passed away July 17, 2022. She spent her earliest years in Whaleyville, VA enjoying the smell of the dust from peanut harvests on her family’s farm. She was the daughter of the late Willie Floyd “Paw-Paw” Baines, a man of enduring kindness, and Minnie Taylor Baines, who expressed her love by making peach ice cream.

Sandra was predeceased by her husband of fifty-one years, Lud Lorenzo “Ren” Spivey and her brother, Jack Baines.

A professional educator, Sandra spent much of her career as Librarian and Media Specialist at Booker T. Washington Elementary School where she taught thousands of children to read. She graduated from Forest Glen High School (1969) and earned both her Bachelor of Arts (1973) and Master of Education (1992) at Old Dominion University.

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Sandra spent her life championing the importance of literacy, and she trusted the power and truth of science. A regular donor to PBS, Sandra loved British episodic television almost as much as she loved watching reruns of “The Waltons.” She never met a piece of chocolate she didn’t like. Because she struggled with depression throughout her adult life, she believed speaking about mental illness transparently is important. She demonstrated boundless compassion but never suffered fools gladly. Deeply philosophical, she mused, “The meaning of life is to be kind to others and care for the earth.”

Sandra is survived by her two children, Lauren Alexis Spivey Levwood (William) of Richmond, VA, and Jonathan Baines Spivey of New York City. She also leaves behind a witty and fiercely compassionate granddaughter, Haya Sophia Levwood, a voracious reader who inherited her love of books from her “GranHannah.” Sandra is also survived by sister Jean Lindblom, brother Donnie Baines (Darlene), and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Anyone who loves to read is family to Sandra.

A Celebration of Life service will be held Sunday, July 24, 2022, promptly at 2:00 PM, indoors in the air-conditioned rotunda at Norfolk Botanical Garden at 6700 Azalea Garden Road, Norfolk, VA. Early arrival at 1:30pm is encouraged. Attendees are encouraged to wear a bit of green, which was Sandra’s favorite color, and to bring a book for a casual “bring a book, take a book” exchange prior to the service. Free parking is convenient to the rotunda. Masks are requested for the indoor service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to your favorite public or elementary school library or the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Condolences may be registered online at