Cover photo for Sandra Thomson's Obituary
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1957 Sandy 2024

Sandra Thomson

February 16, 1957 — June 3, 2024

Williamsburg, Massachusetts

Sandra Thomson, of Williamsburg, Massachusetts, and Casavells, Spain, died on June 3, 2024, in Burlington, Mass. She was 67.

Sandy was born with a congenital heart defect that at the time could not be repaired, and the original prognosis was grim—her doctors believed she likely wouldn’t make it to 20. The condition caused significant challenges—especially in later years—but it also led to a fierce will to live, a love of life, and a determination to defy any restrictions that her doctors, family members, or others would put on her full engagement with the world. Instead, she embraced a broad, active, and unending curiosity about life on planet Earth.

In high school, she spent a semester in Spain, and in college, a year in the UK. She had long sojourns in Yugoslavia and Thailand, lived and taught English in Japan, settled for several years each in Capitola, California and Los Angeles, Miami and Cummington, Massachusetts, and spent the last decade or so splitting her time between the US and Spain. She was an avid swimmer. She flew in small planes, sailed in open-ocean sailboats with her husband Richard, and even took up hang-gliding for a spell. She loved being out in the world and reveled in new experiences and favorite places, especially Cape Cod and the hills of Western Massachusetts. Along the way, she worked in finance, as an executive assistant, and as a shiatsu therapist. And everywhere she went, she made friends with humans and other animals, especially cats & dogs. She was also a voracious reader and recommender of books, an avid writer, and an impassioned commenter on the mess humans have made of things. 

 In her last year, Sandy could no longer fly, so she took her final trip home to the US in style aboard the Queen Mary, on which she suffered a stroke just as the ship was docking in New York. She was, as usual, determined to recover but was exhausted by the challenging physical therapy, and after nearly a month—and five decades after doctors predicted—her super-hard-working heart finally gave out.

Sandy is survived by her devoted husband, Richard Shepard, of Casavells, Spain; father, Peter Thomson, of Boston; brothers Peter and James Thomson and Bill Clift, of Jamaica Plain, Williamsburg, Mass. and Santa Fe, New Mexico; sister Suzanne Price of Toronto; and countless Thomson and Pearmain cousins, nieces and nephews around the world. She was predeceased by her mother, Anne Pearmain Thomson, sister, Wendy Thomson, and stepmother, Elizabeth Thomson.

A memorial gathering will be held at a later date. 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Sandy’s name to the environmental or animal welfare organization of your choice.

Arrangements under the care of Concord Funeral Home, 74 Belknap Street, Concord, MA 01742   978-369-3388 www.concordfuneral.com

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