Sandra E. "Sandy" Apuzzo

sandra     apuzzo
Sandra (Sandy) Apuzzo, 74, passed away on Friday, November 4, 2022, with her loving husband of 50 years, Paul, by her side.

Born on October 30, 1948, in New Haven, Connecticut, she was the daughter of Joseph I. Tupko and Sophie (Brunning) Tupko. Youngest sister to Joseph A. Tupko and Linda Arendt.

Sandy attended West Haven High School and then Southern Connecticut State College where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in elementary teaching and a minor in Math. The next year she completed a Master of Arts degree in Psychology.

Sandy met Paul at a dance (mixer) at Southern during her senior year and dated for 2 years before marrying. Her first teaching job was at Derby Elementary in Derby Connecticut as a 2nd grade teacher. She loved those children and always said that teaching 2ND grade was her fondest teaching experience.

Six months after their marriage Paul was drafted into the Army for Vietnam but decided to join the Air Force and go to flight school. Sandy stayed in Connecticut to complete the teaching year before joining Paul.

Sandy and Paul together completed a 20+ year career flying for the Air Force. They were stationed in Enid, OH; Sacramento, CA; Great Falls, MT; Dayton, OH; Frankfurt, Germany; Stuttgart, Germany; Fort Walton Beach, FL. They finally retired to Herndon, VA.

Sandy and Paul adopted two children, both less than 3 weeks old: Natalie in 1979 in Billings, MT and Ryan in 1984 in Jocotepec, Mexico. Natalie and Ryan were the love of her life, and Sandy didn’t go a day without thinking or talking about them.

Sandy switched to teaching Special Education after being mentored in Great Falls, MT by Dr. Finley, foremost author of Special Education literature. She obtained a Master of Arts Degree in Special Education, became certified in grades K through 12 and taught Special Ed in every place she lived. Each move required Sandy to recertify in Special Ed for that state/country, which she did willingly. In Germany, Sandy was chosen as the Department of Defense teacher of the year and was chosen to teach a semester in a German grammar school in Stuttgart, GE, a privilege given only to the top DoD teachers in Germany.

Sandy enjoyed skiing and loved her trips to the mountains where she completely mastered the Bunny slope! She had the best “snowplow” ski style that the ski instructors had ever seen! She also wore the best snow-bunny jackets. 😊 Paul, on the other hand, skied the more challenging slopes and would find Sandy waiting for him in the chalet, drinking hot chocolate and enjoying the warmth of the open-hearth fire.

Sandy truly loved the ocean. She would walk the beaches in CT for hours each time she went home for a visit. She helped plan most of their vacation trips from Germany to beaches in other countries. That included beaches in England, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Greece, and Turkey. She decided to skip the beaches when traveling to Canada and Alaska but made sure she had a hotel on the beach in Hawaii.

Sandy was also fascinated by the cultures of other countries and visited the capitals of each of the above countries. Her favorite, hands down, was Paris, FR, which she visited with Paul and the children often. She loved to stroll the Champs-Elysees, visit the Louvre Museum, visit the Palace of Versailles, stroll by the Eiffel Tower, and cruise down the Seine River. But her absolute favorite was Montmartre, an authentic village in the heart of Paris known for its museums, vineyards, windmills, Sacre’-Coeur basilica, and the many cafés in the public garden Square Louise Michel where she would sit at a café, enjoy the artsy culture of this small village, and have an unobstructed view over Paris.

While in Germany, Sandy yearned to see the many small villages and towns Germany had to offer. The best way to do that was by Volksmarching. A Volksmarch is a 3.1 or 6.2 mile “hike” in the German countryside of a given village, ending with an oom-pah band at a local café with special meals, coffee, and deserts. What fun! She and the family completed over 100 Volksmarching during the 7 years they lived in Germany.

Upon returning from Germany Sandy decided that vacations should be “on” the ocean and not just “near” the ocean, so vacations then became Cruise vacations. Sandy and Paul took over 20 cruises, some in the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas and many in the Western and Eastern Caribbean. All the cruises, of course, were to beach resorts and islands!

After Sandy retired from teaching, she kept very busy with Bunko, Bridge, Book club, Bible Study, and neighborhood progressive dinners. She also enjoyed her annual “snowbird” trips to FL to keep warm during the Virginia winters.

Sandy and Paul fulfilled their spiritual lives in many churches throughout the years and when finally settling in Virginia, went to services at community bible churches in the area.

Sandy once said she did everything she ever wanted to do, with her family and best friend, Paul.

Sandy was preceded in death by her brother, Joseph A. Tupko, mother Sophie (Bruning) and father Joseph I Tupko.

Please share your memories or thoughts about Sandy.

Donations in her honor may be made to the Parkinson’s Disease charity of your choice.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline


  1. Sandy was a lovely lady with a big heart, great sense of humor and my cat would jump on her lap and say hello. She told me stories of when she was a teacher and how much she loved working with children, I am sure she has touched many hearts over the years and is sorely missed.

    Annette Pizzimenti

  2. I only had the honor of meeting her once, shortly before her passing, but I have worked closely with Paul for the past two years and have heard so much about Sandy. She was foremost on his mind wherever he was, at the office, on travel, at home. I can only relate through the lens of others that knew her better, but Sandy was clearly a very special person to everyone who knew her, and to Paul in particular.

    requiescat in pace

  3. I haven’t seen my cousin Sandy since the early 7o’s because of all the places she and Paul ended up being stationed. I do remember the last time I saw her. I was riding in a car with my cousin Michael, on my mother’s side, when he saw his friend/schoolmate Paul Apuzzo and got him to pull over near the intersection of Davenport, Congress and Columbus avenues in New Haven CT. I looked into Paul’s car and saw a blond girl there who looked familiar. Smiling, I said “aren’t you my cousin Sandy?” Paul and Sandy were dating at the time. Great memory.

  4. I met Sandy and Paul in recent years through our mutual friends, Annette and Bob Pizzimenti, and was so touched by the loving attention Paul lavished upon Sandy. Although Sandy was not able to speak, it was obvious that she, too, deeply loved him and their strong bond set an example of what the “in sickness and in health” matrimonial vows mean. Sandy is now free from the bonds of her illness, and my prayers are with her family left behind.

  5. My Dearest Brother and Friend Paul, Ryan and Natalie,
    Beverly and I are truly saddened by your loss and believe that God Almighty will provide you and your family with a true peace that passes understanding and bring you through this time of grieving with strength and peace. We pray for you to continue to lean on Him for Grace, Peace and continued Blessings!
    Paul, I recall years ago at several company parties where both you and Sandy attended, I was always amazed at how she was always calm, cheerful, bright, warm, smart, and friendly. It is said that as a couple grows closer together over the years, the other partner gets more attributes from their spouse and eventually you can’t tell them apart. Well over the years, your friendship with Beverly and I is a true reflection and testament of the Sandy’s influence on your life and we are truly blessed by your love for the both of us. Your loving care and devotion for Sandy over these past few years, and especially during these last few months, have been a solid example of Jesus Christ’s love for the Church as well as a picture of what Christian Marriage is all about…and I am truly blessed to be a witness to it. May God continue to Bless You, Make His Face to Shine Upon You, and Give You Peace. Yours in Christ, Jose and Beverly Toves

  6. Our prayers and most sincere condolences to Paul Apuzzo and the entire Apuzzo family. We were humbled to serve you all during this difficult moment. We pray that the Lord continues to comfort and strengthen you. Sandy truly was an amazing loving person who loved her husband, children, family etc. A true servant at heart who loved children and was passionate to help others by giving them hope! Thank you Apuzzo family! My wife and I were truly blessed to have known you although not under the best circumstances.

    Always in our prayers,

    Pastors Marc & Ana Reyes

    Good Shepherd Ministries
    73-75 Fresh Meadow Road
    West Haven, CT. 06516

  7. Me and my wife attended Sandy’s memorial in West Haven, CT. Nov.10, 2022. I have known Sandy through the years from when Paul would visit CT, and from when I visited Paul and Sandy in Virginia. I learned so much more about her life from the obituary that the pastor read and from Paul’s moving stories that day.
    I am a person who’s life revolves around the spiritual side of life. I believe this is why Sandy chose me to help her deliver her message. She asked me specifically to write in this tribute book rather than a private call with Paul. Those of you who understand your parts of the message will know it is true.

    The following is what Sandy has asked me to write here;

    The last part of her life she was not as involved as she or you would have liked.
    You feel that you wish she knew more about you before she passed.
    She wished she could have seen and known all that has happened in your life while she was ill, as well as spent more time with you before she was ill.
    She really wanted to be well and keep up with family and friends.
    She regretted that she was unable to share more time with you.
    She loved giving and loving you all.
    From the other side she has visited all of you.
    She was able to learn everything about you and get up to date.
    This was a big relief for her as she had a strong desire to be up to date on your life and of the younger ones lives.
    She could not be engaged with you as the illness did not allow it.

    She had now caught up with everything that has happened with you in the last years and this has brought her peace.
    She stressed some loved ones have regrets that Sandy did not know the events in their life. But she says she has learned about every experience in their life and she knows them even better now. She Loves you.

    She was shown the heaven she was going to. She said it is much more glorious than she could have ever imagined.

    This message is her gift to all of you.

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Accessibility Tools