Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Tribute to the Late Sandra McLeod Humphrey – The 26th Person Who Made a Difference

By Lorilyn Roberts 
Founder of the John 3:16 Marketing Network

This week has been a difficult one for the John 3:16 Marketing Network family. We lost one of our own, Sandra Humphrey, and her dear husband, Brian, who died in a tragic house fire. Sandra helped many authors in the network—through her heart-felt encouragement, her sacrificial involvement with all of us, as well as sharing her beautiful writing.

When Sandra applied to the John 3:16 Marketing Network, I went to her website, as I do with all prospective members. Her love for children struck me—the website colors were kid-friendly, and her encouraging messages to young people excited me that she wanted to join our group. Shortly afterwards, when she discovered I was a homeschooling mom, she sent me a copy of her book, They Stood ALONE, 25 Men and Women WHO MADE a DIFFERENCE.

When the book arrived, I found the following words Sandra penned to my two daughters on the front page: “To Manisha Hope and Joylin, May you always follow your hearts and never give up your dreams! With Much Love, Sandra McLeod Humphrey.” 

Another time I posted a blog about a member of the network, Melissa Main, who had just returned from a mission’s trip to an orphanage in Mexico. I shared a little about the international adoption of my two daughters who were also orphans,

Sandra commented on the piece that she and her husband had adopted a five-year-old little Korean girl many years ago, after “she had been found wandering the streets chewing on stones when someone from the orphanage found her.”

More recently, I just released a YA novel, Seventh Dimension – The Door, and someone emailed me that I should see if Sandy would write a review for me. I contacted Sandy and she responded she would be more than happy to. I added her name to my “to do” list to send her a copy of my book. Before I had a chance, Sandra bought my book and posted a beautiful review on Amazon—just a few days before the tragic accident—and then emailed me that Amazon sent her a note that someone found her review helpful. 

As busy as she was, she always had time to do the small things that made you feel like you mattered to her, that she cared about you. Little did I know, three days later she wouldn’t be with us any longer.

Tears fill my eyes as I think about how much her family must be grieving at their tragic loss, especially the day after Thanksgiving and right before Christmas. How great must be their sorrow, as well as all of those whose lives she and her husband touched. The newspaper article made numerous references to Sandy and her husband’s unwavering faith in Jesus Christ, their love of family, their commitment to church, and their outreach into the community – even helping the animals at the local humane society.

Because we are a closed group to the public, I wanted to share a few comments by others in the John 3:16 Marketing Network and what she meant to them—what she meant to so many authors.

Please read the comments below and be blessed! If you would like to do something in memory of Sandy and Brian Humphrey, the family has asked that memorials be sent to the local human society en lieu of flowers: Hennepin County Animal Humane Society. Gearty-Delmore 763-553-1411


I am so shocked and sad to hear this. Sandra became a friend who helped me above and beyond with my launch. She was kind and caring. She pulled back after her launch to make preparations to downsize and move house. This is tragic.
Rich will be her reward for their tender loving hearts. 
Yvonne Pat 

Oh my! how tragic. My prayers and condolences to the family. This is a tough one. May the God of all comfort, be with [the family] at this difficult time. 
Valerie Knowles

I am in shock. I follow Sandra and received all her Facebook updates with regard to her love of animals so I was stunned to read here that she had passed away. I just went to the Mpls. Star Tribune and found this article.
This is surreal. I had no idea Sandra lived about seven miles from me. She lived in Minnetonka and I live just a couple miles from Minnetonka.
Julie Saffrin 

What a wonderful lovely tribute. God bless this family. I will pray. 
Rose Johnson 

This is shocking, sad and a reminder of how we should all live our lives. What a legacy!! 
Carol Round

My heart is broken. Sandy reached out to me as I am still a newbie to this group. She read my blog posts, commented and encouraged me. I helped with her last launch, and to be perfectly honest, I was concerned when I did not hear anything at all from her during my launch. Not that she had to reciprocate, but I just knew that she would have encouraged me in some way. I write this with a much-saddened heart. My prayers are with the family and as difficult a pill as this is to swallow, I know they are at peace. 
D. Washington Jones

My heart goes out to the family of this wonderful couple. Their sudden death will leave a large hole in their [family’s] lives.
Barbara Ann Derksen

I worked last night so I'm just now responding to this tragic news. I am a bit overwhelmed with this news of Sandy and her husband. A young man that my family knows recently died in a terrible accident. He also was a wonderful, dedicated Christian husband and father. These are such abrupt reminders of the frailty of life and that God holds the numbers of our days in His hands.

As I stare at Sandy's book that I recently purchased, I'm reflecting on the subtitle: "25 Men and women Who Made a Difference." There should be a chapter in that book for Sandy herself as she has made such a difference in so many lives. I will miss her and be in prayer for her family. 
Elaine Cooper

My prayers go out to her family. So sad. Life is so fragile. 
Paulette Harper

Holding the family close in heartfelt prayer and love...No words for such tragedy. 
Elizabeth Chalker

I never knew Sandy, or had the chance to talk with her. But, my heart breaks for her family. I lost both of my parents several years back so I can relate to her children, and I know exactly how they are feeling dealing with the sudden deaths of their parents…please let me know if there is anything I can do. I would love to send out as many copies of my book to the family - however many they need. Please just let me know. 
With a heavy heart, 
Jessica Zondervan

Oh my goodness, how tragic!
I so enjoyed Sandra, and as someone else mentioned earlier, she was a great encourager.
She will be missed terribly.
Praying for the family - as well as the John 3:16 Family - for the loss of a great friend.
Amanda Stephan

What a great loss for the Humphrey family and all who knew this precious couple. We mourn with you and pray God's boundless peace and comfort over you all. What a beautiful tribute to two parents who modeled Christ with their actions, words, and giving of themselves. They leave behind such a powerful legacy and precious memories for all who knew and loved them. May God multiply their outreach - even from their heavenly abode and touch many lives for Him. 
Our prayers and condolences are offered to their children and grandchildren with greatest sincerity and sadness... 
Deborah McCarragher

Knowing the shock of losing a loved one suddenly and tragically, I know how meaningful it was for folks to write of their experiences with my son.
They really warmed my heart.
An idea: How about those of us who had encounters with sweet Sandy, jot what those were and mail them to the family/children?
She was such a beautiful encourager and from heaven, she might want that to continue.
I tried to navigate to catch the details of the article, but cannot. Sigh! So I wasn’t able to find the address or details.
Can someone be an angel and send me the address? I’ll be sending the family my book as well. But I will wait a little while until the shock subsides.
Janet Eckles

Sandra was a good sister and friend of mine, always with her support through the emails that I received from her, sharing and posting my promotions. I was [a] partner in her last book launch promotion. I'm very sad, but my bad English doesn't reach to express it.
We request that the Lord accompany their family in all [ways].
Roberto, Cuba

This is so devastating! Sandra helped me recently with my book launch. She was such a lovely lady. How do we contact her children?
Laura J. Davis

So sad! Our hearts and prayers go out to the family.
Krystal Kuehn

So sad. My prayers are with the family. I am truly inspired to give more. Thankful to the family for sharing their story.
Heather Bixler

I'm so saddened to hear about this. What terrible timing to have this happen right before the holidays. Praying for the family to be comforted. It's at least comforting to know that Sandy and Brian will be spending their holiday in the presence of the One whom they faithfully served. 
Marlayne Giron

When my new blog at Broken Psalms launched, Sandy was quick to post an encouraging comment. I appreciated the love in her heart that came through in every email message she sent me. 
Alice J. Wisler

I was shocked and so sad to hear about Sandy and her husband's tragic passing. Sandy was also giving and helping promote others above herself. A great example to us all!
Shelley Hitz

I was so sorry to hear about Sandra. We were working on a project together and she was such an encourager to me. She will be sorely missed in this world. 
Debbie Malone

I didn’t meet Sandra in person, but we developed a friendship through email. She was a supportive person. I didn’t know how strong of a connection we had until I heard of her death. It hit me hard. One side of me was extremely sad, but the other side was rejoicing knowing she was in heaven. 
Tom Blubaugh

I knew Sandy through the John 3:16 Network, and was sad that her suggestion "I've been thinking it would be cool to share a blog with several other authors who write character education kinds of books for kids--is this something you might be interested in?" was never realized. I only knew her though our correspondence, but I considered her a friend, and am keeping both of them in my prayers. My condolences to the family...
Sherrill S. Cannon

  So sorry for the shock of the loss of both of your parents. You all are in my prayers as you both grieve and give thanks for the wonderful legacy they have left you. I had only begun to get to know Sandra through the John 316 Network. I appreciated and share her passion for the children. I’m praying the Lord strengthen you in your inner being and comfort you and walk with you through the grief. 
Blessings, Carol Brown


God gained two amazing saints when He brought Sandy and Brian Humphrey home to glory – riding on the wings of an angel. I can’t wait to meet this couple in heaven. They bask now in the presence of Jesus—and I pray we all remember the great love Sandy shared with everyone. May we follow her Godly example. Sandy wrote the book They Stood Alone! 25 Men and Women WHO MADE a DIFFERENCE, and I declare Sandy the 26th person WHO MADE A DIFFERENCE.

Believers Who Have Died
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.


  1. While I did not have the opportunity to know Sandy, from your glowing tribute I know that she was a special lady.

  2. So very sorry to hear about the loss of Sandra and her husband. What a tragic loss. I pray for God's comfort for the friends and family during this time of loss.
    Deborah H. Bateman

  3. She will be missed! Thank you for sharing this tribute!

  4. What a great tribute to Sandy. Thanks Lorilyn for posting this.
    Deborah Malone

  5. A wonderful tribute to an outstanding woman! I never had the privilege of meeting Sandra but when I think of her name I think of her photo with a big stuffed animal on the desk beside her as she's autographing books. I look forward to meeting her some day in heaven.

  6. Sandy sounds like a wonderful, godly woman. I haven't been part of John 3:16 very long so didn't get a chance to know her. It is good to know that she and her husband are praising Jesus in Heaven together, side by side. Still, we mourn.

  7. Thanks for the tribute. I'm sure her family would be pleased to know the impact she made in our group.

  8. Lorilyn,
    This is a wonderful tribute to Sandy and her husband. I was honored to review Sandy's book. She needed more reviews on Amazon and ask if I would review it for her. That was the only time I really talked with her but that is all it took for me to realize what a wonderful sweet person she was. I grieve with her family over the tragic loss of their parents.
    And I rejoice with them that they are with our Lord right now and all who have trusted Jesus as our Savior will join her in Heaven one day! What a testimony this couple leaves behind!

  9. Oh NO! I've been out of the loop the past few weeks do to a problem with my eyes and didn't know about the fire. I'm so sorry to hear about this. She was a beautiful person and will be truly missed.

  10. I didn't have the opportunity to work with Sandra. I just contributed by posting information about her book launch on my FB account. She also contributed to help me decide which book cover to choose for my upcoming book.

    I believe she was a very nice person and that she also made a difference with her husband, Brian, in her local community. Otherwise, the newspaper wouldn't have mentionned their love of good deeds for their local community. Let's pray to God to feel our heart with the same love for the world we are living in. They made a huge difference by bringing some sunshine in the lives of many people.


  11. Sandra's influence will continue to live on through her books. She touched the lives of many people. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to read her books and get to know her through her writing.

  12. Lorilyn,
    Thank you for such a heartfelt tribute to Sandy and her husband Brian. Although I did not work with her directly in the Network, her visibility and cheerfulness always were evident in the group's activity. She indeed is a perfect example of someone who made a profound difference in the lives of others... #26

    It's all about HIM,

    Deborah McCarragher
    (Hebrews 10:23)

  13. My sincere condolences extend to the entire Humphrey Family.
    Sandra Humphrey was one of my partners for my Ebook Launch for the Christian Olympics-Going for the Gold Crowns on June 12,2012.She offered the first prize, a free autograph copy of her book:They Stood Alone.She was a blessing to work with.These marathon runners in the Christian Olympics have made it to the Finish Line.Now they are waiting for the Closing and Reward Ceremony in the sky.

  14. I think that Sandy encouraged everyone whoever 'met' her. She was part of a very intimate group of writers that will never forget what she meant to us. I had two of her books, I bought them for myself, she signed them and wrote a sweet note of her own. I think we are all better off for knowing her. She is dancing with the Lord! My own tribute is at God bless you!

  15. This was a lovely tribute. thanks for putting it together

  16. We all in the John 3:16 Network share a Holy Spirit connection that makes us family. I did not know Sandy personally, but we were linked in the family of Christ and again as writers connected to the John 3:16 Network. She will be missed by us as well as by those who knew her and loved her.