In Memory Of
Alexandra (Sandi) M. Koester of Garden City, NY, died peacefully on June 27, 2019. She was 83. Wife of Charles Koester (deceased), and beloved mother of Susan (Jim Kennedy), Kathy (Helmar Dinger), John, Geoffrey (Meg Uyeno), and James (Christine Essig). Sandi is also survived by 12 grandchildren: Norah, Juliana, Laurel, Charlotte, Christopher, Nina, Steve, Will, Julia, Charlie, Henry and Emmett.
Sandi was born in Queens, NY on May 10, 1936 to the late Edna Manning McGinness and Charles McGinness, who died when she was an infant. She was the niece of Norah Manning and Loretta Gould. Sandi grew up in Belle Harbor, L.I. and lived with her grandparents, John and Mary Manning, her mother, who worked for US Customs, and her Aunt Norah, an artist who, among other things, provided sketches to the New York Times for Lord & Taylor, and later designed knit fabrics. While training to be a nurse, Sandi met Charlie, who had recently graduated from Cornell University School of Engineering and had been in an automobile accident, and on December 29, 1956, they were married. They moved to Joliet, Illinois, where their first child, Susie, was born, and where Sandi was a leader in the La Leche League, promoting breastfeeding. Returning to Long Island, they moved to Massapequa, and not long after, settled for good in Garden City, building incredible friendships to last their lifetimes, raising five children, and contributing to the GC community in so many ways.
Although Sandi’s interests and passions were many, her first love was ballet! Having danced throughout her life, she continued with dance classes in Rockville Center where she met several of her dearest friends. Sandi went on to open her own ballet school, first located at the St. Mary’s School and then at the Unitarian Church. She developed enduring friendships with the students and their families, and the pianists who worked for her. 17 years later, she closed her dance school and continued to pursue many other vocations. As an avid tag sale’r, she teamed up with a life-long friend and they started their own tag sale business. She then worked as one of the first associates for Airfone at Kennedy Airport, and later as an event coordinator at Bloomingdales and finally as a real estate agent at Dougal Fraser, later Daniel Gale, again, forming friendships that continued throughout her life. Most recently, she started volunteering at the library, yet again developing new relationships, and enjoying every minute.
An avid collector of beautiful art, sculpture and pottery, and master of creating beautiful and welcoming spaces, Sandi delighted in her home on Third Street and later in her apartment at Hilton Hall. WQXR was always playing classical music in her kitchen, and the New York Times crossword was never far from her reach. Never daunted by weather or logistics, Sandi and friends enjoyed many nights over the years at Lincoln Center, or in Central Park listening to the Philharmonic or the Metropolitan Opera. She loved entertaining, travelling, ballet, opera, reading, spending time with her friends, and most of all spending time with her children and grandchildren. She was always up for a trip to a soccer or lacrosse game, a boat ride, a road trip, a performance of any kind and life!