Earlier this evening I received some horrible news. Sandy Iverson, a friend and mentor, died yesterday after a four-year battle with colon cancer. She was 53. Here is her official obituary.
Back when I was in college, Sandy was the only official adult employee of the student newspaper, The Review. Because the paper had messed up its finances several years earlier, the University of Delaware insisted we have a hired accountant on hand to deal with the books. An agreement was reached, and Sandy arrived.
The whole mother-away-from-home thing is probably overused, but Sandy was such a person for me. In 1993-94, I was the editor of the paper—a dumb, over-his-head-but-too-cocky-to-know 22-year-old schmuck. Somehow, Sandy stuck with me. She guided, advised, explained, assisted, led. We had m-a-n-y long talks about life and learning and those things that are truly important. Sandy absolutely adored her two children, Heather and Wayne, as well as her husband, Gerald. She spoke about them all the time, and made me hope that, one day, I’d have such genuine love in my life.
Anyhow, at the gym tonight it occurred to me that, as a senior, I actually wrote a column about Sandy. Dug through the ol’ scrap album and found it. It appears below.
If you’re lucky in life, you can say you were friends with a Sandy Iverson.
I was very lucky.
THE INVALUABLE TOUCH OF THE REVIEW MOM
February 25, 1994
Sethjohn Adams is a 10-year-old kid from Nebraska who wrote The Review a few months back for a school project.
Adams has one of those assignments that, as I recall, seemed really fun to do in sixth grade. He had to pick a state, get as much information as possible and write a paper about it.
Now if only someone up here cared enough to help the lad.
As it stands, we Reviewites are so stressed for a free moment that it’s become habit to crap and brush at the same time. It’s not that we like it that way—sometimes the routine gets really confusing—it just happens.
Which makes The Review Mother all the more important.
When Sandy Iverson first came up to The Review four years ago, she was hardly greeted with the hugs and kisses of a family finally finding its mother.
As a university-assigned accountant, Sandy was probably the last thing anyone wanted to see. She represented bureaucratic and political BS—the forceful iron fist of a school trying to clamp down on its overly noisy paper.
That lasted for all of a day.
What Sandy has become to this place is a mother, a sister, a brother, a critic, a fan and—most importantly—a friend.
While ‘editor in chief’ may sit in front of my name, much of the job responsibilities are passed over to the woman who knows it all.
Need a new computer system? Talk to Sandy.
Want advice on a column? Family trouble? Need a loan? Job hunt?
For no less than 48 months, Sandy Iverson has displaced Mom and Dad as the person I turn to.
When last month I had to go for my first job interview, there were 30 or 40 worries scrambling like rodents through my head.
What to wear? How much money to bring? Where to stay?
It’s not that I’m incompetent. It’s just that when you have a flawless human encyclopedia, it’s stupid not to use it.
Needless to say, no member of The Review staff send Sethjohn Adams a letter.
No member, except Sandy Iverson.
The Mother of The Review just couldn’t help it. It was her intrinsic duty. Sandy shipped off a T-shirt, some cookie cutters, newspapers, information—you name it, she sent it.
Good people do good things.
Sandy Iverson is a good person.