Dr. Anne Sandoval (1924-2018) was my friend and colleague at Western Seminary where she taught Christian Education for twenty-five years. Anne was invited to take the place of her husband, Al, after he went home to heaven suddenly in July of 1966.
When Anne became a faculty member, she stepped into a man’s world. She was the only female faculty member at Western until Dr. Mary Wilder joined the faculty as professor of missions in 1983.
Anne thoroughly enjoyed the interaction with her male colleagues, and of course they enjoyed her. She never hesitated to join the men in the faculty lunchroom and participate fully in the conversations. She knew she was one of us. Yet Anne didn’t view her position on the all-male faculty as something to flaunt, but as an opportunity to serve her colleagues and the students.
Anne developed a Christian Education resource center where students could borrow and read resources available for CE. She also developed a women’s ministry at Western which served female students and the wives of our male students. I was recruited by Anne to teach Bible classes for the seminary student wives. Another colleague, Dr. Bob Vogel, was recruited to teach hermeneutics and theology.
When Dr. Mary Wilder joined the faculty after a career in missions, Anne spent time with her, giving her pointers on how to teach. Anne told Dr. Mary, “Don’t be anxious about working out all your lectures for the whole semester, all at once. Just stay one lecture ahead of the students and you will be fine.” Dr. Mary reports that she did just that and survived her first class that first semester of teaching.
The faculty cheered for Anne when she received an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, Biola University.
Anne was a short woman, less than 5 feet tall. Sometimes she was teased about this and told to “please stand, Anne,” when she was already standing. Even though the joke was old and corny, Anne never ceased to smile and throw back an appropriate comment. She had a good sense of humor and enjoyed joking with her male colleagues.
I once pasted Anne’s picture on the face of a female Russian weightlifter and posted it on her office door. Some of my colleagues thought it was a bit inappropriate, but Anne thought it was funny and took it all in stride.
As a woman of Armenian descent, Ann enjoyed a special relationship with Crosby Englezian, another Armenian colleague. Dr. Wilder suggested to me that Anne and Crosby are undoubtedly organizing the Armenian suburb in heaven right now.
Anne was a friend to the faculty and students of Western Seminary. I have missed her since her retirement in 1990. Anne came down with a bad case of pneumonia earlier this year and never fully recovered. She is now safely home with Jesus.
Proverbs 31:30 records, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” Anne’s friends and colleagues at Western Seminary honor her memory.