Sandra Leigh Borden


SANDRA BORDEN

Sandra Leigh Borden of Jackson, Ohio passed away Sunday, September 10, 2023, after a valiant fight against bone and breast cancer. Known to her family and friends as “Sandy,” she was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, where she attended St. Mary’s School and Notre Dame High School. She was the daughter of Mildred Stevens Macbrair and Ben Almond.

Married to Scott Borden for 34 years, Sandy became well-known in the Jackson and Oak Hill communities and changed a lot of people’s lives through her work at nursing homes, her volunteer service to civic organizations, her involvement with Catholic churches, and her assistance to students with special needs.

For the past several years, Sandy was a teacher’s aide at Hope Haven, a school for children with developmental disabilities. Prior to that, she worked as an outreach coordinator at Jenkins Care Community and at Four Winds Nursing Facility. Earlier in her career, she developed an interest in health and fitness after taking courses at Edgecliff College in Cincinnati and attending the Dallas Cooper Clinic. She taught classes at the Portsmouth YMCA, Shawnee State University, and the Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) LIFE Center. When Scott was transferred to the Ohio State Patrol Post in Lebanon, Ohio, Sandy worked for the Countryside YMCA there and helped raise $12.7 million to build one of the world’s largest YMCA facilities.

Shortly before her death, the Jackson Rotary Club awarded a plaque and clock to Sandy “with sincere appreciation and great respect” for her dedication to serving others. That commendable dedication was also acknowledged in 2013 when Sandy received the Meritorious Service Award from the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce in honor of her many volunteer efforts in the community, including serving as president of the Jackson County United Fund, helping organize the National Day of Prayer, the Zumba Relay for Life and the Jackson Rotary Club Senior Citizen Pancake Dinner, serving as secretary of the Oak Hill Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Jackson Rotary Club, the Jackson Area YMCA Board, the Jackson-Vinton Community Action Board, and the Family and Children First Council. She was a member of the Holy Trinity and Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic churches.

Before her mobility was impaired by cancer, Sandy spent countless weekends hiking Hocking Hills State Park and other parks as well as the golf course behind her house. She loved vacationing with Scott and their son, Ryan, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Gatlinburg, Tennessee. She also enjoyed family road trips to Cincinnati to watch the Reds play baseball and to South Bend, Indiana to cheer on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at football games.

Throughout most of her life, Sandy had a dog by her side for companionship. Her favorite was Tallie, a mixed breed of collie she brought home in Portsmouth from Shawnee State Park after finding the puppy wearing a sign that read, “I’m homeless and lonely. Take me home.” Many years later, when Tallie experienced renal failure during the last few weeks of her life, Sandy kept the dog comfortable on the kitchen table as Tallie underwent peritoneal dialysis. Sandy’s love of animals wasn’t limited to dogs. In Jackson the stray cats lounging on the Borden’s’ patio and porch knew they could count on Sandy for food, water, and plenty of TLC.

Sandy’s infectious laugh, positive spirit, and unconditional love for helping others will be missed by the many people whose days were brightened by her joy.

In addition to her husband, Sandy is survived by a brother, B.J. Almond of Houston, Texas; a brother-in-law, Todd Borden of Springfield, Ohio; a stepbrother, Rick (Lynn) McLeod of London, Ontario, Canada; two sisters-in-law: Kelly Borden of Enon, Ohio and Tiffiny Borden of Troy, Ohio; a stepsister, Jennifer (Ric) Thompson of Kinkardine, Ontario; a niece, Sherry Harkless of Springfield; a nephew, Zach Borden of Springfield, Ohio; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins. Sandy was preceded in death by her beloved son, Ryan Borden; parents: Ben and Mona Almond and Mildred and Tom Macbrair; mother and father-in-law, Donna and Richard Borden; and a sister, Pamela Harkless.

A visitation will be held on Wednesday, September 13, 2023, from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Lewis & Gillum Funeral Home, 28 Harding Ave., Jackson, OH 45640. A funeral Mass officiated by Father Thomas William Herge will be held on Thursday, September 14, 2023, at 11 a.m. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 215 Columbia St., Jackson, Ohio 45640. Burial will be at Saint Joseph Cemetery, 6440 South High St., Lockbourne, OH 45640. Online condolences may be sent to www.lewisgillum.com. In lieu of sending flowers, the family requests donations in Sandy’s honor to one of her favorite causes – the Jackson Area YMCA (www.jacksonareaymca.org), 594 East Main St., Jackson, OH 45640 to help purchase a scoreboard with Sandy’s name on it for the gym.