A celebration of life for Sandra Hines, 64, a longtime science and environment writer for the University of Washington, will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, at the UW’s Center for Urban Horticulture. She died Sept. 27 at Providence Everett Medical Center, surrounded by family and friends, following a heart attack.
Sandra Ragsdale (she often quipped that “Technology” was her middle name, but it really was Louise) was born to Gretchen and Carlyle Ragsdale on Jan. 6, 1954, in Seattle. She attended Inglemoor High School in Kenmore, Wash., where she first met Roy Pigott, who later in life would become her devoted partner.
She attended Colorado Women’s College, then graduated from Washington State University, her parents’ alma mater, in 1976, and began her news career at the St. Maries (Idaho) Gazette Record.
She moved to Seattle in 1984 and worked in public relations for Ehrig and Associates and the American Cancer Society before joining the UW Office of News and Information in 1987 as a science/environment writer. She also served as assistant director of the office for most of her 27 years there. Her work brought regional, national and international attention to significant UW research in such areas as fisheries, forestry, oceanography and botany. In conjunction with her colleagues, her writing earned several national university news writing awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
Her work also entailed accompanying reporters in the field, including a 1997-98 project called the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (or SHEBA) in which UW scientists played a major role. Sandra helped to secure broad coverage of the work and her photographs from the Arctic were widely used by news media. (Her success led some colleagues to refer to her as “The Queen of SHEBA.”)
Sandra married Gary Hines in 1980 and they went their separate ways in 2005, though they remained good friends.
After coaxing from Roy, she retired in 2014 and relished a significant new role, being full-time “Grandma Sandy” to his three grandchildren, Emmett, Elsa and Tahlia Layman.
Sandra loved swimming and tennis and was an avid reader, and she and Roy spent significant time tending their expansive garden. She also volunteered with Sound Water Stewards and Friends of the Clinton Library. She maintained close relationships with her siblings, nieces, nephews and many friends, helping to keep the state ferry system solvent with her frequent use of the Clinton-Mukilteo run. She also enjoyed summer trips to “the lake place,” a residence on Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, that she shared with her siblings.
Survivors include Roy Pigott; siblings Kathryn, Mary and Gregory; nieces Alice, Vera, Adele and Carlee; nephews James and Race; former husband, Gary Hines; Roy’s mother Joyce and his daughter, and Sandra’s “honorary daughter,” Molly Layman; and grandchildren Emmett, Elsa and Tahlia Layman.
Memorial contributions may be made to Sound Water Stewards https://soundwaterstewards.org/web/donate/
The UW Center for Urban Horticulture is at 3501 N.E. 41st St., Seattle, near University Village shopping center, see https://goo.gl/maps/aqA8Sr5j6my
There is on-site parking.