Sandra Louise Kirk Gambacorta

Published 10:17 pm Sunday, January 1, 2017

Sandra Louise Kirk Gambacorta passed away Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016.

Born Jan. 26, 1940 in Knoxville, Tenn., she was the daughter of James Henry Kirk and Julia Briscoe Kirk.  She grew up in Knoxville and Oak Ridge, Tenn., and her brother, Ron Kirk, and sister, Julia Kirk Phillips and husband, James O. Phillips survive her.

Married to Captain Francis Michael Gambacorta, USN (Ret.) for 55 years, Sandy demonstrated the enduring strength of a Navy wife, moving whole households across the world to follow Navy orders to Indonesia, Bahrain and Spain. Living around the world allowed for great friendships and wonderful travel opportunities.  When it was time to find a home base, Sandy and Mike discovered the beautiful community of Smithfield, and have made their home there on the Pagan River for the last 20 years. A dedicated member of the Smithfield Woman’s Club, Sandy was known for commanding the kitchen during the annual flea market, or taking a meal to a friend in need.   Because of her caring and compassionate nature, even complete strangers would tell their life stories to Sandy upon meeting her.  Calling everyone “sugar,” while giving them her sweet smile, was just her way of caring for everyone.

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Sandy is also survived by her loving daughters, Susan Marie Haynes and Laura Ann Gambacorta Brawley and their husbands, Andrew Haynes and Henry Wray Brawley; four grandchildren, Hannah Brawley, David Haynes, Madeline Brawley and Claire Haynes; one sister-in-law, Marcia Gambacorta Glenn; two nieces, Jill Phillips Collins and Elizabeth Shiverdecker, and one nephew, Jay Phillips.

There will be an afternoon celebration of life service at Colonial Funeral Home, Carrollton, on Thursday, Jan. 5, at 2 p.m. A private burial will follow at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.  

The family suggests that memorial donations be made to the MPN Research Foundation, 180 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1870, Chicago, IL 60601 in Sandra’s memory.

Service arrangements are in the care of Colonial Funeral Home, 14214 Carrollton Blvd. Carrollton.  Family and friends are encouraged to share condolences and remembrances at