Sandie Cornelious Wingo passed away on January 12, 2024 after a brief illness with Covid.
The second child of Willie F. and Bessie B. Wingo, Sandie was born on September 27, 1927. His older brother Bill and younger siblings Laverne, Gloria, Herbert and Robert pre-deceased him. His younger sister, Thelma, thrives in Richmond, VA.
Sandie served in the US Army and was discharged in 1947. Shortly after, he moved to Harlem in New York City, where he met Audrey. Sandie and Audrey married in September, 1951. Two years later, they made Queens their home and began their family with the birth of Gary and later, Renee. Throughout, the kids were devoted to their parents, involved and connected.
Sandie enjoyed a vigorous life during his 96 years with us. He prided himself on hard work and rose in the ranks of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of New York City. He retired as a supervisor, responsible for overseeing subway crisis situations as they arose. He gained the respect and admiration of bosses, workers and all who worked with him for his integrity. He spoke of these days, frequently, as both challenging and fulfilling for him. He had an enduring commitment to faith. He was married at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem by the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Since he never drove a car, taking public transportation from Queens to Harlem became difficult over time, so he joined Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church (@55rd St.) in the 1990s. He served both as an usher and a volunteer for their interfaith and homeless ministries. Most recently, he attended St Paul’s Baptist Church in Montclair, NJ and Morrow Memorial Church in Maplewood.
Traveling the world, Sandie made his way to Alaska, Australia, Morocco, Spain, France, annual trips to St. Maarten and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with friends and family, and more. He enjoyed the sights, sounds and flavors our life around the world and always managed to forge a new friendship or two along the way. Most, he enjoyed going back home to visit his sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews and their children in Virginia – as well as accompanying his sisters on their AKA sorority convention trips.
Photography was a particular love of his. He had both an appreciation and skill at capturing natural scenes at just the right time of day. He recorded every holiday, every trip, every event with film, slides, video and photos that tell the story of his life and travels.
Sandie loved culture – music, art, food, theater were his favorites. Every year he’d see Savion Glover at the Joyce Theater followed by dinner at Puttanesca on Ninth Ave. and 53th St. in NYC. He loved Winton Marsalis’ club, Jazz at Lincoln Center as well as the New Orleans and Montreal Jazz Festivals as a regular. He loved all of August Wilson’s plays and the many grand musicals on stage in NYC. Always dapper in his dress, sly with his smile, he thoroughly enjoyed and was enriched by the arts.
Sandie spent 41 years living in Kew Gardens, NY, solo and independently, by choice, before moving to Brookdale Assisted Living in New Jersey, at 91 years of age. At Brookdale, he delighted the staff and residents with his Sunday best -- three-piece suit, tie and fedora – for church. He had lots of fun with the staff, especially the female staff members, who genuinely enjoyed his sense of humor. As the covid pandemic hit, he moved in with his son in Maplewood, in March 2020, for safety.
In Maplewood, Sandie continued his tradition of enjoying music – outdoor concerts, the out of doors – daily walks in the park and he developed a new skill – winning at dominoes – usually at the outdoor cafes at Panera and Dunkin Donuts.
Sandie lived a good life of hard work, integrity and faith, surrounded by family and friends who loved him and cared for him deeply. He will be greatly missed.