Bernadette Wanda Sandoval, 67, passed away Monday June 19th, 2023. When the time came to leave the physical bonds of this planet, she was not alone, but with people who loved her. Her time came suddenly and she didn't suffer any pain. Bernadette was born to Erlinda Cruz and Lewis Sandoval March 1st, 1956 in Pueblo CO. Bernadette started life being completely misunderstood. But she was loved. In those early days, she talked and ran around unbridled and unaware of her safety. When her younger siblings came around she wanted to love us the way others were, but she didn't understand how. Her affection was misunderstood. She forged a bond with the sibling closest in age to her. Yolanda and Bernadette had a very special relationship when they were toddlers, the "Trouble Twins" as they were referred to. But,our mother had to make a very difficult decision to protect Bernadette and give her a quality of life that mom knew she couldn't provide. In September of 1966 Bernadette moved to the Grand Junction Regional Center.
Here she was given the opportunity to be with her peers and obtain the training and skills necessary to live as normal a life as possible. Bernadette was educated to her level of understanding the world, but continued to need the protection of her staff. As a result Bernadette lived at the Regional Center for 57 years. Over those years she developed many relationships with peers and staff at the Regional Center. She was "special" to so many.
Bernadette was non-verbal the majority of her life, but she certainly knew how to communicate her needs. She was a kind and giving woman. If she knew you and liked you she would share her toys with you, then you were "special" to her.
She enjoyed playing in her area and receiving people there. Bernadette loved her music and enjoyed relaxing and listening to it.
She loved shiny things and things that glittered. So, she would get shiny Mylar balloons for every birthday. She also enjoyed looking at herself in the mirror, as she was so beautiful.
Bernadette was preceded in death by our mother Erlinda Duran, her father Lewis Sandoval, and brother Christopher Sandoval.
Bernadette is survived by her siblings. Patricia Avalos of Colorado Springs CO. Yolanda Lucero, of Pueblo CO. Robert Pena (Heather) of Grand Junction CO. and Bernice Pena also from Pueblo CO. Bernadette also leaves behind numerous nephews and nieces to lovingly remember their Aunty Bernadette. Our family would like to extend our eternal gratitude to the Grand Junction Regional Center. But most importantly, the staff at 29 1/4 Rd group home. Also, Cindy Tattershall, who loved my sister like she was her own, Thank you Cindy.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 8th at 11 am, at Browns Cremation & Funeral Service, 904 N. 7th St. Grand Junction, CO. A celebration of life will follow at Longs Park in Fruitvale, Colorado