The Fence Post obituary: Sandra Kay (Smit) Mundell
Sandra Kay (Smit) Mundell, 66
April 3, 1954 – Dec. 24, 2019
Sandra Kay (Smit) Mundell was born April 3, 1954, in Wray, Colo., and left this life Dec. 24, 2019, in Denver. She grew up with her parents, Harry and Ruby Smit and her brother “Butch” Smit, who was injured at birth and lived at home his entire life. Sandy was always involved with the family farm and ranch. She took on many responsibilities there, including gathering the eggs — Butch did not enjoy this job and would often throw eggs at the chickens if he got pecked.
While growing up Sandy was involved in the 4-H program and she loved showing horses. She was selected as the Kit Carson County Rodeo Queen in 1974. She also enjoyed shooting with her father, Harry, who was an avid trap shooter. He once invited her along to shoot with him and his friends. After outshooting the “old men,” she was not invited back to shoot again.
Sandy attended Vona High School, graduating in 1972. After high school she attended OPSU in Goodwell, Okla. On a trip home from college to the family farm she met Homer Mundell who had some dealings with her Dad. They were married July 8, 1978. The two of them stayed directly involved in agriculture. They also enjoyed pack horse and fishing trips to the mountains, and always had at least one dog along for the ride.
They continued to enjoy this lifestyle, moving to Sterling, Colo., shortly after their first son Justin Clay was born in 1982, and later adding to the family with the arrival of Clinton Jay in 1985. Sandy had great satisfaction in working at home and enjoying her family.
Many fond memories were made in Sterling — ranching, irrigating alfalfa, including setting hundreds of siphon tubes, which Sandy became quite proficient at. One particular time Sandy was scheduled for knee surgery. The week before it was scheduled, she and Homer were moving cattle and Homer’s horse went down, breaking his shoulder. The pair of them ended up sharing a hospital room after their respective procedures. Sandy always maintained that she was much tougher than Homer while in the hospital. No family member has ever disputed the accuracy of that.
In 1996, Homer and Sandy and the boys moved to the family ranch east of Walsh, Colo.
They enjoyed watching the boys grow up and participate in various activities. Sandy was always involved. Even with her busy schedule, Sandy found time to be the local 4-H Club leader. She watched closely over the boys and their 4-H projects, making sure attention to detail was given in every aspect. Reece got a taste of her watchfulness when Grandma Sandy helped her through a successful 4-H horse project.
Homer and Sandy took great pride in their herd of Angus cattle. Careful selection and attention to new upcoming genetics was always a topic of discussion. This passion led them to their yearly pilgrimage to Montana every December to enjoy snow, ice and wind, but most especially, Angus cattle. For them, this was Paradise.
Sandy spent many hours checking cattle. Her attention to detail left no animal unchecked, and her sense of care made sure every animal was well fed. She was famously known for the meals she provided for helpers on the ranch. It was always easy to get help for a branding, not because of all the roping to be done, but because of the meal Sandy labored tirelessly to prepare. Whatever the task to be done, there were always a few dogs following her around. Her joy and kindness made it a nice, comfortable life for those pets. Justin and Clint at times felt they had a younger brother named Leroy, the noble Chocolate Lab, who typically took priority over them.
In 2011, Sandy lost her best friend when Homer passed away. The two had worked and laughed together and they had to learn to fight together with the discovery of Sandy’s cancer in 2007. With her partner gone and severe drought looming, Sandy didn’t have time to sit around. She took the reins, and through her determination and work ethic, managed to hold things together in great fashion during difficult circumstances, including blizzards and a major wildfire.
Although never one to take credit for anything, Sandy was a wealth of knowledge on cattle and a faithful steward of the land. Sandy’s attitude was always a welcoming and warming presence.
She will always be remembered for her care of others before herself. Her love, kindness and humility are a few of the many wonderful characteristics that defined her. Most importantly, Sandy shared a deep faith in God with her family. She will be deeply missed, but her memories and character will influence her family members for generations to come. Sandy was preceded in death by her brother Harry Gene (Butch) Smit, parents Harry and Ruby Smit, husband Homer Mundell.
Survivors include sons Justin and Desirae (Gourley) Mundell, Clint and Lauren (Hibbard) Mundell; grandchildren Reece, Grady, Cooper, Brigham and Dax Mundell; brothers-in-law David and Daniel Mundell; aunt Marge Hale; and nephew Jacob Mundell.