TIDEWATER — Lovingly guided by her Heavenly Father, Sandra Irving Napper, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, and aunt, entered eternal life on September 24, 2021.
Sandra, fondly known as “Sandi,” was born on March 23, 1947, in Washington, District of Columbia. She was the first-born child of John and Ruby Irving. Her parents and one brother predeceased her.
Early in her life, Sandi declared her belief in Lord Jesus Christ. She joined the former Hill Street Baptist Church, now known as Main Street Baptist Church, in Smithfield, Virginia. Most recently, Sandra was a member of New Zion Baptist Church in Williamsburg, VA.
In 1978 Sandi was united in holy matrimony to Colonel William T. Napper, USA, (Retired). They enjoyed a beautiful, adventurous life with their two beloved children, Tonya and William, living in different states across the nation.
Tidewater, Virginia, was the location of most of Sandi’s formal education even though the District of Columbia provided elementary schooling. When she moved to Smithfield, VA, to live with her maternal aunt and uncle, Edna and Fred Wrenn, Sandi attended Westside High School. Sandi was the valedictorian of her graduating class. Following her high school graduation, Sandi attended Hampton Institute and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Math in 1970. She studied abroad in England through Temple University’s Graduate program and completed a Master of Arts degree in Education Leadership.
Expertise in math skills led Sandi into a career teaching math, spanning twenty-five years. Additionally, Sandi worked as an engineer analyst at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company.
God gave Sandi a beautiful spirit laced with so many virtues, Fruit of the Spirit. She was an optimistic and fun-loving soul who just loved to laugh, and she brought people joy! She had a bright, beautiful smile! From an early age, Sandi was very maternal and generous in her love for God’s people. She simply loved to take care of everyone, lavishing them with love.
Community service was Sandi’s mission and passion! She tutored students in math. She served as a Girl Scout Troop Leader. One of her favorite community activities was to adopt a child at Christmastime. She enjoyed working with political campaigns and was a Texas Democratic Delegate for Jessie Jackson. Sandi was the founder and organizer of Isle of Wight Training/Westside High School Legacy Group, Inc., an organization that provides yearly scholarships to African American students. Sandi participated in annual community Relay for Life activities. As a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, Sandi served in the Gamma Upsilon Omega Chapter in Hampton, Virginia; the Omicron Tau Chapter in Spring, Texas; the Phi Pi Omega Chapter in Peachtree City, Georgia; and Lambda Lambda Omega Chapter in Williamsburg, Virginia. Sandi received The Theta Lambda Lambda Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Citizen of the Year Award as a tribute to her volunteer community service.
Delighting in tending flower and vegetable gardens, Sandi became a Georgian Master Gardener! Having faith in God as her creator and creator of all of nature, she adored the beauty of all that He makes.
Sandi had great courage and tenacity. She took whatever task that was at hand, whatever challenge that surfaced, to heart, and she persevered and worked upon it diligently to accomplish the best outcome. She lived a life dedicated to service to God’s people. She lived a life dedicated to God.
To reflect upon the beauty of memories of Sandi is her husband of forty-three years, Colonel William T. Napper, USA (Retired); her children, Tonya Garland and William T. Napper the Third (Torey); her grandchildren, Jasmine Ross, Emmett Ross, Winnie Napper, and Pearl Napper; her great-grandchild, Jaimee Jackson; her brother, Bishop John Irving Junior (Vivian); her sisters-in-law; her nieces and nephews and her cousins.
Along life’s journey, Sandi made many friends who will cherish all that they shared with her.
A memorial service will be held at 12:00 p.m. Monday, October 11, 2021, in the Robins Room of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Facial coverings are required. Livestream will be available at the beginning of the service.
Professional services entrusted to the staff of Whiting’s Funeral Home, 7005 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185. 757-229-3011 whitingsfuneralhome.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sandra “Sandi” Irving Napper, please visit our floral store.