Knowing that she wanted to be a teacher by the time she was in second grade, Sandra L. Morrey realized her talent for teaching children from an early age as the oldest cousin on both sides of her family. She further credits her stepfather for providing her with the inspiration to pursue computer programming as a specialty. Matriculating at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in 1964, she achieved her first teaching position before she had even completed her degree. Subsequently, she became a teacher for the United States military and spent six years in Germany teaching the children of American NATO forces personnel. Ms. Morrey considers this period to be among the highlights of her career as it allowed her to give the children of military families a sense of stability and home while they were living in an unfamiliar environment and moving frequently.
Returning to the United States, Ms. Morrey continued to teach the children of military families in California until she joined Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC as the aide to the vice president. Her career in computer programming truly kicked off after this, and she went on to become a systems analyst for Steelcase, a furniture manufacturing company. Her expertise during this time was for the IBM AS/400 family of computers, which were introduced in 1988. One of the most memorable moments in her career was being able to find the source of a computer communication problem between their computer and another computer from AT&T. Ms. Morrey was the only person who could trace the problem back to an issue on AT&T’s end.
Ms. Morrey notes that her favorite part of her work was getting to design and implement a new project and then presenting the finished program to the users, and she was recognized for her excellence in working with mainframes. Accomplishing much over the course of her career, she attributes much of her success to the lessons she was taught early on by her parents and truly feels that she wouldn’t have made it to where she is today without their support. After leaving Steelcase, Ms. Morrey remained active in the field as a computer analyst and consultant for a number of years until the IBM AS/400 computers were phased out of use and replaced, leading to her retirement.
Ms. Morrey has always done her utmost to give back to her community. In her youth, she was involved with the Girl Scouts of the United States of America and Job’s Daughters International, an organization for young girls with masonic affiliations. Today, she is an officer with both the Daughters of the Nile and the Order of the Eastern Star, where she has served twice as a worthy matron and twice as a deputy grand matron. Ms. Morrey is deeply proud of her masonic heritage, which can be traced back to two great-grandfathers who were master masons in the 1880s and has since included her four grandparents and both parents. With her local chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, she has helmed the Wreaths for Veterans project, which makes wreaths to place on veterans’ graves during the Christmas season.
In her free time, Ms. Morrey enjoys gardening and has developed a great passion for the study of genealogy. She has cultivated considerable expertise in her family’s history and hosts family reunions whenever she can, the most recent of which occurred in October 2022. As she looks toward the future, Ms. Morrey hopes to stay healthy, maintain good relationships with her friends and family, and stay active, recalling the time in 1965 when she caught a 46-pound salmon on the Smith River that led to her picture appearing in the Los Angeles Times.