Sandra E. Guzzo

Sandra Elizabeth (Schmitz) Guzzo was born in Berkeley, CA in 1941, and grew up in Tucson, Arizona, with her German immigrant parents, Eva and Friederich Schmitz, as well as her dear older brothers, Fritz and Walter. She enjoyed the wild Sonoran Desert as a child and was a self-described “desert rat” who embodied her homeland with dress, jewelry, and style.

While a Foreign Language major at the University of Arizona, she was active in the International Folk Dance group where she met her future husband, Anthony Guzzo, a post doctorate researcher at the U of A. After one date, Tony proposed on a trip to Mount Lemon, and they were married in Tucson in 1962. Tony had won a job with NASA at the time in California as a rocket scientist, but Sandra won a Fulbright to France, so the newlyweds spent a year in France enjoying Paris and living in Palavas-les-Flots, in the South of France. They remained happily married for 62 years. 

After Europe the couple then traveled to Chicago where they lived for several years—graduate work for Sandra in Foreign Languages and another postdoc in Chemistry for Tony. 

In 1964, pregnant with her first child, they moved to Laramie when Tony was offered a Professorship at UW. Her children, Phillip and Anne Guzzo, were both born in Laramie at the old Ivinson Memorial Hospital on Grand. Tony and Sandra enjoyed the outdoors, built a cabin in Colorado, and were active in many communities. They were founding members of the Snowy Range International Folk Dance group, and some of the first members of the Laramie Art Guild, and the Laramie Writer’s Club. In the 70’s, both Tony and Sandra together opened the first Chicago-style deli in Wyoming, on the corner of Ivinson and 1st Street.

In the the late 70’s Sandra went back to work and started a career as a photographer and a pioneering woman journalist for the Laramie Daily Boomerang, working there for more than 15 years, and co-founding its local interest magazine, The Picket Pin with fellow photographer Mike Stoez. She also wrote the long running column, “The Laramie Rendezvous,” which frequently featured her two children. Much of this series was later incorporated into her book Chickens in the Greenhouse.

As published author of several children’s books including the well-received Fox and Heggie, released by Albert Whitman and Co. she was invited to the Smithsonian Institute to talk about her book about the Saint Carvers of New Mexico, based on her childhood experiences growing up in the southwest. She was also a successful watercolor and pastel artist, inspired by Wyoming and its varied landscapes and the beauty of flora and fauna.

Sandra lived with Multiple Sclerosis for over 40 years but was still active in many endeavors and communities in Laramie and Wyoming, including the Wyoming Writers Conference, the Wyoming Historical Society, the Garden Club, and many others.

She was preceded in death by her parents Friederich Joseph Schmitz and Eva (Weisskopf) Schmitz.

Sandra is survived by her beloved big brothers Fritz and Walter Schmitz; her adored husband Tony Guzzo; her daughter Anne Marie Guzzo; her daughter in law Bonnie Robinson; son Phillip Anthony Guzzo (Jenny Massicotte), grandchildren Annika and Matthew Guzzo, as well as extended family in Germany and many, many close family friends in Laramie and in the region.

Sandra passed away at the Laramie Hospice with family nearby on February 7, 2024. Cremation was chosen and no public services will be held.

Print This Obituary Print This Obituary

Condolences (10)

  • Anonymous

    Tony Guzzo this is Shae the day time cook at the rehabilitation center. I’m so sorry for your loss but it has been my honor to have served you and Sandra for the time that I did. No matter what was going on Tony you would come to the kitchen and ask for whatever it was you needed for the day and despite the hardships you still were always so nice and I always loved giving you guys anything I could just to help the day go by a little easier . I truly always felt a great amount of care for you guys . Stay strong Mr. Guzzo

  • Jon P. Howdeshell

    Dear Tony, I was saddened to hear of Sandy's death. Whenever I saw her she had a friendly greeting and smile that brightened my day, I shall miss that. I tried to contact Roger Raubach to tell him of Sandy's passing but was unsuccessful. Please accept Angela's and my condolences. Warmest regards, Jon and Angela Howdeshell

  • Dee Pridgen

    Tony and Anne: So sorry to learn of your loss. While I didn't know Sandra well, I know she was kind, and had a warm heart and a wide ranging mind. She will be missed.

  • Claudia Thompson

    I am so sorry to read of Sandy's passing. She was an amazing lady. I enjoyed her stories in the newspaper before I met her at folk dancing. She had so much talent and so many interests. She leaves a large hole in the world.

  • Donna

    Sandra was a kind, caring and talented person, a true asset to our community. She will be greatly missed.

  • Dino

    My sincere condolences. Mr. Guzzo, Phill and Anne ... I have some sincerely fond memories of a special time well spent with you and Sandra at home, cabin and with friends. We have a water painting which ordains our kitchen for more than twenty years and is near and dear to us knowing that it hosts many and every artistic brush stroke by our beloved Sandra. Sandra and each of you were and will always remain to be an intrinsic extended family for me and a host for way too many deeply treasured memories.

  • Leon Strand

    I was her painter from Lance's painting and enjoyed her in the time I knew her. Worth noting .

  • Jean D Kirshner

    What a beautiful and well lived life. I did not know Tony proposed to your mom after one date. Sixty-two years later - that love inspires us all. I DO remember becoming engaged at at the impossibly young age of 19! This act was met with many raised eyebrows and comments informing me what a very bad idea it was. I went to visit your mom at the time - expecting more of the same. Instead, she held my hand tight and said, "THIS is good!" But she didn't end it there...she didn't let go of my hand, and she looked right at me and said, "remember in a marriage -it's not about making sure things are fair. Don't try to make sure your contribution to your relationship is 50/50. Always give more than 50%. I promise - you will get more than 50% back." I let that wash over me. It moved me so much that I told the minister, Sally Palmer, who married us - and she took that as the theme for the sermon at our wedding. Compared to 62 years, I may still be a newly wed - But 48 years later, your mom's words still breathe in my marriage. She was my true north for what it means to love for a life-time.

  • Tammy Comer

    Tony and Family: We are so sorry to hear of Sandra’s passing,. She was always lovely to be around at the Center whether you were dining or painting in watercolor - always with a smile on her face! May your warm memories provide you comfort during this difficult time. You are in our thoughts. Tammy and the Eppson Center Staff

  • Jill Collins

    Phil and Anne, sorry to read of your mom's passing. She was enjoyable to visit with and had such a warm smile to greet you with! Hold on tight to your memories.


All condolences submitted to this online guest book will be made public for all friends and family to view. Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>