Sandra Lynne ‘Sandy’ Barz

Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Sandra Lynne ‘Sandy’ Barz

BILLINGS -- Sandra Lynne “Sandy” Barz, 78, passed away from complications of Parkinson’s Disease on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, surrounded by her loving husband and three daughters.

Sandy was born on Aug. 10, 1943, in Chicago, the daughter of Hazel Murphy Brown and Robert Anton Stelzer. When Sandy was 3, she and her mom moved to Terry to be closer to the family ranch located in Circle. Two years later, her mother remarried, and Sandy was adopted by Cecil Nester Brown. In the coming years, the family welcomed Mike, Neil and Kelly, Sandy’s brothers.

After growing up as a Terry Terrier, Sandy attended the University of Montana where she joined Delta Gamma Sorority, which ignited her lifelong passion for community service. She spent two summers working in the Yellowstone National Park Accounting Department while living in Mammoth Hot Springs. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting and attended one year of law school at the U of MT. She remained a loyal Grizzly fan throughout the years. Sandy moved to Helena, working as a CPA for Galusha, Higgins and Galusha, and took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe with two close friends. In 1966, Sandy met the love of her life at a Christmas party. She and Arthur Barz were married in 1969 and enjoyed 52 wonderful and adventurous years together. They moved to Billings and welcomed their first daughter, Darcy, in 1971 followed by Karla and Tonya.

Sandy worked in public accounting for several years before taking the leap into higher education, where she found her true calling. She taught accounting and business courses at Rocky Mountain College for 32 years. As a professor, she was committed to and found great fulfillment in her students’ success. During her time at Rocky, and while her three girls were in high school, Sandy completed her Master of Business Administration through the University of Montana.

In addition to influencing the lives of so many students, Sandy was committed to sharing her talents for the betterment of her community. She served as President and Treasurer of a number of nonprofit organizations including YWCA, Junior League, Habitat for Humanity, P.E.O. Chapter Y, and Institute for Peace Studies. She was also very involved in her girls’ schools serving as president of the PTA.

Sandy was very proud of her Irish heritage. From beautiful Irish ballads to energetic and playful jigs, her beloved Irish music filled the house for the entire month of March. She was a gracious host and wonderful cook. For decades, her legendary St. Paddy’s Day parties provided an uplifting, joyful venue for family and friends to gather. Sandy developed deep connections and had many lifelong friends. A private person herself and fiercely loyal, she was a true confidant and had incredible empathy and compassion for others.

Family was extremely important to Sandy. She spent hours sitting in the stands or audience watching her daughters and grandchildren (“The Magnificent 7”) participate in a variety of activities. She was truly their biggest fan! Family gatherings, pool parties and holidays brought her much joy, and she spoiled everyone with her amazing cooking and baking talents.

Sandy was preceded in death by her mother, father and adoptive father. She is survived by her husband, Art; three daughters, Darcy (Steve) Nuzzo of Elgin, Illinois, Karla (Rick) Stauffer and Tonya (Tyler) Bush of Billings; seven grandchildren, Logan, Lance and Shayla Nuzzo; Shane and Kate Stauffer, and Colton and Tatum Bush. She is also survived by her brothers, Mike (Pat) Brown of Tucson, Arizona, Neil (Lori) Brown of Renton, Washington, and Kelly (Ted Silverman) Brown of La Mesa, California; brother-in-law Dan (Barb) Barz of Polson; nephews Rocky (Jana) Barz, Ian Brown, Gibb (Kathy) Camp and niece Susan (Dave) Landers along with countless lifelong friends.

A memorial service to celebrate Sandy’s life will be at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, at Mayflower Congregational Church, 2940 Poly Drive, Billings. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the P.E.O. Chapter Y STAR Project directly online at peo-donation-star [1] or mailed to Chapter Y P.E.O., 1202 Linhaven Way, Billings, MT 59102. Memorials may also be made to the Rocky Mountain College Institute for Peace Studies, 1511 Poly Drive, Billings, MT, 59102.

Condolences may be made at www. [2].

Godspeed, Mom! We will never forget your sparkling brown eyes, warm smile, contagious laugh, never-ending positivity and infinitely selfless soul.

“May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”