Sandy Moorhouse

December  7th, 1939 April  8th, 2024
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Sandy Moorhouse

This is a communal place where the life and times of Sandy  can be celebrated through shared stories, anecdotes, memories, and photos among those who knew her or that she touched through one of her many pursuits and experiences.


It is with heavy hearts that we announce that Sandra ("Sandy") Pauline Moorhouse (nee Sherk), 84, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, passed away peacefully on April 8, 2024.

Sandy is survived by her son David, daughter-in-law Paige, cherished granddaughters Nallah and Sami, brother Hart (Faye) Sherk, and many very dear friends. She was predeceased by her husband Michael (1999), daughter Leighanne (Mark) Noon-Ward (2013), parents James (2005) and Dorothy Harrison (2020), and brothers Donald (2021) and Gerald Sherk (1981).

Among her dearest friends, Sandy leaves behind Elvie Kierstead, a close confidant whose love and support provided Sandy with the ability to live independently in her own home for as long as possible. The care and empathy Elvie and her family provided was profound and exceptional. This is a heavy loss for Elvie, who shared a special bond with Sandy - the nuances of which cannot be captured with words. We are deeply grateful for Elvie and the significant role she had in Sandy's final years. 

Born in Sherkston, Ontario in 1939, Sandy was placed into foster care with the Children's Aid Society early in her childhood. Although she considered herself "one of the lucky ones" to have lived with wonderful foster families, the experience was not without its regrets. Among which was losing touch with families or the things most take for granted like a special doll, a painting, or even report cards that were left behind with each move. Never one to let the odds dictate her lot in life, Sandy began life with her eventual adoptive parents at 17 years old who loved her as their own daughter, formalizing the relationship when they legally adopted her at 27.  She attributed much her success to the warm affection, guidance, and confidence her parents provided her during those early years. 

From early on, Sandy was called to nursing and a life of service and caring for others. Starting as a Certified Nursing Assistant at Sick Kids Hospital, she went on to attain her RN designation from the Hitchin School of Nursing in the UK in 1967. While overseas, she met Michael, who she married in 1966, and brought back to Canada in 1970 with their 2-year-old daughter Leighanne. Over 36 years, Sandy took great pride in her nursing career which included a range of experience from acute care (paediatrics and cardiology), to time with the Weight Loss Clinic (New West), next as a private nurse, and then finishing in long-term care (Queens Park Hospital) in 2003.

Her contributions through nursing were equally matched through the high value she placed on community volunteering. Sandy was an active, contributing member of local church communities for many years: Southminster United (Edmonton), Cooksville United (Mississauga) and Queens Avenue United (New West). Sandy was a blood donor recognized by the Canadian Red Cross for her long commitment and numerous donations. The breadth of her volunteering also included: 1977 Commonwealth Games (Edmonton), 2010 Winter Olympics (Vancouver), 2011 Canada Winter Games (Halifax), George Derby Centre (Burnaby), Northwood Manor (Halifax), IWK Health Centre (Halifax). As a long-time volunteer with the Hyack Festival Association (New West), she was recipient of their Volunteer of the Year award in 2010. She also was very involved with her kids' activities including time as a Girl Guide leader, and even as a summer minor hockey coach! 

Outside of work and volunteering, Sandy pursued many interests. She always stayed healthy and active, a big part of which was being an avid walker as a leisure activity, but also as a preferred mode of commuting to work for many years. Never afraid of hard work, she thoroughly enjoyed gardening, with her roses being a particular source of immense pride. In the latter part of her working life and into retirement, Sandy found a love of golf which she played weekly with friends. Grown from attending games in her younger years in Toronto, she was also a passionate and committed Maple Leafs fan. One of her pure joys in life was to sit down and watch the Leafs play - win or lose. Sandy also loved to travel: Alaska, China, Hawaii, UK, France, Mexico, the Panama Canal and many places across the US and Canada. 

Sandy had a generous, warm, and empathetic spirit to everyone she met. Sociable and game for anything, she savoured just being along for the adventure. She carried herself through life with tenacity and grit, which may have been borne of her challenging childhood, or just indicative of an innate drive despite it. Regardless, any adversities she faced in life only seemed to instill a deep humility and selflessness to help others wherever and however she could. She was a memorable, compassionate shining light in the lives of the many people whom she made a difference.


Memory wall

Post your condolences or share your Memories.

April 27, 2024
I first met Sandy whilst we were both working at.Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto We both wanted to travel so applied to the Lister Hospital in Hitchin During our holidays we had many adventures in England and abroad. Not many people, in fact I doubt if any can say that they just strolled up to number 10 Downing Street and walked in the front door but we did! There was work going on so we just followed the workmen in. Needless to say we were quickly escorted out
in Windsor Sandy politely asked one of the Queen’s guards if she could take a photo inside the little hutch where he was standing. No words were spoken, the guard quietly moved to the side and Itook the picture Then there was the time that we were in Ostend and decided to go to Paris (it didn’t look that far on the map) and as we didn’t have that much money we just thought we would hitchhike …….so that’s exactly what we did! Half the things which we did one certainly wouldn’t do today
Thank you Sandy for being such a special friend. You will be missed greatly, R. I. P.
April 24, 2024
Sandy and I were old friends. We had known each other since our Nursing days in England in the 1960's. We lived in the same Victorian residence - Hampden House - and shared the same memories of that lovely old place; and all the student nurses who lived there during those years. Our lives went in different directions over time, but our friendship remained. I feel her loss today.... but I will always remember her laughter about the "old days" (Sandy climbing in & out of second story windows was always a highlight); her continued love of Nursing and her amazing energy.... and the pride she had in her family.
To all Sandy's loved ones I extend my deepest condolences in your bereavement. May you find comfort in your happy memories and strength in each other during this difficult time.

MAUREEN E. KIRK (Nova Scotia)
Maureen E. Kirk
April 19, 2024
I first met Sandy along with Nancy, both Canadians, when Janice and I commenced training at the Lister Hospital. The first meal served was gooseberries and custard. We had to explain to the Canadians what gooseberries were!
What a journey those three years were where we lived in residence in Hampden House with other nursing students, where lifelong friendships were forged. It was not always easy though, with hard work, and arguments came lots of laughter and many adventures, above all we all supported each other to get through the tough times.
Little did the four of us know at that time that over the next 3 years all four of us would meet our life partners, and I was the first to move to Canada with my husband Richard in 1967.
Over the years we were all busy raising our families, Sandy and I kept in touch and shared many family stories. When Sandy and Mike moved to Vancouver, we became much closer, visiting back and forth with many happy times. We also shared sorrow and loss as we both became young widows. We supported each other with regular phone calls. Sandy had so many friends and activities in New Westminster, as did I in Victoria but we valued our friendship and history we could share.
When Sandy moved to Halifax to be closer to David and Paige, I missed her but regular pone calls kept us updated and fortunately I was able to visit. When my granddaughter Hayley graduated from Dalhousie, I again was able to visit Sandy, joined by my eldest granddaughter Abigail. Both of whom have such fun, fond family memories of their Auntie Sandy, as Sandy was a wonderful part of their childhood. Abigail and I got to meet the lovely Elvie who David describes so eloquently in Sandys obituary.
Sandy, you were a gift to the world. Rest in peace my friend.
Maureen Kirk
April 16, 2024
Wow. .what a beautiful tribute to an amazing woman. I had the pleasure of working with Sandy in QPCC back in 1999. She was a strong and amazing advocate for the seniors she looked after. Her caring and compassionate nature still resonate with me and am so greatful that I was provided such an incredible mentor. I hope she lived out her last days being cared for in the way she did for so, so may others.
Ann Charbonneau
April 16, 2024
One of my favourite people in this world - Sandy. In truth, Sandy was my mother, Fran Beckingham’s dearest friend dating back to the early 1970s when we were neighbours in Mississauga. Sandy was instrumental is supporting our family through difficult times and she remained connected, involved and important throughout my life. First, Leighanne and I were playmates and friends for our childhood years. Sandy gave me my first paying job - picking cucumbers on her parent’s farm in Southwestern Ontario. Then as a young adult I found myself in Vancouver BC at the same time as Sandy, Mike, Dave and Leighanne, and she never hesitated to have me join her family’s table and celebrations. A fact that I will forever remember as I was on my own half-way around the world.
Sandy was simply always in my life, family, our hearts - she watched my children for me, attended my wedding, visited on each passing through Ontario, joined my mother on holidays - always a cherished, easy, loving and light hearted soul.
I will never forget how Sandy “watched” a Maple Leaf’s game - on her feet and yelling at the TV screen! Coffee in hand - swipping her bangs to the side and offering much needed coaching advice! Oh she was so fun!
I loved you dearly Sandy Moorhouse - Rest in Peace
Jodi Flanagan
April 16, 2024
Sandy came into our lives with the marriage of our daughter Paige and Dave. With Sandy’s open heart and kind ways we grew an instant bond. She was funny, caring and energetic. No path was too long a walk for Sandy or task lacking her volunteering spirit. Sandy was a wonderful and loving grand mother to her girls. A lasting loss for us all.
Nancy and Steve
Nancy and Steve King
April 16, 2024
In the early 80's my Mom was interviewed for a book entitled "Today's Child" by Judith Adams and Helen Allen, which examines the new face of adoption in Ontario following systemic changes through the 1960's, 70's and into the 80's. It also aims to show the diversity and challenges for all of those involved in the adoption process. Below is the excerpt about my Mom's experience as an older adoptee (using the pseudonym 'Andrea').

I really cherish having this frank account as it concisely captures her experience in her own words, but with a vulnerability she wouldn't necessarily show day-to-day.
Dave Moorhouse
April 15, 2024
My husband Bob and I met Sandy when she was living next door to our son, Guy and daughter-in-law Cathy Henry in Halifax. She was the best neighbor and help when Guy and Cathy had their twin daughters in 2012. We live in Arizona and Sandy was the best "adopted" grandmother for those little babies. We invited Sandy to Arizona and had the pleasure of helping her check off some entries on her "bucket list." We road tripped to Sedona, the Grand Canyon and over to Los Angeles, California and a visit to the Huntington Gardens there. We are sorry to hear of her death but so thankful we had Sandy in our lives. May the fond memories her family and friends have of Sandy help to mend the hole in their hearts at her passing.
Connie Henry
April 15, 2024
Sandra lived with us in 1953 and 1954. We were Grade 8 students at Gordon School in Welland, Ontario. I asked my mother if we could bring Sandra into our home where she stayed for 2 years. We went to Pelham High together as well. Sandra was a wonderful part of our family and I loved her. May sherest in peace.
Patricia McLean
April 15, 2024
I worked with Sandy at Queen's Park Hospital in New Westminster. She was one of the best nurses there and was loved by all. I have thought of her many times over the years since 2001, when I moved away, and am glad that she had so many happy, productive years in Halifax. God bless you and your family, David, and may He comfort you with all your memories and knowledge that many will be thinking of you.
Marjorie Benson

Memorial Service

I am still in the process of determining the best method for  celebrating my Mom's life, and will provided details here once a decision is made.  ~Dave 


Throughout her life there were many causes that were important to Sandy.

In lieu of flowers we would ask that Sandy’s life be honoured through donations to the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia here:


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