Sandra Krakow

Sandra Beth Krakow (Laserson)

Tuesday, May 16th, 1950 - Friday, March 27th, 2020
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Obituary of Sandra Krakow
by Ira Krakow

My wife, Sandra Krakow, died on Friday, March 27, 2020, at approximately 5:00am after a brief illness caused by the COVID-19 Coronavirus. She died alone, lacking the company of her loved ones, because of the "No Visitors" policy required by the hospital to insure patient and staff safety.

Sandra had some underlying pulmonary conditions (COPD, asthma) and she used a CPAP machine. These conditions, while taken separately, may seem mild, and they were well controlled with her usual medications and she was able to live a normal life. However, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection that she acquired proved to be the "straw that broke the camel's back", overwhelming her immune system.

On March 19, 2020, she awoke at approximately 2:30 am in the morning, with the type of asthma attack that she had previously controlled with her usual inhalers. She spent nearly 45 minutes trying to control it, without success. Sandy asked me to call 911 because she basically could not breathe. The ambulance arrived within 5 minutes. She was transported promptly to the Beverly Hospital emergency room. The ER doctor told me that she stopped breathing. She tried a number of techniques until she found one that worked. Once her breathing was stabilized in the ER, she was admitted to the Beverly Hospital Intensive Care Unit, and placed on a ventilator, with a central line feeding tube and various other IVs.

The ICU team heroically attempted to lower her oxygen saturation, to allow her to reduce her reliance on the ventilator. She showed breathing problems with a 35% saturation, so they were forced to raise it to 50%. They were never able to achieve that 35% level again.

As an in-patient in a hospital, with respiratory issues, Sandy qualified for the Coronavirus test. She was administered the test on March 20, 2020. With the expected 48-hour turnaround, the test result came out as positive on March 22, 2020.

During the rest of the week, the staff tried heroically to search for an effective therapy for Sandy's condition. They tried all available possibilities, including the malaria therapy that some had claimed was a cure-all for COVID-19. Nothing worked.

On Thursday, March 26, 2020, at approximately 10:00 pm, I received a call from the ICU doctor. They increased her oxygen saturation to 100%, but Sandy was starting to show multple organ failure at that point. The doctor told me that the "final call" would be in approximately 2 hours.

Sandy hung on far longer than that. She fought to the end.

Sandra Krakow was born in Stoneham, Massachusetts on May 16, 1950. She is survived by Ira Krakow, her husband of nearly 50 years. She is also survived by our daughter, Laura Stearns Krakow, our son, Samuel Louis Krakow, as well as her sister, Cheryl Fusco. She will be dearly missed, not only by her immediate family, but by everyone whose lives she touched. She was a retired registered nurse who chose direct patient care instead of supervisory or administrative positions that might have paid more. All of her clients adored her.

Sandy was a 1969 graduate of the The Maimonides School (Brookline, Massachusetts), and a 1973 graduate of the Northeastern University College of Nursing. She was a beloved member of the congregation at Temple Emmanuel of Wakefield for nearly 40 years, as well as a lifetime member of the Sisterhood of Temple Emmanuel, President of the Sisterhood of Temple Emmanuel, and recipient of the Sisterhood's Woman Of Valor award. Her loss was deeply felt by the entire Temple Emmanuel of Wakefield community.

Sandy's last wish was that her funeral be conducted in accordance with traditional Jewish law. In spite of the unique circumstances at the time of her death, her wish was fulfilled. Although a traditional in person funeral service was not possible, her burial was witnessed by the Temple Emmanuel of Wakefield congregants, as a "drive-by" minyan at her final resting place, the cemetery of Temple Emmanuel of Wakefield, which overlooks Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield. All traditional Hebrew prayers were recited by Jay Goldman, the owner of Goldman Funeral Home in Malden, Massachusetts. You can view a video of Sandy's burial, on this site.

Our family wishes to thank the Congregation of Temple Emmanuel of Wakefield, as well as Jay and the entire Goldman Funeral Chapel team, for fulfilling Sandy's last wish, which is also the traditional Jewish mitzvah (good deed) that the community bury its dead according to Jewish law. Jay and the entire Goldman Funeral Chapel team showed extraordinary creative ingenuity, at the risk of their own personal health and safety. Our family sends our deepest thanks to them.

A virtual funeral service was performed by Rabbi Greg Hersh, the Rabbi of Congregation Temple Emmanuel of Wakefield, the next day (March 30, 2020). The Rabbi performed the service via the Zoom software program. The service was watched by many of our friends from around the world, including 15 of her classmates from the Maimonides School, many of whom watched from their homes in Israel, as well as many members of Sandy's family who otherwise would not have been able to attend. There were over 100 attendees.

A virtual shiva, lasting 7 days, was observed, also using Zoom. Shiva visits were held starting Monday, March 30, 2020, until April 6, 2020.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic rules, a physical funeral service would have been impossible and unsafe. Sandy's entire life was devoted to caring for others.

The family requests that all donations in Sandy's memory be made to:
Beverly Hospital
85 Herrick Street
Beverly, Massachusetts 01915

Baruch HaDayan HaEmet. Blessed is the Judge of Truth.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Temple Emmanuel of Wakefield Cemetery
    Lakeside Avenue
    WAKEFIELD, MA 01880
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence


Posted at 02:38pm
I just realized, on what would have been Sandra's birthday that she has passed. I am so so sorry! I have wonderful memories from Temple Emmanuel.


Posted at 05:07pm
Many years ago, Sandy was an in-home day nurse to my Uncle, Irving Kennedy. She was much appreciated by our whole family and she was very kind to him. I was very sorry to learn of Sandy's passing. - Shannon Kennedy Leonard

Ira Krakokw Posted at 08:22pm

Thank you so much! We became very close friends with Irving and Cynthia over the years. In spite of his physical limitations, Irving always shared an anecdote or a joke. He was like a family member to us.

Marilyn Dimitriyev

Posted at 11:13am
So sorry for your loss. Sorry that you could not be there for her physically at the end, I'm sure that you were there emotionally, and over such a long relationship, there must have been very many times when she needed you and you were there.

ehud gudes

Posted at 09:51am
ehud gudes
my and my family condolences to Ira, Laura and Sam
the link to my video

Ken Kramer

Posted at 11:26pm
Ira, your eulogy about Sandy and your life together was very moving. You described her as only you could, and yet as I remember her. It seems like I met her almost as soon as you did, since we regularly exchanged letters during your year abroad. (Does anyone know what a letter is nowadays, not to mention the thin folding envelope for overseas airmail?) I do recall reading between the lines of your letters and sensing your excitement when you described her.

You reminded all of us about Sandy’s wonderfully adventurous side. Between the two of you, who spurred on whom? I suppose you did much more together than either of you would have done alone. How exotic your travels were and what a bond you forged over the shared experience. Your early travels together echoed happily in your recent adventures cruising the world.

Sandy’s commitment to nursing was obvious from the first time I met her in person, at the little apartment near Northeastern U. Even in training, she clearly had a quickly intuitive grasp of what her patients were feeling. There is something very big about the heart of a skillful and caring nurse. And how she loved those babies when she was on the maternity floor. Having her own children only made her heart bigger. See the photos I dug up, taken just a few weeks before Sam was born and then just after, Summer 1974. The more people Sandy had around her to love, the more love she was able to give.

I also was impressed with Sandy’s ability to be supportive of your professional adventures, as you went from being a computer trainee for Friendly’s through working for Wang and then having your own data-base company. Sandy could help other people believe in themselves.

True, Sandy loved fun and adventure, but she also could be a no nonsense, down-to-earth straight-arrow. Sometimes, it was my style, on our many visits to you all in Stoneham, to rev you up on silly behavior. Once, I convinced you to dig out your old violin from the attic. Impromptu, you played an impressive classical piece, worthy of your time as a member of the all-NYC high school orchestra. Then you fiddled away at a country cornball tune and you finished with a Klezmer melody. It was getting too intense and so Sandy came in with her mommy voice to bring us back to reality.

A person of so many shining facets and so reliable. We do miss her!

May you and Laura and Sam find comfort.

Ken Kramer


Ira Krakokw Posted at 08:26pm

Dear Ken, you captured Sandy's essence. She was a jewel, with so many facets, as you said. Our life together was magical. She was taken from us so suddenly, I wish we could have created more magical moments. Each memory of her is truly a blessing.

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