Cover photo for Sandra Matthews Powers's Obituary
Sandra Matthews Powers Profile Photo
1945 Sandra 2021

Sandra Matthews Powers

June 8, 1945 — August 13, 2021

On August 13, 2021, Sandra Matthews Powers, 76, of Durham, NC, beloved by family and friends alike, passed away peacefully at Duke Hospice.
Sandy was born on June 8, 1945, in Richmond, Virginia, to Troy Braxton Matthews and Kathleen Chappell Matthews. Passionately committed to education - her own and others’ - she graduated from the University of Richmond, received her PhD from the University of Connecticut, and taught for nearly thirty years in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, where she also directed the post-graduate program in gerontology.
She married Ed Blocher in 1993, and they spent 28 blissful years together. They passed countless wonderful days at the North Carolina coast—running and bird-watching on the Outer Banks, walking and talking along the shore at Atlantic Beach, and watching the world go by at Oriental, NC. Sandy loved to travel, and in recent years she and Ed spent time in Paris, London, and Italy; she also took solo adventures to Australia and the Galapagos Islands.
But she never neglected the soil closer to home—she was devoted to gardening, and once her own yard was packed with flowers, she began to volunteer at Duke Gardens as well. When her hands weren’t in the soil, her nose was in a book; there are still stacks of them around the house. She was an involved member of the Congregation at Duke Chapel.
She was a wonderful stepmother to Ed’s sons Joseph and David, and adored by Joseph’s sons Ben and Sam. With them, and with everyone whose life she touched, she shared her gifts of intelligence, strength, humor, and devotion.
She is survived by her husband, Ed Blocher of Durham, her stepsons, David Blocher and his wife Audrey Holst of Waltham, Mass., Joseph Blocher and his wife Marin Levy, and their sons Ben and Sam Blocher of Durham. She is also survived by her sisters, Judy Cox and her husband Jack Cox of Richmond, VA, and Mary Matthews and her husband Paul Lohr of Nashville, TN, along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 on Wednesday, August 18, at Hall-Wynne Funeral Home in Durham. Funeral services will be at 2:00 on Thursday, August 19, at Duke Chapel, to be followed by a short reception at the adjacent Divinity School.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Congregation at Duke Chapel.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sandra Matthews Powers, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Thursday, August 19, 2021

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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