By Amanda Grabowski

Sandy Oyler’s late husband Joseph was stationed at the Naval Base in Portsmouth, N.H., when they met. After their marriage in 1968, the couple moved to his hometown of Ellicottville, N.Y.

Sandy joined the American Legion Auxiliary in 1976 and became a very active member, holding every office from Chaplain to Secretary to President.

She maintained her interest in the Auxiliary for 35 years because of the friendship she enjoyed with the other women, her personal sense of patriotism and the chance to serve her community as well as the veterans.

As an example, she mentioned the annual Christmas party, a tradition that has continued for 27 years. Under the direction of the Auxiliary, the Legion shopped for and provided gifts and a party for 25 area children. The event included homemade cookies and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

The Post and Auxiliary participate in and sponsor many worthy local activities such as Girl’s State, Girl Scouts, the Emergency Fund and cancer research.

Sandy is currently working to provide baby blankets for the Women’s Wellness Center at Veterans’ Hospital in Buffalo.

“I just got started,” Sandy said, but she has already finished four blankets.

Over the years, Sandy has also held offices, not only on a local level but on a County level as well. She was Secretary for 30 different county presidents and three in the 8th district, including the time when John Sampson was Legion County President.

“It is so important to support our veterans,” Sandy said, mentioning the work necessary to support wounded veterans and help soldiers acclimate to civilian life.

Sandy managed to carry out her volunteer work while raising three children and she is blessed with nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

After the birth of her third child, she also held a variety of jobs at Motorola in Arcade and for group homes in Cattaraugus County.

Joseph Oyer served as a scuba diver for the Ellicottville Fire Department search and rescue, looking tor drowning victims in place such as the Oroville Marina.

“I didn’t go scuba diving, but I did volunteer for their auxiliary,” Sandy said.

She may be retired from some activities, but certainly not the American Legion Auxiliary. 

Her newest job is serving as the elected tenant representative and board member at Hillview Manor. She certainly is a busy lady.