Tree planted in memory of community leader Pauline Sandmann

Pauline Sandmann was a frequent site at meetings of the Mobile/Manufactured Homeowners Association of Suffolk, for which she served as president for several years. She was a regular participant at meetings of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association (FRNCA), Riverside Rediscovered and even the Riverhead Town Board, where she often got involved in mobile home issues.

Ms. Sandmann died suddenly on Feb. 17 of this year at her home in Riverside at the age of 87. 

On Saturday, members of the MMHOA donated a tree in her memory outside Riverhead Town Hall, where town officials, friends, relatives and members of the MMHOA remembered Ms. Sandmann.

“Pauline loved to get involved in any committee or organization that was around,” said Pete Baldwin, the group’s vice president.

He said even when she was away out of state, she managed to get all the MMHOA work done remotely.

But her favorite thing, he said, was working as a clown.

He said her friend, Roy Jacobson, convinced her to become a clown. She went by the name “Aunt Sissy” and Mr. Jacobson was “Meatball.”

“Every January, they went to Florida and went to clown school to learn how to become a clown,” Mr. Baldwin said. “That put a smile on her face. She loved being a clown.”

Friends, family and elected officials gathered to remember Pauline Sandmann Saturday morning. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

“I’ve known Pauline since I’ve been in office,” said Riverhead Town Councilwoman Jodi Giglio. “She was very instrumental in protecting mobile home owners.”

She lived in the Riverwoods mobile home park, formerly MacLeods, which is in Riverside in Southampton Town, but Riverhead has the most mobile home parks in Suffolk County, so she was often involved in issues there as president of the MMHOA.

Ms. Giglio said Ms. Sandmann probably spent more time in Riverhead Town than in Southampton.

The MMHOA had mobile home owners from as far away as Islip Town coming to its meetings, Ms. Giglio said.

“She was a big advocate for taking care of the people that lived in mobile home parks,” Ms. Giglio said.

Others voiced similar sentiments.

“She was a strong advocate for her community and her leadership will be missed,” Riverhead Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said of Ms. Sandmann.

In addition to her civic work, Ms. Sandmann worked at Grumman for many years and was involved in Grumman and Northrup Grumman alumni organizations, Ms. Jens-Smith said.

“She was a wonderful, dedicated person and I’m going to miss her,” said Peter Van Hensbrook, who worked with Ms. Sandmann at Grumman in the 1960s.

“She was really an influential community leader,” Ms. Jens-Smith said. “She was very involved in the fabric of our community.”

“Speaking for her family and her, she would thank you, and we thank you,” Ms. Sandmann’s son Rick told those gathered Saturday.

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