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Corner Brook woman hopes to find picture her mother painted before she dies

Verna Sandor's paintings were most often of scenery. Sandor is from Corner Brook.
Verna Sandor's paintings were most often of scenery. Sandor is from Corner Brook. - SaltWire Network
CORNER BROOK, N.L. —

Tammy Howell is searching for a painting of a church in a valley, but it’s not just any painting. It’s one her mother, Verna Sandor, painted many years ago.

Sandor, 67, of Corner Brook, has ALS and Howell believes she doesn’t have long left to live as the disease is in the advanced stages.

The painting is one Sandor donated to a ticket draw for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation while working at Zellers in the Corner Brook Plaza. She remembers the winner was someone from the Grand Falls-Windsor area.

Sandor would like to see the painting again and so would her family. Howell said the painting came up as they were discussing plans for Sandor’s funeral.

“We were looking for a background for bookmarks, the candles,” said Howell.

Sandor’s brother, Darrel Layden, suggested one of her paintings.

Sandor took painting lessons after her husband, Charlie Sandor, died and Howell started tracking down her paintings and seeing who had what.


Howell said her mother painted a lot of sceneries, and she asked which one was her favourite. Her mother told her about the one from the ticket draw, the church in the valley. Howell said it’s possible it came out of her love for an old song about a church in a valley.

She’s posted about the painting on her own Facebook page and on classified sites here and in Grand Falls-Windsor.

“I know it was a longshot,” she said, as the ticket draw was more than 15 years ago. But she’s hopeful someone still has the painting.

Brenda Power remembers when Sandor brought the painting to Zellers to sell tickets.

“We did a lot of fundraising for cystic fibrosis and any different community involvement,” said the former store manager.

Power and Sandor have been friends for many years and worked together at Kmart, Zellers, Target and Dollarama. Power last saw her friend just before the COVID-19 pandemic started.

“It’s the hardest thing,” she said of not being able to see her now, even though it’s difficult watching her decline.

“It takes every bit of good out of me to go visit her and I am very upset for days after,” said Power, the emotion of her voice changing as she fought back tears. “It doesn’t take much when Verna’s name comes up for me to cry.

“She’s the soul of the earth. She’s the hardest working lady that I’ve ever worked with in my life.”

They were working at Kmart when Sandor’s husband died. Power said she raised three kids on her own for many years and is a very carrying person.

“She wouldn’t eat if she knew that someone else had to eat.”

Power has shared Howell’s posts about the painting and is hopeful it will be found.

“Someone got that now and got it put down in their basement and don’t even realize how valuable it is to her, for Verna to have it.”

diane.crocker@thewesternstar.com

Diane Crocker on Twitter

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