A crepe myrtle tree has been planted outside Riverhead Town Hall in memory of Pauline Sandmann, local civic activist and advocate for manufactured homeowners. Sandmann, past president of the Mobile/Manufactured Homeowners Association, passed away in February at age 86.
Members of the association and town officials gathered outside town hall yesterday for a dedication ceremony honoring Sandmann’s memory. A plaque at the base of the tree is inscribed with her name and a statement that she will be remembered for her dedication to the MMOHA community.
Association president Anne Marie Spagnoletti praised Sandmann as a tireless advocate for mobile homeowners. Sandmann, a resident of the Riverwoods community in Riverside, served two terms as association president.
MMOHA vice president Pete Baldwin remembered his fried and colleague as a person who was always at the ready to help with every task, however large or small.
Baldwin spoke of Sandmann’s passion for clowning. “Her friend Roy convinced her to become a clown,” he recalled. “She went to clown school and it changed her life,” Baldwin said.
Sandmann became “Aunt Sissy the clown” and loved to entertain kids of all ages. She and Roy Jacobson attended clown school in Florida.
The Grumman retiree “loved being a clown,” Baldwin said.
Riverhead Town Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said Sandmann was “an influential community leader” who was “a strong advocate” for residents.
Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said she got to know Sandmann when she first took office. Sandmann was “instrumental in making the town a better place,” she said.
“We appreciate Pauline and all the work she’s done over the years,” Giglio said.
“Every time I drive by this tree I will smile,” she said. “We love you Pauline and we miss ya.”
Sandmann’s son Rick thanked the group for the honor. “She would appreciate what you did for her,” he said. “She would thank you and we thank you.”
The crepe myrtle planted near the corner of East Main Street and Howell Avenue can be expected to grow about 15-20 feet tall and produce showy deep pink flowers all summer and brilliant foliage in autumn.