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City of Covington

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Sandy's Humble Background


  • Sandra Lee Elder was born on May 23, 1960 to Jim & Jean Elder. She was the eldest of 4 children.
  • She was raised and lived her young adult life in Lighthouse Point, Florida.
  • She lived with her parents throughout her life and moved with them to Covington, Georgia in 1989.
  • Throughout her life Sandy worked in Montessori schools in Boca Raton, Delray Beach and child care in Conyers, Georgia.  Her last job was as a nursery attendant at First Presbyterian Church, Covington.
  • She reveled in being an aunt and enjoyed her 9 nieces and nephews. She particularly liked infants, babies and toddlers.
  • She was a member of a local chapter of TOPS – Take Off Pounds Sensibly, the Senior Ambassador Choir and Presbyterian Women of First Presbyterian Church.
  • She was a devout Bible scholar.
  • She loved the color pink, word search puzzles, good food, horror movies and her wonderful Covington friends Marjorie & Vince Lentini and John Sutherland.
  • Sandy was kind and loving.



For more information, family members may be contacted

  • Jim & Jean Elder, parents 770.787.7951 james_elder@hotmail.com
  • Terry Elder, sister 239.298.7678 rufuselder@gmail.com
  • Russ Elder, brother rtelder@southernco.com
  • Scott Elder, brother stelder@bellsouth.net

About Sandy’s Dog Park at Chimney Park

"The things that make me different are the things that make me.” 
―A.A. Milne


Sandy’s Dog Park is for dogs and for those who love dogs. It is a place in nature to refresh and renew, amidst the natural setting of Chimney Park… A Park with Heart. Sandy’s Dog Park is being built by the community, spearheaded by her family, through volunteer efforts and donations. It is under the guidance and leadership of Friends of Chimney Park, with special acknowledgement to Melvin Allen. The park is dedicated to Sandy Elder, a friend of dogs.

Sandy’s life was blessed by animals. She particularly loved dogs. Her companions throughout her life were her dogs, all black in color, and each bigger than the one before. All her dogs were named Tiny to everyone’s amusement. The dogs grew in size through the years. Her first dog was a toy poodle and her last was a black mix about the size of a goat. People who had not seen her for a while would ask “What number Tiny are you on?”

She was a friend of strays and frequently adopted animals. Her menagerie included cats, fish, birds, a duck and skunks. In the winter months she heated water for the bird baths in the yard.  Sandy was diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. Her life was full of challenges. Things that most of us take for granted such as fine motor coordination, time management, driving a car or managing money were not able to be done by Sandy. She found great comfort in her dogs. She illustrated the axiom the journey of life is much sweeter when traveled with a dog.

Sandy unexpectedly died of an aneurysm at the age of 52. We cherish the many memories we have of Sandy with dogs. Sandy would have loved this whimsical park in a natural setting, a park with heart for dogs and those who love them.

May we strive to be the person our dog believes us to be.


Main Street Covington

Newton County

Hands on Newton, Newton County Community Partnership

Main Street Covington

Newton County Recreation Commission
Newton County

SANDY’S DOG PARK – COMING SOON

 As a dog owner, you want the very best for your pet. Maybe you occasionally take your dog for a walk, but it’s just not the same as letting your dog run free. There are no dog parks or anything like it in Newton County.

Wouldn’t you love to have a place close to home that both you and your dog can enjoy? Sandy’s Dog Park at Chimney Park will be exactly that, and we want to make that happen for you and every other dog owner in Newton County. We want you to enjoy the heart and beauty of Chimney Park while your dog gets a chance to exercise and have fun, but we need your help to make that happen.

Please click the button below to sign up for email updates about how you can help bring Sandy's Dog Park to life. You can also like our Facebook page to stay up-to-date on the dog park and upcoming events happening at Chimney Park. You can also donate to Sandy's Dog Park by going to the Donate page. Just make sure you write "Dog Park" when you donate so that we know you're helping Sandy's Dog Park.

Newton County Recreation Commission

City of Covington

Hands on Newton