Local Obits

Obituary of Alessandra J. Andrus


September 19, 1952 – June 28, 2023


Sandy. My best friend and Love of My Life, left us on a Wednesday afternoon. Her family was with her when she began her new journey. Everyone Sandy touched knew true love and the purest affection… the kindest, gentlest soul. I am so blessed that we found each other, and married November 15, 1987. I could not imagine my life without Alessandra. She was my hero, overcoming so many health struggles in her life, including being a proud breast cancer survivor. She never complained. I don’t know a braver person.

A lifelong Cortland resident, she was born to Richard Hoxie and Maria (Funari) Hoxie, the area’s first Italian war bride to settle here after WWII. In her senior year of High School (1970), she won first place for hair styling from the Regional Cosmetology Teachers Guild and continued doing haircuts for decades.

She spent over 25 years as a floral designer at Harts & Flowers, where she made life-long friends affectionately known as the “Flower Shop Gang”. Her window displays were highly anticipated by many in the community. She later found her way to Flower Fashions, continuing her love for arranging. In these early years, she traveled to France and to Llowell Davis’ Farm in Illinois with close friends Gabrielle and Connie. She enjoyed Bob Ross painting classes, hosting annual clambakes and spending time with the Hoxies, including the Rhode Island Crew. Highlights also include her 40th birthday bash (legendary on Bowling Green) and yearly vacations to her beloved Rehoboth Beach. She was also a Girl Scout Leader, heading up trips including one to Fort Near Wilderness where she was the only one brave enough to get the catfish off the hooks.

To us, her daughters, she was an endless source of support and encouragement, always ready to help in every way, wanting nothing more than to spend time together. When we both relocated back to Cortland 20 years ago, Mom was waiting for us to start a whole new adventure. We were “peas in a pod” ready to tackle home projects, start our Pink Ladies darts team, cruise the neighborhood on her trike with a dog in her basket or continue making the ultimate Manhattan cocktail. She even got a tattoo and made a second trip to visit family in Civitavecchia, Italy all while perfecting her mother’s sauce recipe.

We will miss the Flower Fairy stopping in with surprises, weekends at the lake and can’t imagine the day that we don’t have a million things we wish we could tell her. She is surely at peace now, received by family and friends and surrounded by all the animals she could never have in life.

She is survived by her husband Duane and her daughters Susie (Harold) Norton and April (Michelle) Congdon. She was Nana to Chloe and Jakob, and Grammy to countless furbabies. She is also survived by two brothers, Frank (predeceased by Peggy) and Fred (Diane) Hoxie and their families.

A private graveside service will be held on Monday, July 10th at Virgil Cemetery. Following will be a celebration of life at Dwyer Park Little York Lake at 2pm, all are welcome. As an alternative to flowers, donations can be made to the Susan G. Komen Foundation or the Cortland SPCA.

Wright-Beard Funeral Home, Inc. is assisting the family with arrangements.

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