Sandi was born on August 12, 1950 in Oklahoma City, OK where her father was stationed at the Tinker Air Force Base. In her younger years – her family traveled to many places due to her father’s military service – including Hawaii, Germany, and Greece. She spent her grade school years in California near the Edwards Air Force Base and landed in Colorado in 1963 as her father was stationed at the Lowry Air Force Base. Our beloved Sandi passed on October 3, 2020 with her husband/soulmate of over 40 years by her side and she was also surrounded by the love of her family during her final days.
Sandi graduated from Hinkley High School in Aurora and continued her education at Colorado State in Pueblo where she obtained her associate degree. Sandi also became a registered nurse after receiving her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Sandi met Doug Knop on April Fool’s Day in 1977 and married him in 1979. They lived in Capitol Hill Denver until 2005 and then moved to Central Park (f.k.a Stapleton) where they lived in their cherished house they called “Little Blue House on the Prairie” with their 2 dogs.
Doug had 2 children from a previous marriage (ages 7 and 9) when Sandi and Doug got married after dating for 2 years and raised his son Damon Knop and daughter Heather Knop Iden as a co-parenting arrangement with Doug’s ex-wife Rhonda Knop. Also, in 1993 they adopted Angie Knop-Barr after being her foster parent for 3 years. Doug and Sandi provided foster care to over six children.
Sandi and Doug have 5 grandchildren and they all knew Sandi as “Yia Yia” – the Greek word for grandma. Sandi chose Yia Yia due to her fond memories of Greece. Sandi was also instrumental in helping her own daughter with placing her newborn son with a wonderful, adopted family – which also became part of their extended family.
Sandi’s passion was advocating for children and mental health. This led her into an early career as a psychiatric mental health nurse working at several mental health clinics throughout metro Denver. With her experience as a mental health nurse – she also worked at Hospice of St. John’s. Sandi also worked at the Adoption Alliance, which focused on finding families for the most difficult-to-place children. She continued her passion as an advocate for children by opening a Foster Home for kids providing therapeutic foster care for kids suffering from child abuse. Sandi also worked for the State of Colorado as a contract manager in the Health Care Policy and Financing division where she worked to identify Medicaid fraud. Sandi ended her career at Amenity Consulting, LLC as a forensic examiner battling complex Medicaid fraud cases as a consultant and retired in 2018.
Sandi loved the beach, dolphins, their Gourmet Club, attending the annual Women’s March and enjoyed season tickets to the Rockies game where she attended almost every opening day with her husband. Sandi was also an avid reader – originally as a childhood escape that turned into a lifelong passion.
Sandi retired in 2018 and spent the last two years with her husband Doug enjoying retirement and home life. They owned timeshares in Mexico and spent 3 weeks each year in Cancun, Mexico - - Sandi’s favorite place on the planet. They also enjoyed time at their cabin on Elk Creek, Colorado.
Sandi is survived by her husband of 41 years, Doug Knop of Denver, adopted daughter Angie Knop-Barr (and Eric Barr), stepson Damon Knop and stepdaughter Heather Iden (and husband Charles Iden). Sandi will also be remembered with love by our extended and inclusive family including Tim McManus, Christine McManus VonGunden, Brian McManus & Sara Alan and Todd & Andrea McManus. Sandi will also be remembered by her five grandchildren Jonah Hope, Reagan Knop, Tucker Knop, Tyler Iden and Dylan Iden. Other members of this amazing family that Sandi will be sadly missed include Katie Montoya Knop, Keith VonGunden, Jessica Watts and Jenny Marie Womack Hope.
Memorial contributions may be made in Sandi’s name to the Biden Victory Fund.
We will be celebrating her great life cut too short Saturday October 10th at 3pm near Sandi and Doug’s home in the courtyard at 28th Ave and Emporia Street in the Central Park Neighborhood.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sandra "Sandi" Barnes-Knop, please visit our floral store.