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Sandi Rivka Levy
May 13, 1938–April 9, 2021
Sandi Rivka left us due to the natural cause of being nearly 83, though 70 years of smoking may have played a part. She has been known by many names: born Levy, the family soon changed its surname to Warren. Her first husband gave her the name Hayes, as well as a son and a daughter. When her last name was Beam, she graduated from the University of Maryland as a speech pathologist. In Utah, as Sandi Davidson, with a master’s degree she became a social worker. With the name Barbero, she became more involved in civil rights movements. Ultimately, she went by the Hebrew “Rivka,” and returned to her birth surname, keeping it when marrying her final love, Stan Penrod, who pulled her from the grief of her husband Ricardo’s passing—and vice versa.
An Interested Life
Sandi/Rivka’s no-nonsense wit and sharp intelligence were her hallmarks. When young, she was a fashion model, and later a hostess on one of TV’s early talk programs, The Tom Duggan Show. She was a scuba diver, a flight attendant, and took out charters on a houseboat in Maryland. Later, she tried her hand at journalism, a PTSD counselor in Israel, as an expert witness in the courtroom, teaching ESL and as a private detective. Rivka had a creative side. In addition to being an accomplished pianist, she pursued crafts like jewelry-making and loved to write.
A small detour, here. As a teen, Sandi was deemed incorrigible, and sent to Chadwick, a boarding school. Mrs. Chadwick wrote in a letter to her parents, “Sandi is developing worldly knowledge of the cheaper sort.” She roomed with Christina Crawford, and had a torrid romance with a dude named Melo.
The Marrying Kind
Marriage: keep doing it until you get it right. Six marriages, five men, four divorces, two widowings. The math is tricky. The slide show below starts with Stan, but after that it’s chronological. Larry Hayes, Tom Beam, Paul Davidson, Ricardo Barbero and Stan Penrod all shared a portion of their lives with us.
Rivka is the last of her childhood family, losing her parents, Jack and Sylva, and her little brothers, Roger and Jerry. She is survived by her husband Stan, son Jim (Sylvia), daughter Kelly (Adam), grandchildren Sahara (Landon), Marina, Jackie and Sadie, and everybody else on earth that is enjoying this beautiful springtime.
Huge gratitude goes out to the always-tender staff of Capitol Hill Senior Center, as well as Rivka’s medical and hospice teams.
An outdoor memorial open house will be held on Friday, May 14 (the day after her 83rd birthday), from 6–9pm.
The address is 2915 S. Filmore St. in Salt Lake City.
Per CDC guidelines for outdoor events, masks are not required for vaccinated guests.
We’ll share stories starting at 7:00. There will be refreshments.
Bring your memories!