Paul E. and Sandra J. Dallaire

Paul E. '66 and Sandra J. Dallaire '66 '85G

Sandra Jordan Dallaire '66 '85G & Paul E. Dallaire '66

Sandy Jordan Dallaire’s ’66 ’85G pursuit of a good dance partner at UNH resulted in meeting Paul Dallaire ’66, a chemistry major. Paul went on to a career with Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories and Sandy, with her UNH OT degree in tow, became an Occupational Therapist. Paul and Sandy, together for over 50 years, raised their three children Michelle ’90, David, and Anne Marie by demonstrating the value of activity to facilitate healthy living.  In retirement Paul and Sandy were very active with kayaking, ball room dancing, visiting national parks, spending winters at their home in Athens, GA, and hiking--including climbing 23 of the 48 4,000 footers in New Hampshire.  

After Sandy passed away in 2017, Paul wanted to do something to pay tribute to the incredible mark she made in the field of Occupational Therapy in New Hampshire. He established an endowed scholarship so the family could enjoy seeing Sandy’s legacy in action right away and, to ensure the fund lived on to benefit UNH OT students in perpetuity, Paul added a bequest commitment to the fund.

Sandy saw life as a learning adventure.  Some of her greatest joys came with spending time with her grandchildren. "Mimi and Grandpa's Adventure Camp's" kitchen would become "La Grande Restaurant" with grandchildren joining in the cooking, taking orders, and serving.  Woodworking projects involved creating trail heads in the back woods of their home with the grandchildren's names. The mountains, rivers, and lakes were there for the children to explore.  Mimi's picture journals of the week--in story form--would arrive in the mail following these much-loved experiences and will be a gift the grandchildren will always cherish.

As a high school student, Sandy suffered from scoliosis, which at this tender age forced her to wear a Milwaukee Brace daily. She saw this as a fact of life, and this experience moved her to care for her own health. Basic living challenges during high school inspired Sandy’s focus to empower others to find independence in their lives. This passion led her to a successful career in occupational therapy (OT). At UNH Sandy earned a B.S. in Occupational Therapy and an M.Ed. in Early Childhood-Special Needs. She trained at New Hampshire Hospital in Concord; Hines VA Hospital in Chicago; and West Haverstraw Rehabilitation Center in New York. She became a leader in her field helping with the deinstitutionalization of individuals at Laconia State School and New Hampshire Hospital. Sandy was instrumental in the implementation of critical government legislation for school children, and she was a pioneer in the specialty area of pediatric and school-based occupational therapy. She served as Vice President of the New Hampshire Occupational Therapy Association and was awarded NH OTR of the year twice for her work in pediatric OT. After retiring from the Concord School District, she started her own business, “Practice Tips.” Her passion always remained in the work she did directly with families to enable children with special needs to develop their ability to play and to improve their function in activities of daily living.

Sandy’s family, moved and inspired by the wife, mother, and consummate Occupational Therapy professional she was, established the Sandra Jordan Dallaire ’66, ’85G and Paul E. Dallaire ’66 Occupational Therapy Scholarship Fund, an endowed scholarship funded by both a current gift and a bequest commitment, to support and inspire future Occupational Therapists. UNH OT students will forever know the legacy that Sandy left to the field of Occupational Therapy as well as the legacy the family created at UNH.