Sandy Diedrich’s lived the mission of hostelling—dedicating her life to building a community of locals and travelers wherever she called home. When Jim, now the owner of the HI-Northwest Portland Hostel, first met Sandy in 1980, he was opening his first hostel in the small coastal town of Bandon, Oregon. In her spare time, Sandy used her incredible organizational skills to create a quaint, yet thriving tourist hub out of the sleepy little town Bandon once was. When she and her husband, Bob, moved to Portland in 1997, Jim recruited her to sit on the board of directors for hostelling. She went on to serve at President of the Board for years.
Sandy lived and worked in Northwest Portland, using her skills and personality to mobilize the community and her neighborhood. She served for many years as a board member of the Northwest District Association and then became President. She also received the NW Examiner’s Citizen Award for her commitment to the NW neighborhood.
Before her death in August, 2007, Sandy was a major supporter of Jim and Britta’s hostel, and became a close friend. In Jim’s words, “We miss her dearly, but her spirit will always live on in our neighborhood and our hostel.”
The lower common room of the historic Elliston building was named after Sandy, to honor all she’s done for the Northwest Porltand community and the hostel. Currently, the common room is being redesigned, and as things are moved around and redecorated, it’s nice to take a moment and remember a special person who made a significant impact on the hostel that operates today. The bright painting is hung in the common area in her memory, portraying Sandy and Bob together (see below). Jim was right, her spirit continues to live on in our city and inside our walls.