By HAROLD GWIN
Sandra Scheuer, the daughter of Martin and Sarah Scheuer of Boardman, was a 20-year-old speech and therapy honor student at Kent State University in the spring of 1970.
She wasn’t involved in the student demonstration on campus May 4 of that year but was on her way to class with another student when she walked into the midst of a confrontation between demonstrators and the National Guard.
Sandra was one of four students killed when members of the guard opened fire. Nine others were wounded.
The Boardman High School graduate was about 130 yards from the guardsmen when she was struck.
Bruce Burkland, a student at Ohio University at the time who was dating Sandra, wrote a letter to The Vindicator not long after her death, describing her as “a beautiful person.”
She wasn’t involved in any of the anti-war demonstrations at Kent and wasn’t a reactionary student, Burkland wrote.
“She always spread joy, happiness and laughter in people’s hearts wherever she went,” he said.
Not long after the shooting, Harvey Andrews, a British songwriter, wrote the song, “Hey, Sandy” about her death, and Canadian songwriter Neil Young also made reference to her in his song “Ohio” about the KSU shootings.
Her parents remained skeptical that the truth about how their daughter died would ever be brought to light, and her mother placed blame for the shootings on Gov. James Rhodes, accusing him of using the event for his own political purposes.
Martin Scheuer died in 1999. Sarah and a surviving daughter, Audrey, still live in the area. The family declined to be interviewed for this story.