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Obituaries for June 26, 2014

McClinton0001Sandra Lou “Sandy” McClinton, a.k.a. Cactus Lil, 78, passed away Wednesday, June 25, 2014, in Clarksville, Texas, after a long battle with cancer.

Bright-Holland Funeral Home has scheduled graveside services for 3:00 p.m. Saturday, June 28th, at Cedars Memorial Gardens, formerly Mineola City Cemetery, Mineola, Texas with Rev. Faulk Landrum and Terry Weir officiating. A viewing will be at 2:00 p.m. at the cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to your local humane association or the hospice organization of your choice.

Sandy was born Aug. 19, 1935, in Mt. Pleasant to Dorothy and R. B. McClinton. She had a special love of guns, hunting and horses at a very young age. She had a great love for music also, which a lot of her friends knew nothing about. She began hunting at age five, received her first horse when she was six and began piano lessons when she was eight.

The family moved to Mineola in 1946. She began her band career with the clarinet. She soon mastered the saxophone, trombone, French horn and was the student conductor of the band at Mineola High School as well as the Apache Band at Tyler Junior College. During this same period of time, her love for rodeoing grew. She roped calves, rode bulls and broncos. After graduating from TJC, she enrolled in Sam Houston State College on a rodeo scholarship. She began her teaching career in Colorado and ended it six years later at Texas Lutheran College. Sandy played professional golf, received her pilot’s license, owned and operated her flying school, raised Simmental cattle, attended the police academy, was an EMT, worked at the Federal Prison, then back to ranching. She excelled at everything she did, helped so many people along with way, but never wanted to be recognized for any of it.

After her working days were over, she started going to the Cowboy Shoots. Sandy won many beautiful Russell trophies that can be seen at the Texas Tinhorn Shooting Club in Leonard, Texas. She was Grand Dame, at age 70, in her class at End of Trail where she was World Champion Ladies Shooter two years in a row. Cactus Lil was a Life Member of the National Rifle Association, the Texas Rifle Association and the  Cowboy Action Shooting Club known as SASS.

She was a woman of her word. If she gave you her word you could depend on it.

Sandy is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Betty and Travis Peters, one nephew, Craig, great nieces and nephews, Melissa, Shelby, Aaron and Blake, cousins, Jane Cromer, Bobby Wayne and Harry Joe McClinton, and a multitude of friends, especially Mary, Al, Carol and Rye. A special thanks to these special friends who were always there for her. To leave a message or tribute for the family please visit

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