Hundreds across the Lakes Region are expected to gather Friday to pay tribute to a man who devoted his life to his faith, family and community. Sandy Winde, a skilled carpenter, dedicated family man, and well-known deacon at Windham Assembly of God, died Feb. 13 after a long fight with pancreatic cancer. He was 52.

When he was diagnosed, Mr. Winde was given just months to live. He fought for nearly 29 months. Throughout his illness, his faith in God and his family sustained him. The community he loved so much rallied around him. A Facebook group, Sandy Winde for Life, generated 634 members. Pictures show fundraisers for community dinners, haircuts, a softball tournament and talent show. Friends and supporters shaved their heads for him. Windham and Raymond area athletes played for him.

“Sandy didn’t need to remind himself to care about the people around him. It seemed to flow out of him,” said Mark Gedicks, lead pastor at Windham Baptist Church. “His love for God overflowed into a life of loving service for his family and for others.”

He was the loving husband of Kathy Winde for 24 years. The couple lived in Raymond and raised four sons, ages 17 to 24.

His wife spoke openly about their life together, emphasizing his devotion to his faith and family. She remembered him Wednesday as a loving and caring father, who was involved in all aspects of his kids’ lives.

“He was an amazing dad,” his wife said. “He was a dad to more than our kids in the sense that he was there for our community’s children through the years. He passed off a lot of insight and wisdom to many.”

Mr. Winde volunteered for 15 years for the Cub Scout Pack 800 and Boy Scout Troop 800 in Raymond. He spent another 10 years volunteering as a baseball and soccer coach for the Raymond Recreation Program. In recent years, he had volunteered to help the Windham High School and middle school wrestling teams.

Tom Wiley, a friend who coached with him, said he encouraged young athletes to do their best and have fun. Wiley said his friend had a huge impact on so many people.

“Sandy is known and loved by the greater Lakes Region community,” Wiley said. “The fact that he will be missed by so many, is totally representative of the impact he has made on all.”

Mr. Winde was also known for his work as a self-employed carpenter in the Lakes Region area. He ran his business for about 20 years doing home renovations and other projects. His wife said he was widely respected across the area. She said most of his work came by word of mouth.

“He was personable, reliable and easy to talk to,” his wife said. “He loved working with wood. He enjoyed talking to people.”

A hallmark of Mr. Winde’s life was his faith in God. For many years, he served as a trustee of Raymond Village Community Church and was recently appointed a deacon of the Windham Baptist Church.

“Sandy was a picture of what we want to be,” Gedicks said. “He was real person, normal. He was the kind of guy who you could related to. He was also transparent and honest about where it was hard and what they were going through. It was a unique thing, I think. They were really transparent about their faith and how they needed Jesus to make it through all of this.”

Mr. Winde was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in late summer 2012. He died one week ago at home with his wife and their four children at his side. His wife said he faced his cancer with strength and grace, leaning on God to help through the difficult moments.

“Bottom line, we trusted God with it and that’s what we held on to,” his wife said. “It was in God’s hands. He was in control. Whatever direction God wanted this to go, we would be accepting of it. … Every day, Sandy would find something to laugh about. We would find some piece of joy, something to laugh about. Even until his last days, he was making jokes or silly comments. As hard as it was, he tried to make the best of it.”

Visiting hours will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Windham Assembly of God, 1051 Roosevelt Trail in Windham.