Sandra L. Demarest, 55, Was Writer, Counselor

Sandra Lynn Demarest, a businesswoman, writer and counselor to victims of AIDS and spousal abuse, died Oct. 10 at her home in Gulfport, Fla., at the age of 55.

"Sam" Demarest was born on Sept. 19, 1947, in Summit, N.J. Her family's home in the Convent Station section of Morristown, N.J., was widely known by county residents in the 1950s as the place to bring injured birds and squirrels for rehabilitation. Her father, Bertram Moeller Demarest, was vice president of sales for White Pharmaceuticals, and her mother, Harriet Weaver Anthony, originally of Macon and Villa Rica, Ga., was active in community affairs.

Ms. Demarest graduated from Miss Beard's School in Orange, N.J., in 1965, after which she traveled extensively. While living in New Orleans in 1981, she completed research on her ancestors, the Bertram family of Austin, Tex., that will be included in an upcoming book on the history of Rudolph Bertram, one of the earliest German settlers in Texas.

In the early 1980s Ms. Demarest managed the Beach Plum Inn in Chilmark, and later became manager of the Edgartown Woodshop in 1984. He later opened and managed the Snake River Trading Company in Provincetown, where she was a volunteer and later caseworker for the Provincetown AIDS Support Group, where she counseled AIDS victims and their families.

Upon moving to Gulfport in 1997, Ms. Demarest worked on the renovation plans for the former Bayview Hotel and became active in the Natural Law Party, attending their national conventions. She also worked as a volunteer for the Center Against Spouse Abuse in St. Petersburg, Fla., counseling victims of spousal abuse. Upon her death, she was tutoring English.

Ms. Demarest was predeceased by her parents and two brothers, Richard Anthony, who died as an infant, and Bruce Herbert. She is survived by an adopted daughter, Marsha Jo Tinker of Williamsburg, Va., and two nieces, Sara Slymon of Boston, and India Ennis of Brooklyn, N.Y.