Sandra Wray-McAfee was born in Durham, North Carolina. Her father ran a taxicab business and was a talented brick mason and carpenter. Her mother taught elementary school. She received her PhD from the University of Michigan and went on to teach in the Mathematics and Statistics Department at the University of Michigan Dearborn for 21 years. She retired in 2008.
Sandra Wray-McAfee was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2016 as part of the Legacies Project.