Sandra M. Sawyer
Tuesday, June 2, 1942
Date of Death:
Sunday, March 1, 2020
77 years old
Sandra M. Sawyer
Sandra Marie Schaffner Sawyer passed away peacefully on March 1, 2020, in Rochester, MN, where she was surrounded and loved by friends and family.
Sandy was born June 2, 1942 to Clarence Louis and Helen Maria (Weiken) Schaffner. She spent her childhood in St Paul, MN.
Sandy met her husband, Ed, on a blind date. They were married August 10, 1963, and were married nearly 54 years.
Sandy graduated from Macalester College in St Paul with a degree in social work. She used her skills and education when working at Ah-Gwah-Ching nursing home in Walker, MN for more than 16 years, where she served as director of social work.
While Sandy enjoyed multiple jobs outside of her home, she was first and foremost a dedicated and wonderful wife and mother. She has been described as gracious and kind – a “true lady”. She was proud of the fact that friends had never heard her say a negative word about anyone, and her family can attest to this evidence of her character. She was a Proverbs 31 woman, and her relationship with Jesus was of paramount importance, the purpose of her life on earth.
While she was born in MN, Sandy and Ed spent many years in Texas, returning to retire in beautiful La Crescent, MN to be near their daughter and grandchildren. They had many well nurtured friendships lasting decades, and Sandy truly cherished those close relationships. For the last two years of her life, Sandy resided at The Waters in Rochester, MN to enjoy the proximity of her daughter and son-in-law – and two of her granddaughters –and her great-grandsons! She formed many very dear friendships at The Waters, and spent some of her very happiest years among the wonderful residents and staff there.
Sandy was preceded in death by her parents and many relatives – as well as her husband, Ed. She is survived by her daughter, Halena (Tim Lamer, MD) Gazelka MD, of Byron, MN; her son Mikel (Verna) Sawyer PhD, of Houston, TX, and her son David Sawyer JD, of Fort Worth, TX. She is also survived by a brother; Rev. Clarence L. Schaffner of Chisago City, MN.
Her grandchildren were dearly loved: Elizabeth Gazelka of Burnsville, MN, Allison (William) Shillingford of Dodge Center, MN, and Nathan, Erin, and Amy Sawyer, of Houston, TX. Sandra was blessed to have loved two great-grandchildren: Liam and Owen, who live in Dodge Center, MN and entertained Grandma Sandy endlessly.
Sandy spent many happy hours volunteering at the Mayo Clinic, and the family wishes to thank the incredible staff at St Mary’s Hospital for their excellent care of her in her last days. Particular thanks to the spectacular Mayo Hospice staff, who cared for both Sandra and Ed, 3 years earlier, with dignity and compassion, in their last days.
In lieu of gifts, the family requests that memorial donations be provided to organization of the donor’s preference – Sandy loved to support many worthy organizations.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Autumn Ridge Church on Saturday, March 7, in the Timothy Chapel at 11am with Pastor Paul McDonald officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. Burial will be at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Preston, MN at a later date.
The family of Sandra M. Sawyer has received the following condolences.
I was so sorry to hear of Sandy's passing. She attended our church in New Albin and was always so friendly. After she and Ed moved I heard from her a couple of times. So sorry for your loss.
Sandy was a person with a good smile, a good word and was a good friend, Glad to have know her since her for 45 years.