An unsettled childhood gave the girl who would become Sandra Plueddeman self-confidence and an outgoing personality, and a connection to the church that would last a lifetime. Sandra died October 23, 2019, on a crisp and sunny afternoon that was also her 85th birthday.
Born in 1934 in Freeport, Ill., Sandra was raised by her mother, Marian Sword, and stepfather, George Pease. A locomotive engineer for the Milwaukee Road, Pease moved the family from town to town in northern Illinois, taking work assignments that were often interrupted by chronic health issues. Sandras mother sold cosmetics door-to-door to make ends meet. The family also resided in Aurora, Elgin, and Savannah, Illinois. Sandra learned that a good way to make friends in a new town or neighborhood was to attend a local church, a strategy she would employ throughout her life.
Sandra graduated from Savanna Township High School in 1952. A big fan of the Cherry Ames book series, Sandra dreamed of being a nurse and in 1955 earned her nursing diploma at Swedish American Hospital in Rockford, Ill. In the summer of 1956 she was working as a registered nurse at the surgical hospital when she met Paul Plueddeman, who was attending medical school at the University of Illinois-Chicago. They were married in 1956 and moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and then to San Diego, Calif., in 1958 where Dr. Plueddeman served in the United States Navy.
Now a family with two young children, Sandra and Paul moved to Markesan, Wis., in 1960. Sandra would reside in Markesan until 2010, the longest shed stayed put in her life. Sandra was active in the Methodist Church, where she sang in the choir, was a lay leader, and taught Sunday school and confirmation classes. She was also a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader, and volunteered for the Red Cross blood bank. She was a decisive leader who made things happen. As a close friend noted, If Sandy asked you, you might as well say yes because youll end up doing it anyway.
Sandra became Nursing Director at the Riverdale Manor nursing home in Markesan in 1975, a position she held until 1989. After retiring Sandra led a weekly ministry to inmates in the Wisconsin prison system, made Christian mission trips to Chile and Albania and was a home-building volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. In the Markesan community Sandra was known as a kind, compassionate and supportive friend.
Sandra moved to the Evergreen Retirement Community in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 2010 and remained an active volunteer and community organizer until weeks before her death. She is survived by her son Charles of Ripon, Wis.; daughter Marian of Kenai, Alaska; daughter Katherine of Sandy, Utah; son Paul of Belleville, Wis.; 15 grandchildren and three great-grand daughters. She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul Plueddeman, her parents George and Marian Pease, her sister Georgia Pease, and her infant daughters Sarah Jane and Jennifer Plueddeman.
The life of Sandra Plueddeman will be celebrated with a memorial service on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at Butzin-Marchant Funeral Home, 515 Mayparty Dr. in Ripon, Wisconsin; visitation from 10-11 a.m. and service beginning at 11 a.m.
The family would like to acknowledge the compassionate and loving care Sandra received at the Agnesian Hospice Home of Hope in Fond du Lac during her final days. In lieu of flowers Sandra asked that you please consider making a donation to JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) with a check at the service or at JDRF.org.
Please visit www.butzinmarchant.com to send online condolences.