Sandra Kay Steinke
09/18/1935 - 10/24/2017
She was the best in all of us.
It is with incredibly heavy hearts that we sadly acknowledge the sudden passing of Sandra Kay Steinke at the age of 82. She was the light of our lives and passed peacefully from this Earth on October 24th, 2017 after complications from a blood clot in her precious heart.
Born in 1935 in Sioux City, Iowa, Sandy lived an incredible life filled with laughter and love and the remarkable ability to make all of those around her better.
After graduating from Provo High School in 1953 she attended BYU where she met the love of her life— All-American basketball star Tom Steinke. The two were married in the summer of 1957. Behind every great player and coach there is an equally great woman and Sandy was exactly that.
While Tom became a successful coach at Westminster College, Sandy welcomed to the world her two most prized accomplishments in daughter Laurie and son Brad.
She returned to college to earn her Bachelors Degree from Westminster and then found her life’s calling— teaching second grade at East Midvale Elementary school. During her 22 years at the school, she influenced countless youngsters who were drawn to her wit, intelligence and ability to find a connection with her students no matter what the subject.
In a family filled with an All-American husband, a daughter who devoted her life to teaching Special Education and an EMMY Award winning Sportscaster son, it was Sandy who was the All-Star! Selfless, generous, kind, smart, sassy and always a shining ray of hope. She was our biggest cheerleader going to all of Laurie’s gymnastics meets, Brad’s basketball games and she always had a front row seat to watch grandchildren Parker and Alexandra. After undergoing a pair of heart surgeries in her mid-70s she made it her mission to live life to its fullest. Whether it was parasailing in Mexico, running the rapids of the Snake River or traveling to London and Paris, Sandy was never afraid of adventure. She could talk with you about everything from politics (not a Trump fan!) to sports (Denver Broncos and Arizona Diamondbacks) to entertainment to the latest edition of Dancing with the Stars. If the TV was on, the remote control was more than likely in the hands of “Birdie.”
She was a voracious reader who proudly still carried a well used library card. She loved doing the Daily Jumble and the crossword but also found time to cook the most delicious meals for her family— a skill inherited from her mother Elner “Grandma Bummie” Smith. Her Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts were simply magnificent. And her candied yams?— to die for!!!
There was nothing she couldn’t do— from making dresses and outfits from scratch to quilting and knitting and planting her famous flowers. She always found time to do something special for the less fortunate including knitting hats for women battling cancer, needlepoint pillows for all her friends children, scarves for Iraq war veterans and putting together care packages for the homeless.
Once a month she would hang with her “gal pals” at Bunco and while she loved playing the game she was also up for bowling night or a trip to a local restaurant.
This past summer she completed another bucket list goal when she drove cross country with her son Brad from Cincinnati back to Utah. Stops along the way included Chicago, Madison, Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills and Devils Tower. In her lap most of the way sat one of her favorites Dachshunds Rory. Her other puppy pal was Miggy who was named after her favorite baseball player Miguel Montero.
She was a big fan of Celene Dion and she finally checked off another bucket list event when she got to see her live in Las Vegas and she even threw in a Lady Gaga concert for good measure.
The last year of her life was filled with so much joy as she said hello to her precious great granddaughter Remington. “GG” was in absolute awe of this incredible little gift. One of our greatest regrets is that she was given so little time to spend with Remi.
“No time is long enough to share with those we love, or to prepare our hearts to say goodbye.”
Sandy is survived by her husband of 60 years Tom, daughter Laurie and husband Todd Tovey, son Brad, grandchildren Parker and Alexandra and husband Spencer Steed, granddaughter Remington as well as brother Jon Gifford and sister Penny Cepull.
A Celebration of Life will be held Friday, November 3rd from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at The Chateau at Le Jardin at 1910 East Dimple Dell Rd (10600 S.).
In lieu of flowers, a fund has been established at Westminster College to place a memorial bench on campus and establish a teaching scholarship in Sandra’s name. Go to www.westminstercollege.edu/giving, enter your tax deductible donation amount and under ‘Gift Options’ select the “Sandra Kay Steinke Memorial Fund.”
Online condolences at www.larkinmortuary.com.