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Susan Sandstede, 64

Susan Sandstede, age 64, of Dassel, died Thursday, July 30, 2009, at the Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis after a month-long illness.

Susan was born in Litchfield Oct. 18, 1944, to Bernard and Frances Johnson of rural Dassel. She grew up on a farm, and graduated from Dassel High School in 1962.

Susan received a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from St. Cloud State University in 1966, and a master of science degree in education from Minnesota State University-Mankato in 1979.

Susan married Richard Krueger in 1966, and they had two children: Sara Elizabeth Krueger and Peter Richard Krueger. Susan and Richard were longtime residents of Robbinsdale.

Susan taught elementary school in the Minneapolis School District from 1966 to 1999. During that time she was a third and fourth grade teacher and media specialist at Lowell Elementary, North Star Elementary, Lucy Laney Elementary, and Shingle Creek Elementary.

After her retirement from teaching in Minneapolis, she worked for three years as a kindergarten assistant at Heritage Christian Academy in Maple Grove.

For the past 10 years, Sue was an active member of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel, active in the Milestones Ministry, chimes, and the Evangelism Committee.

Sue also conducted a Bible study at Lakeside Healthcare Center, volunteered at the Dassel Area Historical Society, and was president of the Swan Lake Cemetery Association.

In 1997, Sue married John Sandstede and was blessed with the addition of two daughters, Stephanie (Sandstede) Smith and Jill (Sandstede) Wedel. Sue and John resided in Robbinsdale, and retired to Lake Washington in Dassel, in 2006.

Susan will be remembered for her enthusiastic outlook on life, her contagious smile, her love of children and books, and her love of God. She approached life with energy and optimism.

Hundreds of children benefited from her friendly approach, ready smile, and eagerness to learn. She excelled in helping children learn to read and acquire skills in media, and developed innovative lessons on media literacy that were used in a number of schools throughout the state.

Susan was passionate about Milestone Ministries and helping children to learn about God’s love. She was a leader and organizer at both Olivet Baptist Church in Robbinsdale/Crystal and Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel.

From an early age, Sue loved motorcycling, first with a Cushman on the farm, and lately, Sue and John traveled all over the United States and Canada.

Susan will be greatly missed by family and friends. She is survived by her husband, John Sandstede; children Sara Krueger (husband Jeff Olson) and Pete Krueger (wife Sheree); stepchildren Stephanie (Sandstede) Smith (husband Chris), and Jill (Sandstede) Wedel (husband Jason); and nine grandchildren, Maxwell, Grace and Jack Olson, Megan and Tommy Krueger, Andrew and Joshua Smith and John and Luke Wedel.

She is also survived by her mother, Frances Johnson; and brother Richard (Gail) Johnson from Dassel.

Susan was preceded in death by her father, Bernard Johnson; and nephews, infant Joshua Johnson and Lucas Johnson.

The funeral service was Monday, Aug. 3 at 2 p.m. at the Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel with the Revs. Steven Olson and John Peterson officiating. Hymns were “On Eagles Wings,” “Softly and Tenderly,” and “Borning Cry.” Soloist Sheldon Hedin sang “Precious Lord Take My Hand” and “How Great Thou Art.” The organist was Florine Osness. Interment was at the Swan Lake Cemetery, rural Dassel.

Honorary casket bearers were Susan’s grandchildren, Maxwell Olson, Grace Olson, Jack Olson, Megan Krueger, Andrew Smith, John Wedel, Tommy Krueger, Joshua Smith, and Luke Wedel. Casket bearers were Noah Johnson, Roger Rossell, Jeff Olson, Chris Smith, Jason Wedel, and Don Oster.

Visitation was Sunday, Aug. 2 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel, and continued Monday for one hour prior to the service at the church.

Arrangements were by the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel.