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Sandra Keplinger, 75

Sandra Marie Keplinger, age 75, of Ankeny, IA, formerly of Delano, passed away Wednesday, July 20, 2016, surrounded by her spiritual friends and family.

A brief celebration of life memorial service will take place Saturday, Aug. 12 at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s UCC Cemetery, Hwy. 12 in Delano, followed by a gathering of family and friends at the church.

Arrangements are with Memorial Services of Iowa in Ankeny, IA.

Memorials may be given to St. Paul’s UCC Church in Delano.

Sandra was born Dec. 19, 1940, the youngest of three children, and the only daughter born to Esther and Horace “Kep” Keplinger of Delano.

Sandy’s natural athletic ability found a home in education as a physical education teacher, where she applied her skills at all levels; elementary, secondary, and college, in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Her focus on health and well-being also took her into cardiac rehab and wellness education.

She enjoyed biking, cross country skiing, hiking, roller blading, dancing, travel, and sharing the love of movement with everyone.

Sandy was a strong advocate for social justice and equality for all, regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation, and could often be found calling and canvassing for causes and candidates she believed in.

Though her spirit was initially nurtured in the family church, the United Church of Christ in Delano, her soul found its church in the natural world, the great outdoors, and amongst the many sisters and brothers of this world. She loved to engage people in theological dialogues and found wisdom and meaning in many of the world’s mystical teachings. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota was her cathedral, and during her life she made almost yearly pilgrimages to the place of tree, rock, water and stillness, which fed her spirit.

Sandy’s huge love of family, people, and her world; and her ability to entertain, seek, make people laugh, and bring out the best in people, with gentleness and grace, will be deeply missed.

She is survived by two brothers, Wayne (Karen) Keplinger of Golden Valley, and Jim (Kathleen) Keplinger of Marquette, MI; and many nieces, nephews, and close friends.

Sandy was preceded in death by her parents, Esther and Kep Keplinger.

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