John Henry Sandstede, age 75, of Dassel, died Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, at his residence after a courageious two-and-one-half-year battle with cancer.
His funeral service will be Saturday, Sept. 7 at 11 a.m. at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel, with the Revs. Laurie O’Shea and Keith Carlson officiating. Interment will follow at Swan Lake Cemetery, rural Dassel.
There will be visitation at the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel Friday, Sept. 6 from 5 to 7 p.m.; continuing Saturday at the church, one hour prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Dassel History Center and Gethsemane Lutheran Church.
Arrangements are with the Johnson Funeral Home of Dassel.
John, the son of Frank and Eleanor (Johnson) Sandstede, was born Dec. 2, 1943, in Sioux Falls, SD. He grew up in Beaver Creek, MN, where he was baptized and attended elementary school.
In 1950, the family moved to Dassel, where John graduated from high school in 1961. He was active in many sports and activities, and life-long friendships were formed.
John attended the University of Minnesota, graduating with a bachelor of science degree in business in 1967.
He was united in marriage to Joan Stueven in 1964, and they had two children: Stephanie and Jill. They lived in Minneapolis, Houston, TX, and St. Louis, MO before moving back to Minnesota in 1978.
In 1997, John married Susan Johnson Krueger, and welcomed the addition of two step-children, Sara and Pete, to the family. John and Sue resided in Robbinsdale until they retired to Lake Washington in 2006.
John was employed with Target Corporation for 39 years, starting in 1967, when Target only had 11 stores, and retiring in 2006. He was one of the first managers to open stores in the south. Throughout his years at Target, John recruited, hired, trained, and mentored many employees. His strong work ethic, determination, and advocacy for his team earned John the respect and friendship of many colleagues.
Throughout his life John had been involved with numerous community organizations, most recently with Dassel Area Historical Society, Dassel Rod and Gun Club, Red Rooster Committee, and the Lake Washington Association.
He was an active member of Gethsemane Lutheran Church, serving as treasurer for the church council for many years as well as participating in several Bible studies and in the Lenten church dramas.
John loved all sports, but especially the Minnesota Twins, Vikings, and Dassel-Cokato Saints baseball. He was a dedicated University of Minnesota Gopher basketball fan and season ticket holder, and was also a “Super Fan” of Dassel Cokato Charger athletics. He loved going to all his grandkids’ many sporting events and activities and could often be heard “coaching” from the sidelines.
John also enjoyed outdoor activities all seasons of the year, especially fishing with his grandchildren, golfing, waterskiing, snowmobiling, downhill skiing, and hunting. He loved motorcycling with good friends, and took many cross-country trips with them.
John will be remembered as a true and loyal friend, who had a genuine interest in the lives and well-being of others, often taking time to listen and offer help or advice, or to share a story and a laugh. He was a deeply devoted father, loved his family, and was always there for guidance, support, and encouragement. He was playful with his grandkids, could always make them smile, and made every time spent together a special experience. He also challenged them to work hard and always do their best.
John faced adversity with perseverance and courage and had a deep faith in God, which was the guiding light of his life. He will be missed more than words can express, but there is comfort in knowing he is now with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
John is survived by his children, Stephanie (Christopher) Smith, and Jill (Jason) Wedel; step-children Sara Krueger and her husband Jeff Olson, and Peter (Sheree) Krueger; and nine grandchildren, Andrew and Joshua Smith, John and Luke Wedel, Maxwell, Grace, and Jack Olson, and Megan and Tommy Krueger.
He is also survived by his siblings, Georgia Rettman, Neal Sandstede, Robert Sandstede and his wife, Janet Valen, and brother-in-law Richard (Gail) Johnson.; and by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives.
John was preceded in death by his wife, Susan, July 30, 2009; his parents, Frank and Eleanor Sandstede; his mother-in-law, Francis Johnson; brother-in-law Donald Rettman; brother-in-law Loren Stueven; and nephew Lucas Johnson.