Sandra Petrek

Sandra Petrek

  • Funeral Date: 5/04/17
  • Funeral Time: 3 PM
  • Date of Birth: 10/20/39
  • Date of Death: 4/29/17
  • Funeral Location: Bierman Funeral Home

Sandy died peacefully last Saturday, with her daughters and son, Michele, Renee and Soren in her arms. She left with the sun rising and the birds singing. She went to be with her beloved husband William (Bill).
Sandy was born on October 20, 1939 to Charles and Lucille Nash in La Crosse, Wisconsin, as the second of four, John, Sandy, Margaret and Tim, all of whom have predeceased her, as have her parents and her granddaughter Rachel Michele Petrek. Her grandsons, Max Petrek and Riley Petrek were her greatest joy: they always made her so very proud of the spirit by which they embraced life and its many challenges.
As she was growing up on the Iron Range, Sandy’s parents were educators as she would soon become. She graduated as valedictorian from the Viterbo University in La Crosse, and later earned a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York and certification from the London Montessori Institute in London England where she later became the Vice President. She had many certifications including one in dyslexia. Learning and education were a constant source of joy throughout her life.
In Northfield, she was involved in many community organizations, from the Clothes Closet and Used a Bit Shop to the Friends of the Northfield Public Library and Mission Sewing. Her friends in town are numerous, especially Tonya, Bob and Keyana Reinhart who she considered family.
In her early years, Sandy worked at a bar in Wisconsin Dells. She liked her job and claimed the bartender taught her to drink scotch, proof that nobody’s perfect. Incidentally, that’s where she received a phone call from Bill proposing marriage. Ever practical, her initial reaction was simply, “Oh my God, my children are going to be Polish.”
Bill and Sandy travelled the world. They especially loved Provence in the South of France. Their friends in La Ciotat, Jean- Pierre, Christine, Julie and Clemont Bessard enriched their lives for many years, and once again became family.
Sandy loved many things, tennis and Roger Federer among them. Don’t tell Bill. She rode horses starting with her first nasty little pony Jeffie. Jeffie is not in heaven. Picasso’s art was first in her heart; once again, nobody’s perfect. Art and books aside, Sandy loved people the most. Always a fast friend, she cared for everyone.
Sandy contributed to many causes: her passions included early childhood education, ensuring everyone had access to books, especially her son’s books and Mission Sewing. In recent years, she attended meetings of the National Audubon Society, evidenced by the many birds and butterflies in her home. Gifts, can be made to the National Audubon Society in her name. The Audubon works to preserve ecosystems that are essential for the continued survival and fitness of native bird populations and engages people of all ages to become stewards of their environment.  Memorials can be sent to: Audubon Minnesota, 1 Water Street W, #200, Saint Paul, MN 55107 (
Sandy appreciates your love and the community of Northfield that made her and Bill’s retirement so very rich. The French words “a bientot” (translation “see you soon”) is so very appropriate, as we trust in our love for Sandy and the life everlasting. Amen.

One comment

  1. Elise Price

    Soren and Michele, you’re in our thoughts and prayers. Both of your parents were special to me (I worked with them at Southeast Missouri State University until they went to London) and we have always exchanged Christmas cards. May you find peace and comfort in the good memories you shared.

    Elise Price