On January 10, 2021, Sande Sunde of Louisville, Colorado went home to heaven at the age of 82.
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Sandra Lee Postema was born on April 25, 1938 in the Dutch community of New Era, Michigan to Mavis and Arnold Postema. She had an older brother, Dennis, and a younger sister, Christine. She spent her early years swimming or ice skating at nearby Stony Lake, helping with the asparagus and cherry harvest on nearby farms, reading Grace Livingston Hill romance novels, and visiting her father’s hardware store. Sandra’s summers always included going to Camp Geneva, and she enjoyed scooping and making malts in the local ice-cream shop. She attended high school in Shelby, Michigan, spent her junior year in New Jersey, and graduated from Muskegon (Michigan) Christian High School in 1956.
Sandra left New Era to attend Hope College, and at an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship spring retreat, she met the handsome David Sunde. They married at New Era Reformed Church on September 5, 1959. After marrying David, she changed the spelling of her name to Sande to mirror her new last name. She transferred to Western Michigan University to graduate with David in 1960, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. While David attended Dallas Theological Seminary, she taught elementary-school music in Dallas, Texas.
Sande was the mother of three girls, Judy Elizabeth, Lisa Charmane and Mary Deborah. The Sunde family made homes in South Gate, California; Evanston, Illinois; Riverside, California; San Diego, California; and Louisville, Colorado. After Sande contracted Rubella during her pregnancy, Lisa was born with complete hearing loss, and Sande led the family in learning American Sign Language. She loved being a homemaker and hostess, and created lovely and welcoming homes for her family, her many friends and her children’s friends everywhere they lived. She delighted in being grandmother to 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Always a devoted and adoring wife, Sande celebrated 61 years of marriage with David in 2020.
David and Sande were on the staff of CRU, a nonprofit, interdenominational Christian organization, for 54 years. When David worked with university students at Northwestern, Sande fed hungry crowds at weekly “Sunde Suppers,” the beginning of many gatherings, parties and delicious meals she orchestrated in her home as her family grew. Together, they spoke at Family Life Weekend to Remember marriage conferences and spent many summers ministering to an American expat community in Saudi Arabia.
She also wrote and presented her own seminar, Heart and Home Keepers, and authored a monthly newsletter. Sharing her story of surviving the 1976 Big Thompson Flood in Colorado and her experience of the joys and challenges of raising a Deaf daughter, Sande was a popular speaker at Christian Women’s Clubs all over the United States. She was loved for her creativity, vulnerability and playful sense of humor, and her desire to encourage women through her presentations.
Sande was a constant companion to David on his many trips all over the world for their work with CRU; she was always ready for an adventure. Favorite destinations included The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Hawaii, Fiji, South Africa and Victoria, British Columbia.
Sande loved lilacs, chatting over coffee, dining out, cuddling babies, tulips, being with her family, decorating her home, writing, pastries and ice cream, shopping, singing as she worked around her home and garden, knitting and embroidery, and cozy evenings by the fire reading or watching movies. We all loved to make her laugh. She will be greatly missed.
Sandra is survived by her beloved husband, David; daughters Judy (Steve) Hanawalt, Lisa Rutland and Mary DeBeer (Dave Merchant); grandchildren Stephanie Hanawalt, Amy (Dolapo) Aiyegbusi, Lauren Hanawalt, Caroline (Connor) Williams, Jacob Hanawalt, Timothy Hanawalt, Claire Rutland (Kendall Weingardt), Emma (Ben) Shultz, Christopher (Sarah) Peary, Joshua DeBeer (Maddy Brokman), Emily DeBeer, Kelsey DeBeer and Peter DeBeer; two great-grandchildren, Calvin Peary and Iver Aiyegbusi; sister Christine (Gordon) Sikkenga, many nieces and nephews and a host of friends she welcomed into her life as family.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or TRU Community Care of Boulder County.