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Obituary for Sandra L. Gebhardt
Sandra Lou Gebhardt, who instilled a love of learning in generations of children over a lengthy career as an educator, died Monday, April 23, 2018 in Stuart, Iowa after a brief illness. She was 85.
Sandy was born March 13, 1933 to Eugene Paul and Inez Myers Wilson in Guthrie Center. The family moved to Stuart when she was in the fourth grade. Sandy graduated from Stuart High School in 1951 and Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa, in 1955.
At Parsons Sandy met the love of her life, Fred Gebhardt, a native of metropolitan New York, and they eloped in 1956.
Fred’s business career took the couple across Iowa and the country, but Sandy almost always found a teaching position wherever they settled. She taught third grade in Keokuk, Iowa, and later served in schools in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and in Deerfield Beach, Florida.
When a sudden illness disabled Fred in the mid-1970s, the couple moved to Stuart where Sandy’s family could support her as she cared for him until his death in 1983. Sandy often said Fred’s disability made their last years difficult, but she wouldn’t have given them up as the experience only deepened their love.
Sandy taught multiple grade levels in the Stuart school district from 1976 until her retirement in 1992.
Sandy’s hobbies were upholstery, sewing, knitting, gardening, playing bridge and reading. She took great pride in her home and enjoyed entertaining.
Dogs were Sandy’s other passion. Her cocker spaniels Cindy and Heidi were favorites and her last sweetheart was Maggie McDuff, a West Highland white terrier, who survives her. Sandy and her family are grateful to the Dunkersons for giving Maggie a loving home.
Besides her husband, Sandy was preceded in death by her parents; sisters Mary Dessauer and Betty Mohr; nephews Bill Dessauer and Thomas Mohr; and niece Jody Dessauer. She is survived by a brother, William Wilson (Marlene) of Heber, Arizona; nieces Judy Odem (Keith) of Des Moines, Nancy Hillyard (Steve) of Des Moines, Deanna Kayyali (Sam) and Julie Holt (Rick) both of Centennial, Colorado, Kay Robst (Paul) of Denver, Colorado, and Paula Mohr (Thomas O’Donnell) of Ames; nephew Bob (Sabra) Dessauer of Baraboo, Wisconsin; and numerous grandnieces and grandnephews.
The family thanks Dr. Michael McCleary and the staff of St. Croix Hospice for caring for Sandy. The body was cremated and services will be held late this summer. Memorials to the Saints Center for Culture and the Arts or Stuart Rescue may be sent to Deanna Kayyali, 7977 South Niagara Way, Centennial, Colorado 80112.
Professional Arrangements: Johnson Family Funeral Home & Crematory – Stuart Chapel.