Cover photo for Sandra Ann Birkel's Obituary
Sandra Ann Birkel Profile Photo
1946 Sandra 2023

Sandra Ann Birkel

October 31, 1946 — June 5, 2023


Sandra “San” Birkel, 76, of Middleton, WI passed away on June 5th 2023 after a prolonged battle with kidney disease with her beloved husband Phil at her side.


She was born to Frances Howard Campbell and Vidella Pearl Campbell on Halloween, 1946, a birthdate she would enjoy her entire life.  Born in Redwing, Minnesota, she was raised in Ellsworth, Wisconsin and stayed a lifelong Wisconsin resident, discounting a brief stint in Round Lake, IL.  She graduated from Ellsworth High School in 1964 and received her BS in Elementary Education in 1968 from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls.


She married Phillip Birkel in 1967 while they were both in college and moved around Wisconsin for a few years, finally settling in Eau Claire, WI in 1975, for the majority of her life.  She and Phil moved to Middleton, WI in 2021 to be near her children and grandchildren.  Sandra is survived by her two boys, Brad (Mariah) of Middleton, WI and Brodie (Lauren) of Verona, WI and five wonderful grandchildren.


San was a life-long educator, whether it was in the classroom or at home raising her boys.  She was an accomplished cheerleader, cheering varsity for three sports in high school and in college.  She was a through-and-through Packers fan, with a particular love for Brett Favre.  Some would argue he was her favorite football player of all time, though if you’ve ever spoken to Phil for more than five minutes, you’d see he easily holds that crown.  San gave terrible, but incredibly heartfelt gifts and had a shoe collection Imelda Marcos would envy.  She loved all animals, raising a cadre of cats, dogs, horses, and guinea pigs throughout her life.  San was slyly and surprisingly funny, but only when you were least expecting it. Most of all though, she was an incredibly loving wife and mother.  There was nothing she wouldn’t sacrifice for her boys, an admirable trait she passed on to both of them.


A Celebration of Life for Sandra will be held on July 8th from 2 to 6 pm at 741 W. Main Street, Ellsworth WI.


Please share your memories at

Cress Center

6021 University Ave. Madison

(608) 238-8406


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sandra Ann Birkel, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, July 8, 2023

2:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

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