Sandra J. Thompson, 77, of Waunakee, died unexpectedly on April 13, 2019, surrounded by family. She was born March 19, 1942 in Milwaukee, WI, the second of six children of Edward and Miriam (Happe) Miller. Her childhood was filled with school, family activities, church, music, Girl Scouts, family camping, visits to Long Lake cottages with cousins, and time with grandparents in Batavia. She graduated from West Milwaukee High School in 1960 and received her degree in elementary education from North Central College in Naperville, IL.
She married Rev. Frank Thompson on June 20, 1965. Over their 53 years of marriage she lived in Viola, Waukesha, Janesville, Columbus, Watertown, Edgerton and Waunakee. She was a passionate educator who taught Head Start, elementary school and reading recovery including 22 years of her career in Edgerton before retiring in 2002. In addition to her work in the public schools, Sandy was a Sunday School teacher, choir director, classroom volunteer and active member of her church communities including Crossroads United Methodist church in Waunakee where she was a member for the past 15 years. She loved travel, visited many parts of the world and hosted foreign exchange students.
Her passion for teaching and kids was only exceeded by love of family. Her husband, Rev. Frank Thompson; her children, Dr. Trent (Amy) of Waunakee, Troy (Heather) of Golden, CO, and Jill of Janesville, and grandchildren Grace, Will, Heath and Kyra were the joy of her life. Her siblings Jim, Suzanne, Bob, Marcia and Janice along with their children and all her extended family meant the world to her.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Sandy's honor will be donated by her family to the Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin and a fund for children at Crossroads UMC.
A celebration of Sandra's life will be held on Saturday April 20, 2019 at Crossroads UMC, 5901 Hogan Rd., in Waunakee with visitation from 9:00 - 11:00 followed by the service. Burial will be held at 4:00 p.m. at Zion Cemetery in Adell, WI.
Winn-Cress Funeral Home
5785 Hwy Q
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I enjoyed getting to know Sandy and you at our Grandparents Group at the Waisman Center. She was so supportive of your family and grandchildren, and I know she will be dearly missed. Prayers are with you and your family.
I am thinking of all of Sandy’s family as you celebrate her life. Our family said good bye to Bob a little over a year ago, so we understand some of what you are experiencing. It is comforting to have wonderful memories and the great message of the Easter season. May God’s love lift you up as you remember Sandy, a most loving and caring person. I am glad I knew her at North Central and through the years.
I had the pleasure of attending our local Curves with Sandy. We enjoyed many a conversation about our families while working out. Those conversations and her friendship will always be treasured.
I was fortunate to spend many years teaching with Sandy in Edgerton. Sandy was one of the kindest teachers with endless patience while working with the most fragile students. I really appreciated her expertise in the reading area along with her love of children.
My mom, Gail Ritsema, taught with Sandy at Community Elementary for many years and I met your mom several times. What a gracious, friendly lady! Have thought about her through the years because of something she said during a conversation in the teacher's lounge. Mom lamented that after school ended each year, it took her a couple weeks to catch up on sleep and get out of the school routine. Sandy said, "We pack up the car and kids and go on vacation immediately! It gets us instantly into summer mode." Great idea! :)
My sincere condolences to your family. Sandy's weekly volunteering was valued, and her knowledge of Reading Recovery was treasured. We are so appreciative of her time and effort with our youngest readers and I personally very much looked forward to our weekly chats. She was always so positive and quick to point out what children were doing well when she read with them. I'm sending deepest respect to Sandy and her family. You are in my thoughts.
Jane Wyngaard, Reading Specialist at Frank Allis School
Prayers, hugs, and love to Frank and family. Sandra made a huge impact on this Earth. May your memories give you comfort and peace. - Julie Frentz
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