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Ms. Sandra Marie Keplinger

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Memories & Candles

“Wayne and Jim, we were shocked at Sandy's passing. She was here this summer and we had a very nice visit with lots of laughs She had been in Minn...Read More »
1 of 8 | Posted by: A friend

“We were shocked as well to hear of Sandy's passing. We were able to get to know Sandy through the biking club in which she was involved. She...Read More »
2 of 8 | Posted by: Lorene Swanson - West Des Moines


3 of 8 | Posted by: Lorene Swanson - West Des Moines

“I am sorry for you loss. Ill be praying for you all and all family and friends that you will feel God's love and peace and grace that surpasses all...Read More »
4 of 8 | Posted by: Carroll Anderson - Ankeny

“We will miss Sandy and her great smile. She had a great sense of humor. One of my great memories was sitting across the table at a chinese Restaurant...Read More »
5 of 8 | Posted by: Bryant and Becky Raleigh - IA

“We were very shocked to hear of Sandy's passing. She was in our bike club and had just talked to her not long ago as well as going on a recent bike...Read More »
6 of 8 | Posted by: Rich and Diana Philpott - IA

“Sandra and I had many fond memories growing up in Delano, MN. We were friends from grade one through our senior year in high school, both playing...Read More »
7 of 8 | Posted by: Mary (Askov) Lambert - Seattle, WA

“The first time I met Sandy with my wife Barb and dear friend Bonnie H. we shared a meal but shared so much more. Sandy spoke with a spirit that...Read More »
8 of 8 | Posted by: Kate Ridge - Windsor Heights, IA


Wheat Emblem

Sandra Marie Keplinger quietly passed away Wednesday morning, July 20, 2016, surrounded by her spiritual friends and family. Born December 19, 1940, Sandy is survived by her two brothers, Wayne (Karen) Keplinger of Golden Valley, Minnesota and Jim (Kathleen) Keplinger of Marquette, Michigan. She had many nieces, nephews, grand nieces/nephews, as well as many close friends. She is preceded in death by her parents, Esther and 'Kep' Keplinger, and a nephew, Brian Keplinger. She will be greatly missed.

Celebration of Life Service (potluck) will be held at the Unity Church in Des Moines, IA on Tuesday, July 26th at 6:00 pm. Delano, MN services will follow at a time and date TBA. Memorial contributions made to Sierra Club or Animal Rescue League.

Sandy was the youngest of three children, and the only daughter, born to Esther and Horace, "Kep", Keplinger of Delano, Minnesota.  She grew up trying to keep up with her very vigorous 2 older brothers.

All Sandy's life her large extended family enjoyed shared travel, good food, many sporting activities, golfing, and celebrations. A favorite destination of the families was the Minnesota cabin. Sandy said she learned about driving and timeliness from her father, who would station her and her brothers to look out the back window of the family car to scout for the highway patrol as he hurried to meetings, always running a bit late. Sandy was devoted to her parents and gave much attention to them in their elder years.

Chemistry steered Sandy away from the nursing profession, but her natural athletic abilities found a home in education as a physical education teacher, where she applied her skills at all levels, elementary, secondary and college in Minnesota, Wisconsin and lastly, Iowa.  Her focus on health and well-being also took her into cardiac rehab and wellness education.  Sandy was committed to the well-being of the whole person, physical, mental and spiritual.  Sandy was outspoken in her beliefs of good physical and nutritional practices, and she inherited her father, "Kep's", practice of making people laugh, smile and talk to each other, be they friend, foe or stranger.  She kept life playful through biking, cross country skiing, canoeing, hiking, roller blading, dancing and sharing the love of movement with everyone. Sandy also kept active in a number of local social groups very near and dear to her heart. She had been highly active in the Des Moines Women's Cultural Collective , The Common Threads Group (a spiritual seekers group) and recently The Heart Beats (spiritual) Group in Des Moines and the Chain Gang (a bike club) to name a few. Sandy was a very strong advocate for social justice and equality of all regardless of race or religion or sexual orientation and could often be found calling and canvasing for causes and candidates she believed in. Whenever she had time she could be found traveling and finding her way into the Earth's grand scenery with family and close friends.

Though her spirit was initially nurtured in the family church, the United Church of Christ in Delano, Minnesota, her soul found its church in the natural world, the great outdoors and amongst the many sisters and brothers of this world. She loved to engage people in theological dialogues and found wisdom and meaning in many of the world's mystical teachings. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area was her cathedral, and during her life she made almost yearly pilgrimages to the place of tree, rock, water and stillness, which fed her spirit.  Her backyard was her place of meditation and prayer where she practiced her spiritual attention and intention in creating an oasis of beauty and peace amid the bustle of a suburban neighborhood. Within her house she built her chapel, a cabin-like space reminiscent of northern Minnesota. Sandy's huge love of family, people and her world, her ability to entertain, seek, make people laugh and bring out the best in people with gentleness and grace will be deeply missed.