Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience


Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience

Sandra Idema

March 19, 2024
Kalamazoo, MI




Sandra Idema, 76 years of age, passed away peacefully on March 19, at Sue's Loving Care Foster Home in Kalamazoo, of Alzheimers's Disease. Sandra (Sandie) was born February 28, 1948, in Arlington County, Virginia, to Joseph and Margaret Amell, who preceded Sandie in death. She is survived by her loving husband, John, of Kalamazoo; sister, Linda (Gary Chinn), of Aurora, Colorado; stepsons Matt (Jen) and Andy (Mandi) Idema; stepdaughter, Beth (Mark) Hoekstra; step-grandchildren, Tyler, Kate, River, Sage Idema, Jack, Charlie, and Tripp Hoekstra; and many step-nieces and -nephews in the Lansing area, where Sandie grew up.Following her graduation from Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri, Sandie worked as a sales manager at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, where she met John. They married June 9, 1984, and moved to the Kalamazoo area.

Sandie loved working with children. She started doing licensed day care in her home and soon after, along with her business partner, refurbished and opened a day care facility licensed for 35 children. In 2000, the business was awarded a Governor's Quality Care citation.

Another of Sandie's passions was gardening, where she became a Master Gardener, spending hours in the part-time employ at the Sisters of St. Joseph in Kalamazoo. She was also a skilled potter, spending hours at a time at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, taking pottery classes and participating in area art sales.

Sandie spread cheer wherever she went. She was truly loved and will be missed by all who knew her. A celebration of life event will be held at a later date. Donations may be made to the First Congregational Church of Kalamazoo. To leave an online condolence, visit