Sandra Kay Szalkowski, 78
Sandra Kay Szalkowski, age 78 of Nashua, died Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, at Cedar Vale Assisted Living in Nashua.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Nashua, with the Rev. Tom Heathershaw celebrating the Mass.
Friends may greet the family from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory/Olson Chapel in Nashua. Visitation continues an hour prior to Mass at the church on Saturday.
Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory/Olson Chapel in Nashua have been entrusted with arrangements.
Born on Nov. 14, 1945, in Hampton, to Hio and Esther (Willand) Bodde. Sandra’s life was a testament to her enduring kindness and dedication to nurturing the minds and hearts of those around her.
Sandra’s journey began in the small town of Hampton, where her youthful curiosity and love of learning set the stage for what would become a lifelong commitment to education.
After completing her bachelor’s degree in education, she embarked on a remarkable 34-year career as a beloved third-grade teacher in New Hampton. Sandra’s classroom was a place of discovery and growth, where she imparted not only knowledge but also the values of thoughtfulness and generosity that she embodied so fully.
Beyond the classroom, Sandra was an active and cherished member of the PEO and St. Elizabeth Circle, where her gentle spirit and wise counsel were a source of comfort and inspiration to many. Her involvement in these organizations was a reflection of her commitment to community and her unwavering support for the empowerment of others.
Sandra’s interests took her far beyond the familiar landscapes of Iowa. Each summer, she eagerly anticipated traveling, with a particular fondness for Washington D.C. Her family fondly recalls how, despite her mild protests, she was swept up in the excitement of exploring historical sites. These adventures became cherished memories, woven into the fabric of their shared history.
At home, Sandra’s heart was most content when surrounded by her family. She and her late husband Paul Szalkowski (married Nov. 28, 1968), who predeceased her in 2008, raised two sons, Jeffrey and Shawn, instilling in them the values she held dear.
Sandra’s role as a grandmother was one she embraced with joy. The time spent with her grandchildren, especially making salsa, was filled with laughter and the simple pleasures of togetherness.
Those who knew Sandra will remember her for the thoughtful gestures, the gentle encouragement, and the generous spirit that she extended to all. Her presence was a comforting embrace, a quiet strength that uplifted and supported those around her.
Sandra’s legacy is one of love, a love that was evident in every aspect of her life. From the countless students whose lives she shaped, to the family she nurtured with such care, to the community she served with such passion, Sandra’s impact will be felt for generations to come.
Sandra is survived by her sons, Jeffrey Szalkowski of Peosta and Shawn (Karen) Szalkowski of Indianola; and her grandchildren, Sam and Cassie.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Hio and Esther (Willand) Bodde; and her husband, Paul Szalkowski.
The family would like to thank the staff at Ceder Vale in Nashua, St. Croix Hospice and many neighbors for their help and support through the years.