Barbara Kay Sanderson

Published 12:34 pm Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Barbara (Jensen) Sanderson, 89, passed away on November 11, 2023, at St. John’s Lutheran Community-The Woodlands. Barbara was born on November 26, 1933, in Albert Lea, MN, and her legacy will live on forever in the hearts of those she touched throughout her life.

Barbara Kay Sanderson

Barbara married Thorvald Sanderson on March 19, 1955, in Mason City, IA and were blessed with 47 years of marriage. They welcomed two children, Kay and Mark. Barb & Thorv instilled a love of the outdoors in both of their children while spending time camping and traveling as a family.

Barbara dedicated her life to education and had a passion for teaching. She was very proud of her 35-year career of teaching kindergarten or first grade in Albert Lea and the surrounding area. She was also known for her remarkable ability to remember faces. Barbara would recognize former students at many gatherings. It became a cherished ritual for her to approach someone she had once taught and call them by name. She took immense pride in witnessing the successes of her students long after they had left her classroom.

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Barbara’s greatest joy in life was being with and taking care of her family. She took her role as a grandma to a whole different level by volunteering to be Sara & Amy’s dedicated babysitter. As the girls grew up, that active role never changed as she continued to support them in all aspects of their lives. Barbara’s love, wisdom, and gentle guidance shaped her granddaughters into the extraordinary young women they are today.

Barbara had strong faith and was a long-time member of Grace Lutheran Church. She loved music and was an avid reader. She also had a love for traveling and traveled with many different friends and family to almost all 50 states and many countries. She was always up for a new adventure. Barb also enjoyed many summers being a camp host at Helmer Myre State Park with Thorv and continued to host on her own after Thorv passed. She enjoyed when family, friends and campers stopped by to visit. Barb always took the opportunity to connect with people whether it was at her “cousin’s club”, Alpha Delta Kappa sorority meetings, or just meeting up with friends at a local coffee shop.

Thank you to the staff at both Oak Park Place & St. John’s Lutheran Community for their wonderful care over the past several years. We also want to thank Mayo Hospice for Barb’s care in her final weeks. It means so much to our family that Barb was so well cared for.

Left to cherish Barbara’s memory are her children, Kay (Barbara Phalen) Sanderson, Mark (Karen) Sanderson; granddaughters, Sara Sanderson and Amy Sanderson, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Barbara is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 47 years, Thorvald Sanderson; parents, Llamoyne and Bernice (Schiager) Jensen; sister, Lois (Carlyle) Madson; step-mother, Lydia Jensen; brothers-in-law, Clarence (Eleanor) Sanderson, Tenford (Ardus) Sanderson; sisters-in-law, Julia (Conrad) Kilen, and Olive Sanderson.

A memorial service to honor Barbara’s life will be held Sunday, November 19, 2023 at 1 PM at Bonnerup Funeral & Cremation Services, Albert Lea, MN with a visitation from 11AM – 1PM. Inurnment to follow service at Graceland Cemetery.

The family kindly requests memorial contributions be made to St. John’s Lutheran Community or the American Diabetes Association in honor of Barbara.