Cover photo for Ellen Jane Sandvig's Obituary
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1939 Ellen 2024

Ellen Jane Sandvig

March 25, 1939 — May 6, 2024

Spencer

     Ellen Jane (Ford) Sandvig was born March 25, 1939, in her family’s farm house northwest of Laurens, Iowa. She was the last of seven children born to John and Margaret (Walsh) Ford. Ellen had many fond memories of growing up on the farm with her family; she also recalled early years of having no rural electricity, no running water and a coal stove to heat the home. She attended country school until second grade. She graduated from Laurens High School. Ellen suffered the loss of her father when she was just 13. Sometime after that, her mother moved them from the farm into town. In school she was involved playing basketball, playing the drums, cheerleading, and participating in clubs, dances, and school plays. During high school years she also had various jobs: breaking eggs at M & JR Hakes, working in a clothing store, an ice cream shop, and helping take care of her nephews, “the Crotty boys.”  She always said she had the most loving parents, the best sisters and brother, and the most wonderful life. 

     After graduating, Ellen attended cosmetology school in Des Moines, Iowa. Proclaiming to have fallen in love in grade school, Ellen was forever grateful when her childhood sweetheart, Kenneth (Kenny) Sandvig returned home from the service. They married on September 27, 1958, at St. Ambrose Cathedral in Des Moines; they had three children, Jeanne, Janet, and Kenneth Jr. (Okie).  Kenny was also a cosmetologist, and throughout their marriage, they owned and operated beauty salons in the communities where they lived: Bloomfield, Laurens, and Audubon. They settled in Spencer in 1972, establishing Kenny’s Beauty Salon, which was attached to their home. Ellen loved her profession and she worked diligently in the salon until she was 81 years old. As a stylist, she was committed to and enjoyed her long-standing customers. For many years and while raising her family, she tirelessly managed all aspects of their business. She enjoyed a long career, and it was hard for her to finally retire. 

     Kenny and Ellen had been married for 62 years when Kenny died in 2020. They were a true love story and had built a beautiful and special life together, full of joy. They were family-oriented, and they felt proud, fortunate, and blessed in life to have each other and their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. They had a lot of fun over the years, camping, fishing, hunting, roller skating, traveling, and would look forward to summer vacations.  They met wonderful friends along the way in life, they enjoyed many gatherings with relatives, and they loved company and welcomed all who stopped by their home. 

     The last few years Ellen relaxed with taking walks in Leach Park across from her home, watching game shows on television, and Sunday brunches at Jeanne’s.   She looked forward to visits with family and being in touch with loved ones. She was proficient at keeping a detailed journal of each day’s events, always remembering her family’s birthdays and anniversaries with a sweet hand-written card, and also sure to call each one into KICD.

          Ellen Jane Sandvig, age 85, passed away unexpectedly Monday, May 6, 2024. Ellen and Kenny were members of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Ellen leaned on her faith in life and never found happiness in material things. She believed in love and the power of prayer. 

     Ellen was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and her siblings and in-laws: Mary (Edward) Deacon; Gertrude (Austin) Crotty; Francis (George) Cole; Robert (Shirley) Ford; Kathleen (Bill) Filloon; Margaret (Keith) Dorrell; and Kenny’s siblings and in-laws: Evelyn Sandvig; Robert (Winnie) Sandvig; Charlene (Bruce) Sanden; Raymond Sandvig; Rosemary (Don) Dershem; Eugene (Beverly) Sandvig; and Dorothy Pellant.  Ellen was also preceded in death by several nephews and nieces and close friends. 

     Left to cherish Ellen’s memory are her three children and in-laws: Jeanne (Dan) McEntee; Janet (Jay) Muller; Kenneth (Julie) Sandvig, Jr. (Okie); seven grandchildren and their spouses: John (Janelle) McEntee; Jill (Luke) Sears; Christy (Boone) Bjorklund; Kathryn (Nick) Fairbanks; Amanda Sandvig; Nichole (Alex) Fleming; and Jacob Sandvig; and her thirteen great grandchildren: Avery, Alayna, Halle, Maggie, Gage, Ellie, Ross, Adelyn, Bentyn, Ellyn, Irelyn, Amelia, and Kenny; and a sister-in-law Dorothy (Raymond) Sandvig.  She is further survived by many loving and caring nieces and nephews and dear friends, including three very special friends who are like family and have been so good and so helpful to Kenny and Ellen throughout the years: Donna Meyer, Sherry Amendt, and Lana Deist-Greimann.     

Blessed be the sweet memories of Ellen Jane (Ford) Sandvig.  She will be deeply missed.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, May 13, 2024

9:30 - 10:30 am (Central time)

Sacred Heart Catholic Parish Church & School, Spencer

1111 4th Ave, Spencer, IA 51301

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Funeral Service

Monday, May 13, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Sacred Heart Catholic Parish Church & School, Spencer

1111 4th Ave, Spencer, IA 51301

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Graveside Service

Monday, May 13, 2024

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