Sheila's Story

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Sheila Marie Sandula (Lehr) passed away unexpectedly while on vacation with her family in Mammoth Lakes, California, in the Sierra Mountains.
Sheila was born Oct. 25, 1942 in Detroit to Norman and Sylvia (Dugelar) Lehr. She devoted her life to her family and was a surrogate mother to many.
She loved to travel and loved animals, especially horses, and enjoyed nature. Her move to Northern Michigan in 1984 was a dream come true.
Her father nicknamed her "Tuff" and this was a good description of her personality. She survived many tough situations in her life and made many lifelong friends along the way. Through her dialysis and radiation, she always had a smile and made people laugh. Even though she had health concerns she was a spitfire who had a strong determination for life.
She was greeted in heaven by her parents; aunt, Ruby Madar; niece, Charlotte Lehr; and great-grandson, Cayden Nelson.
Sheila's surviving family includes her brother, Norman (Joanne) Lehr; sister-in-law, Nancy Lehr; daughters, Tammy McKnight (Larry Brown) and Dawn Downs; son, John (Aimee) Sandula; grandchildren, Dawnyale Bacon, Haley Sandula, Jose Flores, Storm Sandula, Winter Sandula, Snow Sandula, Mary Kate (Matt) Steele and Dustin (Katie) Bacon; great-grandchildren, Gabriel Bacon, Gage Bacon, Jayla Vanderveen, Dru Bacon, Zella Brock, Zander Brock, Cara McKnight, Emily McKnight, Brody McKnight, Aria McKnight, Molly McKnight, Bryalyn Steele and Weston Steele; surrogate children, Grant McKay, Lisa Philo, Margo Ammons and Anne O'Donnell; dear friend, Ray Castro; numerous nieces and nephews; and fur babies, Peggy Sue and Skeeter.
The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the caring people at Munson Dialysis and Bo Tangles Salon who became part of her extended family.
A celebration of life will be held Wednesday, July 5, at 11 a.m., followed by a luncheon, at Saint Michael's Lutheran Church, 912 S. Garfield Ave., Traverse City, MI 49686. Pastor Jim Nihiser will officiate. Casual and bright attire is preferred.
For those planning an expression of sympathy of memorials, in lieu of flowers, may wish to donate to the PEACE Ranch, 2570 Hoosier Valley Road, Traverse City, MI 49685.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and feelings with Sheila's family at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The family is being cared for by Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on July 2, 2017
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