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Your face is all I seek

by davesandel on November 11th, 2021

Thursday, November 11, 2021                                   (today’s lectionary)

Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop

Veterans Day

Miles Tomita’s 5th birthday

Your face is all I seek

In Wisdom is a spirit intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, agile, clear, unstained, certain, loving the good, keen, unhampered, kindly, firm, secure, tranquil and pervading all spirits.

So. The sweet lady who married my dad, had three babies including me, taught school and became one of the heroes of Logan Correctional Center in the 1980’s, has passed away. She was 99, and in the last year or so she had a pretty tough time of it. But she died at home, and every night she prayed for her kids and her helper. She mostly slept very well. As long as she could catch her breath, she was happy, relaxed and full of friendship. She loved to eat catfish and baked potatoes. We’ve had a Christmas party at her house every year for the last … century, it seems like.

Every six weeks Mary Kay took her to an eye clinic in Springfield, where she got an injection straight into the middle of her eye. Sounds awful, but she got used to it. Her eyes worked well enough until the day she died. She read biographies, history, poetry, and the Bible. She didn’t watch much TV, except sometimes the veterinarian show from Michigan, “Dr. Pol.”

Your word is forever, O Lord. Let your countenance shine upon your servant. Let my soul live to praise you.

In bed at nine each night she prayed Luther’s Evening Prayer, aloud, before she removed her hearing aids and glasses. When I was with her (once a month or so), I knew she could hear me and see me when she prayed.

I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Please take care of my children and all my helpers. Amen.

Luther’s instructions were simple: “Then go to sleep at once and in good cheer.”

For fifteen years or so, Mom and I worked and reworked her obituary, for the day when we would need it. So today was the final rewrite, although this time we had to get through it without her help.

Today in fact is also the first birthday of her newest great grandson, Elim Judah Sandel.  (Many years ago Mom and Dad named their farm Elim Acres.)


Angelina Sandel, 99, died at home on November 10, 2021. She was born June 30, 1922 in Lincoln, a daughter of the late Herman and Tasie Conrady Brummer. She was married to Roland Sandel in 1948 in Lincoln. He died in 2002.

She is survived by one daughter, Mary Kathleen (Jim) Cravens of Sherman, and two sons, David (Margaret) Sandel of Urbana and John (Karen) Sandel of Lincoln. Also surviving are nine grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren.

Her grandchildren are Shannon (Dan) Doolin of Lincoln, Matthew (Tessa) Sandel of Oskaloosa, Iowa, Israel (Michelle) Sandel of Lincoln, Christian (Adrienne) Sandel of Emeryville, California, Christopher (Melissa) Sandel of Springfield, Marc Sandel of Urbana, Andrea (Aki) Tomita of Austin, Texas, Amy (Kevin) Mitchell of Loveland, Colorado, and Kelsey Flanagan of Sweden

Her great-grandchildren are Madison Sandel, Grace Doolin, Noah Doolin, Lydia Doolin, Isaac Doolin, Samuel Doolin, Ivy Sandel, Meya Schriber, Cloey Sandel, Elim Judah Sandel, Jack Sandel, Aly Sandel, Miles Tomita, Jasper Tomita, Cameron Mitchell, and Ellie Grace Mitchell.

Angelina was a graduate of Lincoln College in 1941 and the University of Illinois in 1947. She and her son David received their master’s degrees in counseling together on Mother’s Day, 1980. She was a teacher for 30 years in Logan County schools, including one-room rural schools, Central School, Chester-East Lincoln School, and District 428 at Logan Correctional Center where she was selected as Outstanding Educator in 1987.

During World War II she served as Red Cross volunteer nurse aide at St. Clara’s Hospital and was a summer employee at the Illiopolis Ordinance Plant. She has been a recreation worker at Lincoln State School, playground director for the City of Lincoln summer recreation program, and was a member of Home Bureau and AAUW. She started the Cub Scout and Girl Scout programs at Chester East Lincoln School.

 Angelina served as Sunday School teacher and choir member for many years at Zion Lutheran Church. In 1968 she and her husband Roland became charter members of Faith Lutheran Church, a daughter congregation of Zion Lutheran Church. At Faith she was active in the Bethel Bible Series, TLC (Tender Loving Care) Committee and Dorcas Guild.

She was also a participant and team member in Kogudus retreat weekends and served as an ALMH volunteer. She was a member of the DeWitt-Logan Retired Teachers’ Association, Illinois Education Association, Logan County Genealogical and Historical Society, AFSCME State Retirees, Logan County Farm Bureau and the Oasis Book Club.

She loved the people in her family and enjoyed spending time with them. She was an avid reader, especially of biographies, and was a student of history and politics. She enjoyed traveling, jigsaw and crossword puzzles, bird watching, rummage sales, reading, and selling books on the internet.

Into her later years, Angie always maintained her zest for life and interest in other people, particularly her family. She was very thoughtful and encouraging of others, and her spirit remained indomitable.

Funeral services will be held at Faith Lutheran Church. Burial will be in Mt. Pulaski Cemetery. Visitation will be at Fricke Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to her church, Logan County Food Pantry, Logan County Genealogical & Historical Society, or American Diabetes Association.

And, of course, her obituary barely begins to describe her life. Just as I talked with Dad in heaven and asked him for his prayers, I can talk now to Mom.

“What mattered more to you than anything when you were living on earth, Mom?” I just get up here and you’re asking me tough questions, David. Can’t you give me a couple of days to get my bearings?

“Sure, I can. Anything you’d like to say during your first twelve hours in heaven, Mom?”

I hear there is a party for me sometime soon. I’m a little confused about how to measure time. Or space. I feel God’s touch on my skin and all around inside me. And the strength I feel in my legs, and my lungs, and my eyes, and my ears? Lord, I just want to love you.

Oh, Lord, you’re beautiful.

(Wisdom 7, Psalm 119, John 15, Luke 17)

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One Comment
  1. DAVID DOERNER permalink

    Sorry to hear about your mom. Would love to see you and Don sometime soon. God Bless you.

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