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Obituary

Sandra “Sandy” Kaye Carlson

June 15, 2022 | 53 comments

Sandra (Sandy) Kaye Carlson age 77, of Onalaska, passed away peacefully on June 11th 2022 at home in Onalaska, WI. She was born on July 11th, 1944, to Laura (Kingdon) Pinker and Clarence Pinker. She married James Alton Carlson on May 26th, 1962 at Asbury Methodist Church in La Crosse, WI.

Sandy loved animals, chocolate, “Misser Moon”(the one in the sky), and above all, her family. She loved baking (her chocolate chip cookies were the BEST), reading, walking, and the outdoors. She was a force of nature who lived and loved well.

The greatest joy of her life was time spent talking and laughing with her family and friends. She was a source of joy to each person she encountered. Sandra means “the helper” and it absolutely delighted her to help others.

Sandy was a beautician and also worked as a nurse’s aide at the Onalaska Care Center for over six years. She was a mom to all the neighborhood kids, and a Girl Scout leader. Often times there were several hundred boxes of Girl Scout cookies in her garage.

Sandy worked with her husband at Jim Carlson’s Auto Center, running their business together for over forty years. It was always a priority of hers and Jim’s to attend family and friends’ important events, including weddings, birthdays, memorials, and even a birth in Mexico. Her home is filled with photos of her family who she would talk to and pray for as she dusted. The stuffed animals in her home, each specifically named, were also the recipients of her thoughts and comments as she cleaned her home (which was never dirty according to anyone but Sandy).

She loved to travel (but did not appreciate turbulence). She was a willing explorer, always ready to adventure, whether to London with her daughter to see relatives, to the East Coast with friends, or on a long walks around town with her grandsons. When Sandy and Jim’s two children were young, they enjoyed summer vacations to Yellowstone, Wyoming, Florida, and California. She liked vacations that included lodging in hotels and in the homes of relatives. Camping, not so much.

She loved her cars, and most specifically, her black “05 Monte Carlo, affectionately called “Monte”.

She was filled with sugar (M&Ms) and spice (sass). She treasured coffee dates and enjoyed raspberry oat milk lattes. Her wit was quick and rarely matched. She truly loved everyone as they were, and never quit improving herself. Her beautiful hair was always in place, as much as she believed otherwise, and her green-blue eyes glittered.

Her last Facebook post was an image of Snoopy, Charlie Brown and a sunflower, and it said, “When you can’t find the sunshine, be the sunshine.” Just days before she passed, her daughter and grandson asked how they could be praying for her. Sandy’s response was, “Oh, there’s nothing. I have everything I ever wanted in this life.” Then she winked and smiled.

Survived by her husband, James Carlson, son, Jeffrey (Susan) Carlson, daughter, Tamara (Craig) Angier, brother-in-law John (Deb) Carlson, her six grandchildren, Cassi (Gallen) Pierce-Lackey, Reid Carlson, Hannah (Benjamin) Reno, Sydney (Paul) Kornaus, David (Elizabeth) Angier, Michael (Josephine) Angier, four great-grandchildren, Ransom Pierce-Lackey, Lennon Pierce-Lackey, Elena Angier, Baby Angier (due in July), several “adopted” grandchildren, and adopted sister and best friend Judy Pepple.

Preceded in death by her parents, her brother Larry Pinker, as well as several beloved aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Special thanks to the caring team at St. Croix Hospice. In Lieu of Flowers, memorials preferred to organization of personal choice. A Celebration of Life will be held in Onalaska later this year.

Click here to view her memorial video

Condolences

53 Comments

  1. Gary Moe

    Jim, so sorry to here that Sandy has passed away. When ever I saw her she was always so full of energy. Stay strong and always remember the many wonderful years you had together. If I can do anything for you let me know.

    Reply
    • Kathy Johnson

      So sorry to hear this Jim. She always had a smile on her face, and always treated Kathy and i very good. She will be missed for sure. Prayers for you and your family.

      Reply
      • Jim

        Thank you.

        Reply
    • Jim

      Thank you for your kind comments. She was my shining star!

      Reply
    • JIM Carlson

      THANK YOU GARY

      Reply
  2. steve fleis

    we will all miss sandy and her wit. she was always so fun
    to talk with and it was so much fun to watch her keep jim,
    in line. RIP. sandy.

    Reply
    • Jim

      Thanks so much for your kind words. She was my shining star.

      Reply
  3. Mike Mulrine

    Sandy was a special friend and neighbor. Her smile and laughter will be missed in the neighborhood. So sorry for your loss.

    Reply
    • Jim

      Thank you, Mike. She was special.

      Reply
  4. Patandpete777@gmail.com

    Jim and family. You have all been in my thoughts and prayers. Jesus is always right there if you call on him. God Bless you. Call on me if there is any way I can help.

    Reply
    • Jim

      Thank you so much.

      Reply
  5. Patandpete777@gmail.com

    Jim and family. You have all been in my thoughts and prayers. Jesus is always right there if you call on him. God Bless you. Call on me if there is any way I can help.

    Reply
  6. Doug Huggett

    Jim – What a shock to read this obituary this morning. My condolences and prayers go out to you and your family. Realizing that the connections regarding the Angier family with yours also never clicked in my aging mind! Your Granddaughter’s God Mother spoke often about her relationship with the Angiers, but I never connected it with your family for some reason.
    You have now joined into my fraternity, and no one can tell you what is next for you. Just rely on God’s Grace and take one day at a time.🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

    Reply
    • Doug Huggett

      Oops! I meant to say daughter’s God Mother!

      Reply
      • Doug Huggett

        Wow, my feeble brain!!
        “daughter in law’s” God Mother!
        (I don’t think there is a way to correct posts and comments on this site after they are sent!)

        Reply
        • Doug Huggett

          Well, I must apologize to you Jim and Tamara for my confusing posts!
          This was such a shock, and I wasn’t thinking before typing and sending!

          Reply
    • Jim

      Thank you, Doug. She was my shining star.

      Reply
  7. Dave Beckman

    Jim:

    We were so sorry to learn that Sandy had died. Whenever our paths crossed, I felt her joy in seeing me was always sincere. Sandy’s zest for life was second to none. As we grieve her loss, may our emptiness be filled with fond memories. Peace be with you and your family during this difficult time.

    With Love, Dave

    Reply
    • Jim

      Thank you. Sandy and I always enjoyed our times with you and Phyllis. Sandy was my shining star.

      Reply
  8. John and Deb Carlson

    Dear Brother Jim,

    You gave your 8 year old Brother the best gift of all…a witty, smart and beautiful (inside and out) Sister-in-Law in 1962. Sandy was the North Star of your family. She was always shining for relatives and friends. When I look up a the heavens at night I will see her shinning down and watching over us. What a great Life Partner, Mother and Sister-in-Law she was! We will deeply miss her.

    Much love,

    Brother John and Deb

    Reply
    • Jim

      Such a nice tribute to my Sandy. Thank you so much for your encouraging and kind words.

      Reply
  9. Rob Sturgis

    Jim, Jeff, Tammy and the Angier family,

    So very sorry and saddened to hear of Sandy’s passing. As one of the kids that grew up across the street, Sandy was very special to all of us. We always enjoyed her friendship, smile and her quick wit.

    Peace be with you all during this difficult time, we will miss Sandy.

    Reply
    • Jim

      Thanks so much, Rob. Sandy certainly loved all the neighborhood kids. She’ll be greatly missed!

      Reply
  10. Mike Sturgis

    Dear Jim, Tammy and Jeff,

    I’m so sad and shocked to hear this news – my sincere condolences to all of you. Sandy was awesome – kind, funny, caring and fun to be with. So many wonderful memories of her as we were growing up, and also in recent times. She was a wonderful friend to my mom and that made me feel even closer to her – ishe will be so missed. Thinking of you all at this difficult time. Much love, Mike

    Reply
    • Jim

      Thank you, Mike. Sandy was one-of-a-kind. She really enjoyed visiting with you and your kids when she and Tammy were in London.

      Reply
  11. Mike & Shirley Huber

    Jim and family, you are in our prayers. God bless Sandy, she was always doing something creative and useful.
    Sandy and you, Jim, have always been good neighbors.

    Reply
    • Jim

      Thank you. You were also great neighbors. Sandy and I enjoyed getting to know you, and our kids all loved playing together all those years ago.

      Reply
  12. Debbie Koenig

    So sorry for your loss. Sandt could light up a room with that smile. I enjoyed working with her at the Nursing home. God bless you all

    Reply
    • Jim

      Thank you. Sandy sure enjoyed her time at the Care Center with all of you.

      Reply
  13. Ken Brekke

    Jim–Go through those old pictures. Cherish the memories. Thinking about all of those good years will take away some of the sorrow you are experiencing now. Best wishes to you and your family.

    Reply
    • Jim

      Thank you very much for your kind words and good advice. My grandkids and I have been enjoying hundreds of photos.

      Reply
  14. Becky Marcou

    Sandy was such a wonderful person. Her love for the family and such pride in all of you was profound. Her compassion, love of life and sense of humor made her such a joy to work with. Heaven has gained a real gem while the sun here is a little bit dimmer. Thoughts and prayers to you all.

    Reply
    • Jim

      Thanks so much, Becky. Sandy enjoyed working with you.

      Reply
  15. Judith Sullivan Molzahn

    Jim – so sorry to hear of Sandy’s passing. I never saw her without a smile on her face…from High school at Central and on through all these years. I feel your grief and hope your memories and strength will help you carry on. You were very fortunate to have such a wonderful partner throughout your life.

    Judy Sullivan Molzahn

    Reply
    • Jim

      Thanks so much for your kindness.

      Reply
  16. Jerry Adams

    Very sorry to hear of Sandy’s passing. From Jerry Adams class of 62, La crosse Central High Schoo,

    Reply
    • Jim

      Thank you, Jerry. I appreciate your kind words.

      Reply
  17. Gloria Wilcox

    Jim, Sandy will be missed by all who were lucky enough to know her. May you find peace and love in the memories you cherish. My condolences to you and your family.

    Reply
    • Jim

      Thank you, Gloria. We sure appreciate your friendship.

      Reply
  18. Tammy Seifert

    Jim we were so so sorry to read that Sandy had passed . Bill ,myself,and Nikki and Tony are all thinking of you and your family . We were talking about all the memories at the shop and I always enjoyed stopping when Sandy was there and visiting with her .. she was always so funny … I always like her come backs with you and the guys keeping the shop running when she was there … she never missed anything … always showing a lot of love and care for your wonderful mom and dad ..they were also so wonderful …Jim take care … if there is anything we can do please don’t hesitate to ask . We know you have a lot on your plate right now !

    Reply
    • Jim

      Thank you so much. We appreciate your kind words. Our friendship goes back many many years.

      Reply
  19. Pat and Ken Komperud

    Jim and family…..so sad to read of Sandy’s passing! Always warm memories of her. You were a perfect
    couple, Take care and God bless.

    Pat and Ken Komperud

    Reply
    • Jim

      Thanks so much Pat and Ken.

      Reply
  20. Les and Sue Ross

    Jim and family. We are so sad to hear of Sandy’s passing. Prayers to you. She was a dear. Always smiling
    Sue Anne and. Les

    Reply
    • Jim

      Thanks so much for your kindness.

      Reply
  21. Milt McMillen

    Condolences to Jim and family. What a tremendous lady and what a loss. May she rest in peace and live on in memories. We will miss her smile.

    Reply
    • Jim

      Thanks so much, Milt.

      Reply
  22. Paul Kruse

    Jim,
    Word travels slowly to my consciousness. It was shocking to just hear this weekend of Sandy’s passing, almost two weeks ago.
    She was always bright, friendly, with that cheerful smile. The shining highlight of any visit to your business.
    You two were so obviously tight, and meant for each other.
    I know she is dearly missed, and my heartfelt sympathies will do little to heal your ache, but you have them.

    Reply
    • Jim

      Thank you for your kind words, Paul. Sandy was definitely bright and friendly, always with that cheerful smile.

      Reply
  23. Denise (Winchester) and Keith Rhodes

    I’m so sorry for the loss of such a shining star. Some of my favorite memories are of hanging out with y’all.
    Even when I was SO TIRED coming home from Great America that I couldn’t keep my eyes open or make words.
    It was great running into you one Sunday recently at the trap club.
    Take care of yourself Jim!

    Reply
    • Jim

      Thank you, Denise. Sandy certainly had a heart for kids!

      Reply
  24. Kevin Juen

    Jim, We are so sorry to hear of Sandy’s passing. Thoughts & prayers from both of us in this hard time you are in. You have great pictures that you posted of your lives together. Kevin & Sara

    Reply
    • Jim

      Thank you so much. Your prayers are appreciated. The photos sure do show her joyful personality.

      Reply

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