June 16, 2013

Dean Eliot Sandahl

Dean Eliot Sandahl, 89, of Lincoln, died June 16, 2013 at the Legacy Arbors. He was born to Ernest George and Mabel Sophia (Nelson) Sandahl on September 8, 1923 at the Sandahl home place near Wakefield, NE. He was baptized and confirmed at Salem Lutheran Church, Wakefield, NE.

Dean graduated from Wakefield High School in 1940 and began college at Wayne State Teacher’s College, Wayne, NE. His education was interrupted by WWII. In March 1944 Dean enlisted in the Army, serving in the infantry and fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. He was captured by the Germans on December 16, 1944 and became a prisoner of war at Stalag 9B at Bad Orb, Germany. Dean was liberated by American troops on Easter Monday in April 1945. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his military service.

Dean returned to Wayne State and graduated January 1947. He became principal, teacher and coach at Roland High School, Roland, IA before returning to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln for an Agricultural Engineering degree, utilizing the GI Bill. On June 10, 1949 Dean married Della Clarine Fischer at Salem Lutheran Church, Wakefield, NE.

Dean began his engineering career at the Nebraska Department of Roads, working until May 1973, when he became Chief Engineer with Nebraska Game and Parks. In October 1983 he returned to the Department of Roads as an engineer in the Bridge Division, and then retired April 1989.

While living in Lincoln, Dean was a member of First Lutheran Church, serving on the church council. In 1956 Dean became a charter member of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in northeast Lincoln. Through the years he served on the church council, building committees, taught Sunday School and gave many hours of service in building projects.
Dean was also active in the Lincoln YMCA, Association of Conservation Engineers, Ex-POW organization, Habitat for Humanity and delivering Meals on Wheels. He enjoyed woodworking, photography, camping, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Survivors include his wife, Della; daughter, Linda Peterson of Hordville; sons and wives, Larry and Chalena Sandahl of Lincoln, and Bruce and Alisa Sandahl of Hastings; grandchildren and spouses: Eric and Aimee Peterson, Krisa and Jay Howland, Sarah and Brian McCoy, Laura Peterson, Tim and Emily Peterson, Matthew Sandahl, Brian Sandahl and Nathan Sandahl; great-grandchildren: Reese Howland, Ellee Howland and Fynnegan McCoy; brother and sister-in-law, Neil and Bonnie Sandahl, nieces, nephews and cousins. Preceded in death by his parents, brother, Wayne Sandahl, son-in-law, Deryl Peterson and nephew, Ryan Sandahl.

Prayer service, Friday, June 21 at 7:30 pm and Celebration of Life, Saturday, June 22 at 11:00 am, both at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Memorials are suggested to St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Lincoln, NE, Salem Lutheran Church, Wakefield, NE, or donor’s choice.


  1. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family and friends at this time. Linda, I will be praying for healing.


  2. Della, I so enjoyed getting to know you & Dean. My sincere condolences to you & your family; & to Neal and Bonnie.

  3. My condolences to you during this time. Be comforted in the promise of our Saviour in John 14 when he says: “Let not your hearts be troubled…in my Father’s house are many mansions; I go to prepare a place for you.” May God bless you and continue to give you comfort, peace, and hope in the days ahead.

    –Pastor Dan

  4. Dear Della, Our sincere sympathy in the passing of Dean. It was one of our happiest moments when talking with Dean and you sharing your memories of the farm and your lives. We have the story as well to go along with your painting which is enjoyed by many. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

  5. Dear Della, Our sincere sympathy in the passing of Dean. One of our happiest moments was sharing your lives and Dean’s experiences growing up on the farm. The painting and story has brought smiles to many. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  6. Dear Della and Family,
    Our condolences to you in your loss of Dean. We’re thinking of y’all today. 407 miles will keep us from being at his service.

  7. Laura and family,

    What a tribute to a fine and honorable man. I know you all will miss him terribly, and please accept my sympathies as you grieve the loss of a beloved husband, father and grandfather.

  8. My thoughts are with you, Dean was the Engineer that hired me to work at the Game and Parks commission. We worked together from 1979 to 1983 and he gave me several of his survey books when he was cleaning out the basement. He was good man to work for and will be missed.


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