February 1, 2016

Della Sandahl

Sandhal, DellaDella Clarine (Fischer) Sandahl, 91, of Lincoln, died January 31, 2016 at the Legacy Arbors. She was born May 3, 1924, at rural Republican City, NE, one of eleven children of Ernest and Christine (Weisshaar) Fischer. Ernest died in 1930 at the beginning of the depression years. The family then moved to a farm near Wakefield, NE when Della was 11 years old.

Della was confirmed at Salem Lutheran Church in Wakefield, NE. After graduating from Wakefield High School in 1941, she attended Luther College in Wahoo, NE for one year and then taught at one room rural schools for two years. Della returned to Luther College for an additional year and received an associate degree in 1945. During this period she also worked part time at the Nebraska Ordnance Plant at Mead, NE. Della then taught four more years at Emerson, NE and Oakland, NE.

On June 10, 1949 Della married Dean Sandahl at Salem Lutheran Church in Wakefield, NE. They moved to Lincoln, NE and Della stayed home to raise their three children. She completed her bachelor’s degree in education at the University of Nebraska in 1969.

Beginning with her presidency of the NE Nebraska District Luther League as a teenager, Della held many leadership roles including: St. Andrew’s church council; leader of women’s ministries; Bible School director; Tabitha Board of Directors;  Midland Lutheran College Parent’s Group and Alumni Association; and directed Lutheran Synod teacher training and evangelism workshops. Volunteer activities included sponsoring church youth group and family camping trips, and delivering Meals on Wheels. Della enjoyed gardening, flowers, baking, entertaining family and friends, family history, extension club, camping and travel.

Survivors include 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 and Matt Starostka, Tim and Emily Peterson, Matthew Sandahl, Brian Sandahl, and Nathan Sandahl;  nine great-grandchildren; brothers and sisters-in-law, Loyd and Marie Fischer, and Gene and Marylynn Fischer; sisters-in-law Pauline Fischer, Margaret Fischer, and Shirley Fischer; nieces, nephews and cousins.  Preceded in death by her parents; husband Dean Sandahl; brother George Fischer; infant brother; sister and brother-in-law Emma and Ron Harding; brothers and sisters-in-law Paul and Margaret Fischer, and Lorence and Verna Fischer; brothers Francis Fischer, Melvin Fischer, and Clarence Fischer; son-in-law Deryl Peterson; and nephew Roger Fischer.

Gathering for sharing memories, Friday, February 5 at 7:00 pm and Celebration of Life, Saturday, February 6 at 10:30 am, both at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Lincoln, NE.

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


  1. Praying for comfort and peace for all of her family. Looking forward to remembering the life and legacy of this remarkable woman – my Aunt and Godmother. She was truly one-of-a-kind and will be missed.

  2. So sorry for your loss and glad Della is with Christ. We all can rejoice the promise to be together in Heaven!!

  3. I remember Della very well from our years at St. Andrew’s. She was one of the first people to welcome our family when we moved to Lincoln in 1967, bringing us some home-made cinnamon rolls. Della and Dean were both very active and vital parts of our church, always at worship, teaching Sunday School, and attending many fellowship activities. Be comforted in knowing that she is in the arms of Jesus, and inhabiting the mansion in heaven that he has prepared for her. God’s continued blessings to you all.

    Serving Him,
    Pastor Dan.

  4. My heart-felt sympathy to Della’s family.
    I have deep gratitude for Della and how she made a difference in our world.
    My family, The Erickson’s, appreciated Della and Dean’s kindness and generosity at our church, St. Andrew’s.
    Linda Erickson, Salida Colorado
    (daughter of Bob and Esther)


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