Serving West Michigan Since 1899

Sandra Gleason

December 11, 1938 - January 16, 2024
Holland, MI



Sunday, January 21, 2024
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM EST
Dykstra Funeral Homes
Downtown Holland Chapel
29 East Ninth Street
Holland, MI 49423
(616) 392-2348
Driving Directions


Monday, January 22, 2024
11:00 AM EST
Fennville United Methodist Church
5849 124th Ave
Fennville, MI 49408


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Fennville United Methodist Church
5849 124th Ave
Fennville, MI 49408
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Sandra Lee Gleason, a devoted mother and grandmother and award-winning early childhood educator, died on January 16 at her home in Holland, MI. She was 85.

A life-long lover of music, reading and the arts, Sandy was born on December 11, 1938—the youngest of 11 siblings on a small farm in Shelby, Michigan. Her love of literature and never-ending curiosity began at an early age as she discovered new worlds in the books she found at her local library. Her trademark determination also presented early—once spending months selling salvaged cucumbers out of a tiny wagon to pay for braces.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in education from Western Michigan University, she went on to have a successful career as an educator in the Saugatuck and Whitehall public school systems. Upon retirement, she devoted herself full-time to pursuing her passions: reading, playing piano, being an active P.E.O. member, spending time with her family and traveling the world.

Of her many adventures, some of her favorites included an Alaskan cruise with her grandchildren, exploring the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, staying with an Aboriginal family in Australia, taking a paddleboat ride down the Mississippi, being on the ocean in Bar Harbor, seeing penguins in Chile and rug shopping in Morocco. She was an avid collector and loved history. She also loved Native American baskets, Middle Eastern bronze, tea, sweets, gardening, cards and America.

Last winter, she learned to felt wool and spent hours creating over 150 special favors for her grandson Will’s wedding. Because of that work, she was featured in a series at the Holland Arts Council to request more grant money for senior art classes. She also recently self-published the children’s book Della the Duck, an illustrated “pocket book” detailing the exploits of a duck who was afraid to swim.

She is survived by her daughters, Mary Beth and her husband Kraig as well as Kendra and her husband Dan. She is also survived by her grandchildren Will and his husband Fareez, Emily and her husband Conor, Lindsey and her husband John, Kenny and Alec as well as her great-grandchildren Rose, Theo and Oliver. She held a special place in her heart for her dear friend Brenda. She was preceded in death by her husband Greg and grandson Christopher.

She was a light in this world that will keep burning for many years to come.

A visitation will take place at Dykstra Funeral Home’s Downtown Holland Chapel (29 E 9th St.) from 2-4pm on Sunday, January 21. A memorial service will be on Monday, January 22 at 11:00am at Fennville United Methodist Church (5849 124th Ave). A celebration of Sandy’s life will be announced at a later date.