Sandra Ann Ihrke was born Sept. 24, 1938, in Sioux Falls, S.D., the daughter of Sven and Lil (Anderson) Gjovaag. She was raised in Sioux Falls and graduated from Sioux Falls Washington High School in 1956. She continued her education at Augustana College where she earned her degree in elementary education. While attending Augustana she met Gerald Ihrke. The couple was wed on June 21, 1958 at Eastside Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, S.D. They lived in various places throughout the United States before moving to Le Mars in 1965.
Sandy had a passion for gardening and could usually be found outside tending to her plants during warm weather. She enjoyed arranging her freshly cut flowers for her home and for others. Another of her favorite pastimes was travel. She researched and planned the many trips shared with Gerry.
Sandy was an active member of St. John's Lutheran Church in Le Mars. She was the first co-chair of Bethlehem Revisited, taught Sunday school, and participated in various choirs, including hand bells. She touched many lives through her involvement in countless community events and organizations. She was also a long-time member of several area groups including P.E.O., Bridge Club, Investment Club, Friday Club, Book Club and Eight Till Late.
Sandy will be lovingly remembered by her husband Dr. Gerald Ihrke of Le Mars; a daughter, Julie Kennedy and her husband Kevin of Centennial, Colo.; a son, Scott Ihrke and his wife Delana of Le Mars; a daughter, Shelly Schultz and her husband Alan of Johnston; grandchildren Jacob, Carryn and Lauren Kennedy, Elizabeth Ihrke, Alex, Andrew and Andrea Schultz; a brother, Marc Gjovaag and his wife Jan of Eugene, Ore.; and a sister-in-law, Betty Hoeft and her husband Woody of Walnut Creek, Calif.
She was preceded in death by her parents; a granddaughter Victoria Kennedy and a brother-in-law Don Ihrke.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. John's Lutheran Church in Le Mars, with the Rev. Greg Gabriel officiating. Burial will take place at a later date. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the church (there will be no visitation on Friday). The Mauer-Johnson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Expressions of sympathy may be directed through www.mauerjohnsonfh.com.