April 24, 1948 - February 5, 2022
Sandra "Sandy" Lee Lewis, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa passed peacefully into Jesus’ arms on February 5, 2022, at the age of 73. She was a lifelong teacher, mentor, mother, grandmother, sister, Bible study leader, scrapbooker and a loving, dedicated wife. Most of all she put her love, faith and trust in God. Sandy Merritt was born in Independence, Iowa on April 24, 1948, to Harold and Janice Merritt. She was born second in a “herd” of eight Merritt kids. In order of birth was Linda, Sandy, Carol, Bob, Jerry, Steve, Bill, and Jeanne. Sandy attended and graduated from Walker High School in Walker, Iowa. Growing up she had fond memories of going to her grandparent’s house playing Parcheesi with her grandpa and enjoying her grandma’s peanut butter cookies and coffee with half & half. She always liked to tell the family to appreciate everything you have as her and her seven siblings all had to share the same bath water. She recalls playing dolls, cars, board games and a time when her sister Linda fed her “dirt peas” when she was little in their house on Main Street. She adored her mother Janice who taught her to sew, cook and bake. Her mother always made birthdays special for the kids and Sandy looked forward to the angel food cake with Neopolitan ice cream. In high school Sandy played softball and basketball and spent a lot of time with her close friends Jane, Phyllis and Ginger. She loved school and was in the Jr. and Sr. plays. On Saturday nights after receiving their 10 cent allowances they’d attend the free movie downtown and get a pop and popcorn for 5 cents each. The family always had a big family dinner after church on Sundays consisting of meat and potatoes, buns and pies. In the summer of 1964, Sandy met her soul mate John. Tagging along with a friend who knew his sister Carol they met for the first time and dated throughout that fall and winter attending each other’s high school basketball games. They briefly stopped dating but rekindled in July 1966 when coincidentally her church was having a picnic in John’s hometown of Vinton. Sandy will tell you John saw her and Carol walking and drove towards them and John will tell you Sandy saw him and flagged him down. Either way, the Lord had reunited them and they were engaged less than a year later in June 1967. They set their wedding date and then had to move it up by a week as to not to conflict with her father’s annual fishing trip to Minnesota. And on June 7, 1968, John and Sandy started their 53+ year marriage by exchanging vows at the non-air-conditioned United Walker Church. Four years later in 1972 their first son Jeremy Jonathan was born. A few years later in 1975 Darren Andrew was born. She truly cherished her boys, led both of them to become believers at an early age and was selfless in in raising and caring for them. They both grew up in the church at Calvary and attended Coolidge, Taft, and Jefferson. Sandy gained two precious daughters-in-law after Darren was married to Erica in 1998 and Jeremy was married to Erin in 2009. Sandy’s love of school led to a career of teaching elementary school in Cedar Rapids. She started as a sub and then spent several years at Harrison Elementary and then many more before retiring at Truman Elementary. She was a favorite for many of her students and her passion for life was infectious. Sandy was the ultimate baseball wife for 30+ years while John coached at Kirkwood. She almost never missed a home game and often opened their house to John’s players for team dinners. Family and traditions were an integral part of John and Sandy’s life. When the first grandchild Morgan J arrived in June of 2000, they affectionately became known as Papa and Bamma. Using the knowledge gained from her mother, a Lewis family tradition of getting a bag of Bamma’s homemade buns and a sheet pan of cinnamon rolls was born. She prided herself in redecorating the house for every season and had just completed the transformation into Valentine’s Day. Christmas with her family was the most cherished time of the year. Gathering with the Merritt clan in Walker for food, gift exchanges, board games and euchre. Heading to Vinton on Christmas Eve with Granny Fern. And then hosting a gathering with her sons, Jeremy and Darren and her grandkids. Sandy adored her grandkids and loved attending ball games all over the state. She often made their favorite meals and delivered them to Jeremy and Darren to give to them. After retirement Sandy spent her time fishing, scrapbooking, and going to movies with John. She also became a leader in the Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) group where she mentored numerous women and shared her passion of the Bible and her faith. Sandy was lifelong member of Calvary Baptist Church and started attending in the 1970’s before the current building was even built. She served the church in many roles over the years including vacation bible school, Deaconess and even 1980’s aerobics instructor complete with the leg warmers. Sandy had a positive impact on everyone she encountered and made an impact on more lives than we will ever know. Sandy was preceded in death by her parents, Harold and Janice Merritt and special niece and friend, Jeni Newland. Sandy was blessed with 6 grandchildren, 15 nieces and nephews, and 35 great nieces and nephews. The Merritt clan really adhered to the “be fruitful and multiply” command. Sandy is survived by her loving husband, John who affectionately referred to her as Betty Lew; sons, Jeremy (Erin) and Darren (Erica); and grandkids, Morgan J, Bronx, Jeter, Sutton, Hampton, Gehrig “G4”. Visitation will be held from 4 – 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 8, 2022, at Calvary Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids. A Celebration of Life will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday, February 9, 2022, also at Calvary with a lunch to follow in the church gymnasium. Sandy will be laid to rest at the Walker Cemetery in Walker, Iowa. Murdoch-Linwood Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cedar Rapids, assisted the family. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Deaconess fund at Calvary Baptist Church.
Sandra "Sandy" Lee Lewis, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa passed peacefully into Jesus’ arms on February 5, 2022, at the age of 73. She was a lifelong teacher, mentor, mother, grandmother, sister, Bible study leader, scrapbooker and a loving, dedicated... View Obituary & Service Information
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