Sandra Kay Evanson, age 65, of Minnesota City, Minn., died Saturday, November 30, 2013, at St. Anne Healthcare in Winona, Minn. Sandy is now at peace, free from struggle and pain after surviving two brain aneurysm hemorrhages, then battling ovarian cancer for over seven years while recovering from the second hemorrhage.
Sandy was born on March 29, 1948, in Winona, to Florian Bernard and Angeline Barbara (Przybylski) Wicka. She attended St. Stanislaus Grade School and Cotter High School, graduating in 1966. Having earned a scholarship, she attended a summer session in 1965 at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and returned there for her freshman year of college. She attended the University of Minnesota before her marriage and, in 1995, graduated from Winona State University as a non-traditional student with a degree in business administration. Sandy’s professional career involved bookkeeping and administrative support for various local businesses and she served as clerk for Rollingstone Township. She spent significant time at Rich’s Truck Service and her husband’s business, American Plumbing Company.
Sandy married Don Evanson on December 14, 1968, at St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church, now the Basilica. They have made their home in Minnesota City, where she was an active member of St. Paul’s Parish since her wedding. Sandy was a committed Winona Catholic schools parent. She demonstrated her service and leadership with her involvement in local, district and state Republican politics, including a period of terms as co-chair of the First Congressional District and serving as a delegate to the national convention on two occasions.
For Sandy, a devoted wife and mother, family was the first priority. She especially loved infants and young children, happily engaging those she met while out in public. She often expressed interest in more children than she had been given. Time with her own children and their families was very important to her. Three of her nephews, Chris, Rick, and Alex Wicka, had lived with Sandy and Don for a number of years. She was known for her quick-witted sense of humor, often teasing Don to “shape up” and playing practical jokes on her family members and others.
Sandy’s survivors include her husband, Don, and her children: Heidi Evanson (James Bealka) of Woodbury, John Evanson of St. Paul, Matthew (Sarah) Evanson of Indianapolis, Ind., Kathryn (Michael) Cooper of Eau Claire, Wis., Julie (David) Nagorski of St. Louis Park and Beth Evanson of Minneapolis, and her oldest daughter, Lisa, (Rick) Voelker of Lakeville. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren: Anthony and Abbey Voelker, Jarl, Willem and Greta Evanson, David, Jacob, Kaelyn and Lucas Cooper, and Skyler and Sophia Nagorski; sister, Judith, (Stephen) Miller of Bloomington, Minn.; sisters-in-law: Glen (Daniel) and Sharon (Bill); and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. Sandy was preceded in death by an infant daughter, her parents, and her brothers: Daniel, Bill and Charles Wicka.
A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 7th, 2013, at Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka, concelebrated by the Reverends William Kulas and Robert Stamschror. A luncheon held at the basilica after the Mass will be followed by burial at St. Paul’s Catholic Cemetery at Minnesota City. Sandy’s infant daughter will be transferred from St. Mary’s Cemetery in Winona, to be buried with her. Friends may call from 4 until 8 p.m. Friday at Hoff Celebration of Life Center in Goodview. They may also call one hour before the funeral service at the basilica.
Casket bearers will be Dave Schultz, Dan Evanson, Dave Nagorski, Skyler Nagorski, Mike Cooper, and James Bealka.
Please share a memory of Sandy at her online guestbook and view her Tribute Video when it becomes available at www.hofffuneral.com. The family also established a website a month ago at www.caringbridge.org, which continues.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial to the Winona Area Catholic Schools Foundation, the Polish Cultural Institute, Inc. and Museum, the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, or the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance.