Rose Marie Sandeen, 86

Rose Marie Sandeen died quietly in her sleep on the morning of July 11, 2007, at the Richfield Health Center after a brave battle with Alzheimer's. She was 86 years old.

Rose Marie Sandeen died quietly in her sleep on the morning of July 11, 2007, at the Richfield Health Center after a brave battle with Alzheimer's. She was 86 years old.

Rose was born July 28, 1920, in Superior. Her father died when she was 6 months old. She was raised Rose Marie Engdahl by her wonderful mother, Edith. She loved her sister Ruth, who raised two wonderful boys, Chuck and Jeff. She loved her brother Warner, who raised three wonderful kids, Warner, Sharon and Debbie. Rose was proud that Warner played for the 1942 Oshkosh All-Stars, the 1942 World Champions of professional basketball.

In the summer of 1937, Rose met her future husband, Ernie, at summer school at Superior Central High School. Ernie was attending summer school to meet new friends. He had just moved to Superior from St. Paul Johnson High School. Rose and Ernie married in January 1942. Rose was proud of the wedding dress that Ernie's parents bought for her. Her own mother could not afford such a dress. Rose loved the wedding picture, which included two lifelong friends, Ann (Schold) Melin and Lilian Beckstrom Schuster. Ernie's brother, Per, was not in the wedding picture because he was already in the Army Air Force, and he could not return home. He was always a loving part of Rose and Ernie's family.

Ernie, too, soon left for the Army Air Force. Ernie and Per both spent two years in the CBI Theater, China, Burma, and India. They shared many of their experiences with Rose and Ernie's three children, Richard, Cheryl and David. Per was a great story teller.

Ernie and Rose Marie were wonderful, loving parents. While raising their children, Rose and Ernie spent a lot of time with their children. Ernie loved taking the family to visit family in Superior. He also loved taking the family fishing near Webster. Rose and Ernie's family was always close to family and friends in northern Wisconsin, Hudson and northern Minnesota.


While raising her children, Rose paid a lot of loving attention to her three children. She especially loved to bake and cook for Richard, Cheryl and David, and their friends. Cheryl's friends from high school, Bill Bittman and Jerry Nye, still recall eating fresh homemade breads that Rose loved to bake. She also made wonderful baked beans and potato salad. Before every game, she made Richard a steak during Richfield's undefeated state championship football season of 1963. Rose was always proud of her three children.

She loved attending activities at South View Middle School in Edina, where Richard taught American history. She attended activities with her husband, Ernie, who had been an outstanding teacher at Minneapolis Central and Minneapolis Vocational. Rose's friends, Donna Ludwig and Dorothy Swanson, loved to attend these activities with Rose, too.

They loved the South View pep fests that Richard danced in. Rose and Ernie loved attending History Day displays, too, where they could talk with Richard's students at South View. Rose was proud of her daughter Cheryl's designing talents. She was proud of Cheryl's philanthropic work, too. Rose was very proud of Cheryl's children, Nicole and Eric. She loved making cabbage soup for them, which Ernie loved to drive over to them special delivery.

Rose loved Nicole's children, Cameron and Jackson, and Nicole's wonderful husband, Chuck, who was Nicole's mentor in her MBA program at the Carlson School at the University of Minnesota.

Rose also loved Eric and his talented, lovely wife, Charlotte.

Rose and Ernie loved the Swedish heritage they both shared. Ernie had immigrated from Sweden in 1922 to Mason, where he maintained a lifelong friendship with Millie Westburg. Rose and Ernie first went to Sweden to visit in 1975, where Ernie was reunited with relatives. They returned to Sweden several times and remained close to Ernie's Swedish cousins, especially in Stockholm, Goteborg, and Vaxjo.

Rose and Ernie loved the American Swedish Institute, where they had many friends. They loved the ASI Male Chorus that Richard sings with. They loved touring Sweden with the chorus in 2001. Rose also loved when Gary and Wayne would serenade Rose with the song "Rose Marie" at chorus activities.

Rose read widely and loved receiving gifts of books from Cheryl. Rose read all 20 of the classic Patrick O'Brian books about Capt. Jack Aubrey and the Royal Navy during the age of Lord Nelson. Rose loved to travel. Rose and Ernie took five wonderful driving tours in the U.S. and Canada with Richard and with Ann and Nubs Melin, lifelong friends from Superior.


Rose, Ernie and Richard also took seven tours around the world with Globus Gateways. Rose saw half the world, places as diverse as London, Moscow and Jerusalem. Their first tour was Spain, Portugal and Tangiers, Morocco. She loved touring the Holy Land. Because of her scoliosis, she needed the assistance of her husband, Ernie. She grabbed onto his belt as they walked. She also grabbed onto son, Richard's arm. While returning to the tour boat in Luxor, Egypt, a handsome Indian said to Rose, "You're one tough woman."

She was a brave and loving woman. She was very proud of her son, San Francisco emergency physician, Dr. David Sandeen. She was proud that he was an honors graduate of Augsburg College and the University of Minnesota Medical School. During his studies at the U of M, Rose and David spent a wonderful month touring Europe together and during David's brave battle with AIDS, Rose and her daughter Cheryl nursed David at his home. Rose and Cheryl were at David's side when he died on his 38th birthday in 1990.

Although her Alzheimer's had made Rose Marie frail, she still showed great spirit while at the Richfield Health Center. The staff could sense what a beautiful, sweet lady she was. Cheryl and Nicole had wonderful visits with her recently. And Rose and Richard spent many hours watching Andy Griffith DVDs, with Rose's head often resting against Richard's shoulder. Rose loved Barney, Aunt Bea and Opie. Rose's family thanks the Richfield Health Center for the kind attention they showed her.

Rose is survived by her son, Richard; her daughter, Cheryl; granddaughter, Nicole (Chuck) Edward; great-grandchildren, Cameron and Jackson; and her grandson, Eric (Charlotte) Mahn. She is survived by her many nieces, nephews, other loving relatives, and friends. She loved her many friends in the Birthday Club, at the American Swedish Institute and at House of Prayer Lutheran Church in Richfield. She also loved her many friends in northern Wisconsin and elsewhere.

A memorial service will be announced in the near future. Memorial gifts may be sent to the American Swedish Institute at 2600 Park Ave. in Minneapolis or Alzheimer's research.

Cremation Society of Minnesota, (612) 825-2435, is assisting the family with arrangements.

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