Sandy Timmer ’66 Plakke

Sandra Kay Plakke, “ Sandy,” maiden name Timmer, was born July 6, 1943, died August 2, 2020, of Lewy body dementia. She was 77 years old.

Sandy was born in Ypsilanti, MI, while her father was working at the Willow Run Bomber Plant. After the war, her family moved back to their home town of Holland, MI. She attended Holland schools and Hope College, graduating with a degree in Education. Sandy was married and later divorced from Ted Plakke. She taught 7th and 8th grade science at West Ottawa Middle School for over 30 years and was a favorite teacher of many. She also became the director of the school planetarium and enjoyed teaching astronomy and stories about the stars and constellations. She loved storytelling, mythology and creative writing as well as science. She worked with children with special needs, as well as the gifted and talented. She taught “mini- courses” in beadworking, glass blowing, creative writing, and Dungeons and Dragons to name a few.

She loved music, played the piano, sang and also enjoyed painting and drawing. She was Christian and a member of Beechwood Reformed Church for many years, teaching Sunday school there for a time. She was a devoted mother to her only child, Jeff. She had many close and loving friends and family who she loved to talk and laugh with. Her smile was radiant and she was known for her contagious laughter, a wave of joy that could carry through any room. Her heart was big, loving and kind and she gave to many charities.

She was a survivor of breast cancer. She enjoyed gardening, feeding birds, listening to music, going to movies and plays, and traveling. She traveled to many places including Spain, Australia and New Zealand, and the UK as well as many states in the U.S. Her love of children, stories and reading lead to a large collection of children’s books. In retirement she moved to Kalamazoo, MI. She worked for the UM Institute for Social Research conducting surveys, the US Census, became a certified hypnotherapist and was active with her writers club. As dementia took hold, her son Jeff moved her in with their family. There she enjoyed time with her grandsons for three years. She died at Atria Park of Ann Arbor where she received care during her final year.

She is survived by her son, Jeff Plakke; daughter-in-law, Lara Rusch; grandsons, Casey Plakke and Forest Plakke; her brother-in-law, Bob Aardema, and her nephews, Mike and Andy Aardema.

Preceded in death by her parents, Donald and Sylvia Timmer, and her beloved sister, Bonnie Aardema.

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