Life Story Visitation
Mass of Christian Burial
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
11:00 AM EDT
St. Monica Catholic Church
4408 S. Westnedge Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
A luncheon will follow in the church hall.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Fun-loving as well as easy-going, Sandy McAfee was a genuine person through and through. A devoted daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother, she savored the time she spent with her growing family over the years. Sandy lived her life to the fullest by prioritizing her family and putting others first. Generous and selfless, she will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.
The 1940s were characterized by WWII. By 1948, the first affordable prefab homes were being built in the U.S. to solve the growing need of the baby boomers. That same year, Nester and Irene (Wrobleski) Stachowicz welcomed home their first child, Sandra, on July 27th in South Bend, Indiana. Her childhood was filled with many happy and memorable moments.
Sandy’s life was woven from a strong foundation of Christian values. Her family were devoted Catholics and raised her to believe that faith was important. She attended local Catholic schools and attended church services regularly. From a young age, Sandy practiced these values and modeled a life of service. With a strong interest in helping others, Sandy enrolled in nursing school after graduating from high school. She excelled in classes and went on to receive her degree as a Registered Nurse. Sandy worked a large majority of her years at Borgess Hospital in the General Surgical unit and the Cardiac Care unit. Her skills and attention to detail were valued as a charge nurse during her many years there. She later worked part-time at Gateway Villa as a substance abuse intake nurse.
Based on her nursing background and nurturing demeanor, her family leaned on her wisdom and advice regarding medical issues. When she left full time nursing to raise her family, she enjoyed volunteering at Kairos Dwelling, an ecumenical home that provided physical care, emotional support, and spiritual sustenance for people with terminal illnesses. Spending time there and supporting others on their journeys filled her cup and allowed her a peaceful outlet. In recent years, she enjoyed working as an administrative assistant at her husband's financial planning firm. Anything that Sandy set out to do was always done with putting others first and with a faithful heart.
Not to be forgotten was the meeting of her soulmate, Tim McAfee. With canceled plans on New Year’s Eve, fate brought the two of them to a bowling alley in Edwardsburg. From their first dance together, they were never apart. From that moment on, they began dating and eventually married on August 30, 1969. During their first year of marriage, they settled in Dowagiac where Tim attended Southwestern Michigan College. In 1970, they moved to Kalamazoo for Tim to attend Western Michigan University and finish his degree. Together they raised four amazing boys: Sean, Brian, Patrick, and Michael.
As a family, they looked forward to vacations during the summer. Mostly sharing the space with extended family, they would rent one large cabin to entertain the cousins and extended family members for a whole week of time in the dunes and out on the water. As a mother, Sandy was the epitome of a natural nurturer. She wanted her children to experience Jesus and the Church. They attended Catholic schools, went to weekly mass, and even went to the Stations of the Cross on Friday nights during the Lenten season. She also wanted them to seize every opportunity, supporting their interest in extra-curricular activities and sports. She always signed up to make meals for their teams over the years. Their schedules were her priority, often meaning that she would cancel her own plans to drive them to their events and cheer them on from the sidelines. They never doubted her love over the years.
Sandy had many special pastimes. She and her sister, Judy, loved to schedule their annual Christmas shopping trips. They would book a hotel room for multiple days of shopping and laughter. Holidays were a special time and Sandy loved to spoil her family. She and Tim enjoyed vacations. When Tim had work conferences in California, they took advantage of the opportunities to schedule family trips. They were able to take their three oldest grandchildren individually on remarkable tours of the West Coast, viewing sites and visiting family from Seattle to San Diego. Adventurous and active, they also went on river cruises in Europe. They also traveled to Italy with Judy & Jim Johnson with a special stop in Rome. A highlight was staying in a converted convent near the Vatican with guided tours with Fr. Mike Osborn. Sandy thoroughly enjoyed traveling and looked forward to planning another trip almost as soon as they arrived back home.
Sandy was deeply involved at St. Monica’s church, participating in Eucharistic adoration, volunteering for funeral luncheons (known as the “Potato Lady”) and maintaining a dedication to daily scripture readings. Sandy also loved to craft. She and her sister, Judy, enjoyed cross-stitch and crochet and made countless hats, sweaters, and blankets for everyone in the family. Anytime she was surrounded by family playing cards, her heart was content. Sandy loved to play Euchre or Blitz well into the night. Sandy never wanted these moments to end. As a matter of fact, any time she was parting ways from a family member’s home, she would have to visit each room several times saying goodbye and giving hugs in her Polish tradition. Tim would be nearly backing out of the driveway without her as her process of goodbyes could last longer than expected! Sandy was an incredible role model to her family and shared a deep love of all people. There is no doubt that her endless wisdom and unconditional love will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered by her many special friends and loved ones.
Sandra McAfee, age 73, of Portage, Michigan, died on March 9, 2022. Sandy was preceded in death by her dad. Surviving are her husband, Tim; children: Sean (Frances Zhao) McAfee, Brian McAfee, Patrick McAfee, and Michael (Sarah) McAfee; grandchildren: Delaney Rose, Daniel McAfee, Ryanne McAfee, Grace McAfee, and Benjamin McAfee; her mom, Irene Stachowicz; siblings: Judy (James) Johnson, Paul (Karen) Stachowicz, and Michele Stachowicz; many nieces and nephews; and special former daughter-in-law, Meagan McAfee. Please join us at a Life Story Visitation on Tuesday (MAR 15) at 4-7 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 269-375-2900. The Rosary will be recited at 7 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday (MAR 16) at 11 AM at St. Monica Catholic Church, 4408 S. Westnedge, Ave., Kalamazoo. A luncheon will follow in the church hall. Burial Monday (MAR 21) at 10:30 AM at Fort Custer National Cemetery. Visit Sandy’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Monica Catholic Church.