Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Sister Sandra Melanson, CSJ

June 30, 1939 - February 25, 2022
Nazareth, MI


Mass of Christian Burial Live Streamed

Tuesday, March 1, 2022
1:00 PM EST
Live Stream

Meeting ID: 854 9483 7829 Passcode: 816970


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.

Sisters of St. Joseph
2929 Nazareth Road
Nazareth, MI 49048
(269) 381-6290


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Sandra Melanson was born in Flint, Michigan on June 30, 1939, the daughter of Edward and Aurora (Boucher) Melanson. She was a member of St. John Vianney in Flint at the time of her entrance into the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Nazareth on September 1, 1957. She received the name Sister Joseph Mary at her reception on July 2, 1958 but later returned to the use of her baptismal name. She pronounced first vows on July 2, 1960 and final vows on July 2, 1963.

Sister Sandy graduated with a B.A. from Nazareth College, an M.A. in Education from Eastern Michigan University, and a MSW from Western Michigan University. For eighteen years she taught in many schools throughout Michigan: St. David, St. Anne, and St. Rita in Detroit, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Plymouth and at St. Augustine in Kalamazoo.

One summer, Sister Sandy spent time in a small town in Kentucky in a nursing home activity program. This experience, plus participation in activities against apartheid in South Africa and other world injustices, led her to pursue studies and earn her Masters Degree in social work. In 1979 she began her new ministry as a Counselor/Family Therapist at Catholic Social Services in Flint. She later continued in social work at St. Joseph Hospital, Flint and then in Detroit at Mercy Family Care and St. John Hospital. In 2003 Sister Sandy moved to Kalamazoo and for the next nine years was the Director of Health Services for the Nazareth sisters. She retired in 2012 but continued serving the community as a volunteer in the History Room updating the Congregational Archives.

When her health began to fail, Sister Sandy dedicated her time to the ministry of prayer for her sisters, her family and friends, and the world. She said in her Golden Jubilee reflections about her ministry to the Sisters that: “We are shaped by the persons who have become a part of our lives. … These women, have taught me lessons about joy, sorrow, forgiveness, and reconciling love… aging with wisdom and grace, even in the midst of pain and physical limitations.” Sandy’s journey was lightened by the deep love she received from her family, especially her sister, Nancy, and her many friends.

Sandy was well acquainted with pain and physical limitations as her body was ravaged by terminal cancer, but her gentle spirit of commitment to her vocation, trust in a most loving God, and gratitude for all the blessings she had received did not falter. May Sandy now delight in the fullness of eternal life.

May She Rest in Peace!