Arta Sandstrom: December 4, 2021

Arta Sandstrom, age 102, died December 4, 2021, following a life well lived. She was born in Wessington, SD in 1919 to John Peter and Minnie (Donoghue) Johnson, the second of John’s

seven children. After Minnie’s death when Arta was five, John eventually remarried, and his new wife Helen became mother to the two older girls and five additional children. Arta graduated high school during the Great Depression and left the family farm in 1936, to move to Ballard with relatives. There, she met her husband George Sandstrom, to whom she was married for 63 years.

Arta and George raised their family on Mercer Island during the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, with Arta a “stay-at-home” mom until her children left home. During that period, she was extremely active in Seattle First United Methodist Church, especially enjoying singing in the choir and serving in various roles and offices in what was then called “The Women’s Society”. She also served on the Board of the Atlantic Street Center in Seattle, including a term as Board President, was room mother for various elementary school classes, and was famous throughout the family (and neighborhood) for her wonderful pies and cookies.Even the neighbors’ cat sneaked in one time to eat one of her pies!

As an “empty nester”, Arta began a career in banking, eventually retiring in 1984 from First Interstate Bank (now Wells Fargo) as a trust officer. She always loved people, and her concern for their well-being made her a natural in that position. She and George then moved full-time to Whidbey Island, where they had had vacation property since the early 1960’s in the Harbor Grove community, a former fishing resort in Greenbank. Soon after, Arta joined the Langley United Methodist Church and again became active singing in the choir and, this time, serving with the Langley United Methodist Women. After George died, Arta decided to take a computer class for seniors and met a slightly younger man, Capron Coe, who became her long-time companion and travel partner. The two of them left the beach life and moved to Regency in Oak Harbor in 2013, first to an independent cottage, then to assisted living in early 2020. She actually drove her car until age 100, without scaring her passengers! Capron preceded her in death in March of this year.

Arta is survived by her daughter Karen Pasewark of Oak Harbor, her son Greg (Paula) Sandstrom of Shoreline, and her grandsons Eric and Troy (Emily) Sandstrom and Michael Pasewark, as well as numerous nephews and nieces and non-family family members, including Capron’s daughter, Gail Coe. Of Arta’s siblings, only her brother Steve survives her. Arta had a positive outlook on life and a warm heart and was always ready with a word of encouragement and a supportive, listening ear. Being around her was also just fun, with her good sense of humor and way of making anyone she talked to seem the center of her world.

Her favorite Bible verse, which closely reflected her personal philosophy, was Psalm 118:24, “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Her 100th birthday party was one of the highlights of her life, a celebration of her life that she was able to enjoy personally, with so many of her special loved ones in attendance. At this time, no formal memorial service has been scheduled. In lieu of flowers, memorials

might be made to the Langley United Methodist Church, PO Box 374, Langley WA 98260, designated for either the Langley United Methodist Women or Music Fund.