Sandra D. “Sandy” Bauer, 80, of Springfield, IL, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 19, 2024 in Coeur d’Alene, ID. She was born September 1, 1943 in Springfield, the daughter of Floyd and Helen (Pohlod) Durning

Sandy is survived by her twin daughters, Elizabeth “Libby” Peach of Coeur d’Alene, ID, and Gwendolyn “Wendy” (Lee) Rudolph of La Grange, IL, and four grandchildren: Logan, Ella, Hudson and Mason.

What a difference Sandy made in the City of Springfield, where she was loved and respected immensely. In high school, you could see her enthusiastically shouting “go, team, go” as the captain of her cheerleading squad at Springfield High School. After graduating from Millikin University with a Bachelor of Science degree and from the University of Illinois with a Masters of Education degree, Sandy taught in a few cities before making the move back to Springfield and giving her heart and soul to District 186, more specifically to Iles Gifted Magnet School. This is where she became a pioneer for teaching gifted education and using technology to innovate learning. Sandy was pure magic when she taught and made an impact on the lives of so many. Her passion for teaching was recognized when, after being nominated three times, she received the Horace Mann Educator of the Year Award in 2009, right before her retirement in 2010.

Sandy’s long list of accomplishments, awards and improvements to the community are too numerous to recount, but one stands out: Because of her love of all things Japanese, she applied and received a Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Grant to study schools and culture in Japan for 3 weeks. Those memories shine through in her home with framed photographs and Japanese inspired decorations and furniture in every room.

Sandy was devoted to her children. She served as the president of the Twins Club when her girls were young, followed by numerous PTO boards in each school the girls attended. She even became president of the Springfield USA Swim Club and spent countless hours of her precious time driving them long distances for swim meets and sitting on bleachers all day to watch their races. There was nothing she would not do for her girls.

After retiring, she intertwined her passion for history and our 16th President by volunteering at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, where she could expressively share just about any fact about good ol’ Abe. Retirement also gave Sandy more time for pleasure, whether it was making an appetizer for her Bunco group, sharing a glass of wine with her book club, cuddling up with her treasured cat, Honey, whilst reading a good book, blasting CNN on every TV in the house, or, of course, spending cherished time with her beloved grandchildren.

When you think of Sandy, you think of COLOR. Her bright personality was reflected by the vibrant colors she wore, her chunky necklaces, her fun shoes. She will be remembered for her warmth, spark for life, dedication, creativity, and love for her family.

Visitation: 4-7 pm, Friday, February 2, 2024 at Staab Funeral Home, Springfield, IL.

Funeral Service: 3 pm, Saturday, February 3, 2024 at Westminster Presbyterian Church with Reverend Christian Choi officiating. In honor of Sandy, we are asking that you please wear bright colors.

In lieu of flowers, her family is asking for donations to be made to Iles School. Please make checks payable to Iles School with “In memory of Sandy Bauer” in the memo line.

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