Sandra Lee Bolin, age 80 of Tracy, passed away Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at Heritage Point Senior Living in Marshall. Funeral Services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Monday, February 17 at Lake Sarah Baptist Church. Visitation will be Monday from 10:00-11:00 a.m. at the church. Interment will be in the Lake Sarah Baptist Cemetery at a later date. Memorials will be donated to the Lake Sarah Baptist Church. Stephens Funeral Service – Tracy Area Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Sandra Lee Allumbaugh was born on August 26, 1939 to Irma (Youngblood) and Earl Allumbaugh in Tracy, Minnesota. She attended Tracy Public Schools and graduated as a Scrapper in 1957. Musically gifted, she was active in the arts and was a proud Miss Tracy Princess. Following graduation she attended Gustavus Adolphus College as an education major and was a member of the synchronized swimming team. She returned to the area to teach in Slayton, before starting a long career in Balaton; teaching Physical Education and leading the Girl’s Athletic Association before attending Southwest State University in 1986/87 to become an elementary teacher. Sandy worked many summers at the municipal pool in Tracy as a lifeguard and swim lesson instructor. Her love of aquatics ultimately led to meeting Bill Bolin in 1958. They dated while she attended college and they married on November 22, 1961. Three children followed; Kelli in 62’, Tom in 64’ and Shannon in 67’. In 1968, two days before the Tracy Tornado, they purchased 8 acres of alfalfa ground on the shores of Lake Sarah, which initiated a 50-year love affair of developing and caring for this piece of heaven on earth. Trees, birds, plants, and wildlife became their passion as they built a lake home and moved out of Tracy full-time in 1991. The acreage remained her love after Bill’s passing in 2017. She moved to Heritage Pointe in Marshall in October 2019, but continued to dream about her birds and flowers at the lake and was able to make a last visit shortly before entering Hospice care. Sandy enjoyed many solitary pursuits over her lifetime. Music was a delight from an early age. She was an accomplished trumpet player and loved playing piano for an audience of one. She took up guitar at middle-age and spent many hours under the instruction of her dear friend, Gale Otto. She enjoyed cross-country skiing and outdoor camping as a young woman. Thousands of hours were spent over her lifetime exploring the genealogy of her family tree. As a couple, Bill and Sandy were passionate about flowers and birds. Huge gardens were immaculately tended with each plant labeled by name and cared for like a child. Plants were brought inside when wind or weather threatened. Birds were treated as royal guests with an all you can eat buffet of oranges and grape jelly that was replenished throughout the day. Arrival dates of each species were documented and a Lake Sarah list compiled. “Duck TV” was a favorite with a wireless camera capturing the nesting cycle of their Wood Ducks each year. As a spouse, Sandy often walked in Bill’s shadow, but she was the driving force behind his endeavors. From typing and editing his “History is Life” articles to creating order in his diverse projects; she was always present in his life. Sandy was a fantastic mother with an unwavering commitment to her family. She instilled human compassion and life skills on her children and was so proud of her nine grandchildren for the qualities they demonstrate. Upon retirement, it was not uncommon for Sandy and Bill to make a weekend out of traveling across the southern half of Minnesota to support their grandchildren in their many activities. She left a legacy of love, support, and friendship that will leave a lasting imprint on her grandchildren’s lives. She was a member of Lake Sarah Baptist Church. Sandy and Bill were baptized in the waters of Lake Shetek on July 26, 2009. Sandy enjoyed attending worship services and supporting church ministries with her time and talents. While not vocal, Sandy had a deep faith and loving spirit for her congregation and Jesus.
Sandy is survived by her children: Kelli (Jim) Vogel of Northfield, Tom (Marilyn) Bolin of Marshall, and Shannon (Tom) Hook of Tracy; grandchildren: Matt & Mike Vogel, Grace & Laura Bolin, and Josh, Joe (Kimberly), Cassandra, Sarita & Annaka Hook; and nieces and nephews: Shannon (Wayne) Pederson, Sue Brown, Sally (Tom) Berg, Bill Johlfs, Lynn (Dan) Iwaszko, and Kris (Jeff) Salmon. Sandy was preceded in death by her parents and husband Bill.