Richard F. Sandquist

December 22, 1931June 11, 2018

Richard Frederick Sandquist, age 86 died this past Monday, June 11th, 2018. He was born December 22, 1931 to Lenore (Segerlind) and Erland (Al) Sandquist. He graduated from Rockford East High School in 1949. He attended Beloit College briefly before entering the Army where he served as Head Railroad postmaster in Korea. Upon returning from Korea, he finished his bachelor's degree at Beloit College. He worked for a number of years at Sundstrand Aviation. He also worked at Ello furniture. In the early 70s, sensing the need for a career change, he went back to school and earned his Master's Degree in Education from NIU DeKalb. He taught for 20 years at the Boys’ Farm School, Elmwood, and Skyview schools. He lived his entire life in Rockford Illinois, up until retiring in 1990. He and his wife, Mary Ellen, spent their summers at the family Cottage in Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin. They spent winters first in North Padre Island, Texas, then in Fairfield Bay, Arkansas. He spent this last winter at Lake Summerset in Northern Illinois. He was a lifetime member of the LLL Club and the Baltic Star Lodge, and was a longtime member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Rockford, IL, and later a member of Peace Lutheran Church in Edgemont, AR. in his younger years he played basketball for the White Eagles Semi-Pro team. He played on many baseball and softball teams. He bowled on numerous Rockford bowling leagues, was an accomplished golfer, and in 2006 achieved a hole-in-one at Indian Hills Golf Course in Fairfield Bay, AR. He also enjoyed spending time with friends and family, camping, fishing, woodworking, and built several radio controlled planes, as well as dulcimers for family members. He and Mary Ellen also enjoyed traveling, and took many trips and cruises throughout the world. He was also well-read, and kept up with current events. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mary Ellen Gordon Sandquist, daughter Cynthia Duhigg of St Louis, son Gordon (Sonja) of Littleton, Colorado, daughter Naomi van Est of Davis, Illinois and daughter Amy Cuthbertson of Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. He is grandfather to Teghan and Tadhg Duhigg, Brissa and Braelyn Cuthbertson, Alex van Est, Monique and Symone Sanquist and Mary, Rowyn and Aedyn Meyer. He is great grandfather to Gavin, Sawyer and one due in August. Funeral services will be at Salem Lutheran Church, Rockford, IL, on Thurs., June 14th at 1:00 pm. Reception immediately following in the church Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial gift In Richard’s honor to Salem Lutheran Church.


  • Mary Ellen Gordon Sandquist, Wife
  • Cynthia Duhigg, Daughter
  • Gordon (Sonja) Sandquist, Son
  • Naomi van Est, Daughter
  • Amy Cuthbertson, Daughter
  • Teghan Duhigg, Grandchild
  • Tadhg Duhigg, Grandchild
  • Brissa Cuthbertson, Grandchild
  • Braelyn Cuthbertson, Grandchild
  • Alex van Est, Grandchild
  • Monique Sanquist, Grandchild
  • Symone Sanquist, Grandchild
  • Mary Meyer, Grandchild
  • Rowyn Meyer, Grandchild
  • Aedyn Meyer, Grandchild
  • Also survived by Great-Grandchildren Gavin, Sawyer and one due in August.


  • Service to Celebrate Richard's Life Thursday, June 14, 2018

Richard F. Sandquist

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John Gustafson

June 14, 2018

I taught with Richard at the Elmwood school in the late 1970s and found him to be a gentle and compassionate soul with a tremendous sense of warmth and humor. Our students were fortunate to have had him as one of their teachers. Elmwood’s staff members were fortunate to have had Dick as a friend and colleague.

Tracy Lersch

June 13, 2018

I'm so sorry and send my deepest condolences to the whole Sandquist glad I was able to meet and talk to Richard last summer at your family's cottage...where i was welcomed like family.
Sending prayers of comfort....