Sandra Lynn Johnson

November 13, 1944April 1, 2021

Sandra (Sandie) Lynn Johnson, beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, cousin, niece, aunt and friend, died on April 1, 2021 in Stockton, California after a brief illness. Sandie was born in Berkeley, California, on November 13, 1944, to Margaret (Gustavson) and Joseph DePhillips. Sandie was baptized and confirmed at Bethany Lutheran Church (now Lutheran Church of the Cross) in Berkeley as was her mother. She attended school in El Cerrito, California, and then graduated from UC Berkeley with a double major in French and Humanities. She made many life-long friends in school, in Brownies and at the Lutheran Student Association Center at UC Berkeley. Sandie met her husband, Steven B. Johnson, in confirmation class in the 8th grade. It took Steve a little longer to realize that he had met the most wonderful woman but he soon understood the gift of love he was to cherish the rest of his life. Sandie and Steve were married at Bethany Lutheran in 1967 and first lived in Berkeley, but soon moved to El Cerrito where their two children, Alisa and Garth, were born. Sandie and Steve lived in San Ramon, Visalia, and Fair Oaks, California. They moved to Salem, Oregon when Steve was employed as an Associate Superintendent with the Oregon Department of Education. They came to Lodi, California, in 1997.

Sandie found her passion to teach and help children live the best life possible as a volunteer. She went on to pursue a career in special education, earning her teaching credential at San Francisco State University authorizing her to teach children with orthopedic disabilities. Sandie taught at Marindale School in Terra Linda, California for several years. She was then part of the first class of educators to be trained as Parish Education Associates (PEA) through California Lutheran College. She worked as a PEA at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Dublin, California and at Christ Lutheran Church in Visalia. Sandie was hired as a preschool teacher and then promoted to director of Christ the King Preschool in Orangevale. After growing that program, Sandie returned to public special education teaching in Rio Linda as the teacher of a K-6 special day class for children with physical disabilities. She continued to teach special education classes when she and Steve moved to Salem, Oregon. In Lodi, California, Sandie became a substitute teacher for many of the Early Childhood Special Education classes, especially loving her work with the children and staff at Dorothy Mahin School. Sandie formally and reluctantly retired from teaching in 2007.

Sandie was a lifelong musician playing flute and singing in many choirs. Sandie and Steve traveled extensively in Scandinavia where Sandie reconnected with cousins and other relatives and visited the homesteads of her grandparents. Sandie and Steve spent many special weekends as a presenting couple for International Lutheran Marriage Encounter, sharing their stories and memories of love and dedication.

Sandie enjoyed watching her children and grandchildren as they grew and sang in choir, concerts and musicals, played soccer, varsity football, baseball, and wrestled, and did cheer leading at games and in competitions. Sandie looked forward to big family dinners, special holidays, and summer beach house weeks with all the family gathering. Sandie was preceded in death by her parents, Margaret and Joe DePhillips, and infant grandson, Reed Johnson. She is survived by her husband of more than 53 years, Steve, their daughter, Alisa (Jon) Edwards, of Alamosa, Colorado, and their son Garth (Stacy) Johnson, of Folsom, California. She is the proud and loving Nona (grandmother) of Londyn (MacKenzie) Edwards, of Sacramento, Ethan Edwards of Pomona, Jessica Edwards of Davis, and Ben, Noah, Erik, and Ava Johnson of Folsom. She is also survived by her sister, Michele (Bob) Chabot, of LaMesa, California.

There will be a family service later. Sandie will be inurned at Mt Vernon Cemetery in Fair Oaks. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial gifts be made to St Paul Lutheran Church in Lodi, Save the Children or another charity serving young children.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Sandra Lynn Johnson

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Dennis Costa

April 20, 2021

I knew Sandy in childhood. I remember her as being very bright and playing her flute. After reading her well written obit, she certainly grew into a loving and helping career professional as well as in her marriage, and parenting . Thank you for sharing her life. She truly made a positive difference in this world.