Sarah Ann Strand

September 15, 1948November 30, 2018

Sarah Ann Strand, 70, passed away peacefully on Friday, November 30, 2018. Born September 15, 1948 in Hancock, Michigan to Charles and Helmi (Kivari) Hongisto, Sarah was one of eight siblings. She had a lifelong passion for dogs. She trained and fostered dogs throughout her life and helped to start a humane shelter in Hancock, Michigan, in the 1970’s. She loved the beauty of the outdoors, often marveling, “Isn’t nature amazing?” She was an artist and loved to doodle mountains, flowers, and dogs. She had a passion for music and singing. Sarah loved decorating her home, but her favorite was decorating for Christmas. Her home was always warm and welcoming. After retirement, she and her husband, Bruce, traveled all over the US in their motor home. Sarah loved sharing that wanderlust, and all the beauty of the United States, with the love of her life.

She was preceded in death by her son, Derek Strand, and her parents.

She will be lovingly remembered by her husband of 51 years, Bruce Strand; her children, Lori (Dave) Moen, Charles (Deborah) Strand, Emily (Rob) Sack, and Nora (Dan) Sanfilippo; her fourteen grandchildren; and her two great-grandchildren.

Memorial Services will be held on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 11:00am at the Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, Williamston Chapel, 205 E. Middle St., Williamston. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.

In honor of Sarah, memorial contributions may be made to the family to assist with medical expenses.


  • Visitation Tuesday, December 11, 2018
  • Memorial Service Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Sarah Ann Strand

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Trevor Jarvi

December 5, 2018

Auntie Sarah,
Such a wonderful lady.
My earliest and happiest memories are with you, you husband and your children.
You and uncle Bruce, always so kind and thoughtful to me.
My first sleepover, was at your house. You comforted me when I was so scared to be away from my parents. You made me feel safe, like I was at home. I thought I'd never sleep. You helped me to feel better, calm down...catch my breath. Thank you

Camping was such fun, you and my mom made scavenger hunts for M&M's in Manistee.
Nora finding treasure before me...
Faygo song, socks with change,too many smores, too much candy, beastie boys, camp fires, hula hoop shower, chopping wood with my dad, uncle Bruce, Sunsets so spectacular I can still see them. Riding my bike, feeling so happy, so carefree, family times. Family happiness. Thank you.

Christmas at Strands, your warm home, so many happy times, cruising in the van to look at the decorated houses, sleding on the back hill, signing our names on the table cloth, kids table. Thank you

My godmother you are so special, you are truly one of a kind, such a huge heart, comforting hug, so inspiring, so strong, so thoughtful, I am so sorry.
So many memories, but not enough.
I am so thankful for you, you helped me more than I could ever say.
I love you auntie.
I am so sorry.

David /Patti Scott

December 5, 2018

We met Sarah and Bruce in Loveland, CO after a long days drive from TX. We did not have reservations to spend the night anywhere so we pulled into a Walmart parking lot. It was dark and late. We heard someone tell us to park next to them...we looked up and there was a drivable Mercedes RV. A sweet voice said to pull next to them because there is safty in numbers. We did, and have been friends since. They came to our Walmart in TX one night on way back up North and spent the night at our Walmart. We picked them up and went to dinner and breakfast the next morning. We are truly " Walmart" friends. We will miss Sarah.

Julie Jaeger

December 5, 2018

My heart is so very sad about Sarah's passing. She was such a gem of a human being. Knowing the Strand's since the 70's and being there for each other through the loss of Derek as well as two of my brothers only made our families friendship stronger. They are amazing people and I will cherish my memories with them.
Most recently Bruce & Sarah stayed with me for almost a month 2 years ago when I hurt my knee and was on crutches and my husband was in Afghanistan and I couldn't walk my dog or do much around my house and yard. They stayed out of the goodness of their hearts just to help me giving up their free time during their winter in Arizona. I don't know what I would've done without them. Just good, honest, generous people. And their love for each other is so admirable and inspiring.
All of my love & prayers to Bruce & the entire family. Sarah will be truly missed by so many!

jerry seppanen

December 4, 2018

We were shocked and saddened when cousin, Albert Hongisto, informed us about Sarah's passing. Please accept our sincerest condolences and deepest sympathy for your loss. Love and prayers, Jerry and Bettie Seppanen