OTTUMWA-Harold David “Sandy” Sandage, 89, of Ottumwa, passed away on October 4, 2019 at Ridgewood Specialty Care in Ottumwa.
He was born to Orville G. and Cora Parman Sandage July 27, 1930 in Mt. Ayr, IA. There, he spent his childhood, attended Mt. Ayr schools graduating in 1948. On April 9, 1950, Harold married his high school sweetheart Shirley Sue Boothe at Mt. Ayr’s First Christian Church.
They remained in Mt. Ayr and farmed until 1953 when Harold took employment with Armour and Co. and later with other meat packing companies with whom he remained employed as a livestock buyer for eleven years opening new stock yards all over Iowa. In 1963 he changed careers taking a position as an agency manager for The Des Moines Register and Tribune in Ottumwa, IA where he worked until retirement. The span of his two differing careers allowed him and his family to make many close friendships across the state, and Harold was just as comfortable greeting a farmer whom he hoped to make a customer as he was meeting new families where he might find a responsible newspaper carrier. He found great fulfillment in building relationships with his carriers whom often called him “Old Dad Sandage,” and it pleased him tremendously when they looked him up long after their carrier years to share their present lives and achievements. He found such pride in their accomplishments.
He was baptized at the First Baptist Church in Mt. Ayr as a young man. And later became a lifetime member of First Presbyterian Church in Ottumwa where he served as a deacon, elder and, occasionally, preached as a lay person. Active, also, in many community organizations, he held membership with the Odd Fellow Lodge (Mt. Ayr), B.P.O. Elks Lodge #347, Kiwanis, and Lions Club where he was a charter member of the evening club and a past president. He also enjoyed working with boys while coaching his son’s little league baseball team. His family knew they could count on his love, his provision, and his pride, which he showed in many ways throughout his life.
Harold, a people person, loved to talk and loved to tell stories. Whether at a card club, a dance at the Elks, or, in later years, at coffee at north Hy-Vee with “the guys,” his unique laugh could be heard across the room, for he laughed as hard if not harder, at his own stories. He also enjoyed nature, and he found it hard to take the farm boy out of the man, so when his kids were young teens, they bought an acreage outside of Ottumwa where they fulfilled a family dream of owning and riding horses, raising calves and pigs, and planting a huge garden.
He and Sue enjoyed relaxing from life’s stressors at their mobile home at Lake Red Rock for several years where their children and grandchildren often joined them enjoying boating, skiing, and fishing. They were also fortunate to see much of the country by motorcycle and by motor home after retirement in 1990. They spent winters in Arizona and Florida making new friends and memories until Harold’s macular degeneration took his eyesight ending that chapter of their lives; however, in younger years, they danced miles around the dance floor at the Elks Lodge. Harold, an avid Hawkeye and Cub fan, attended home football games for several years before camping (during later retirement) with their Winnie Korn friends with whom they enjoyed Tuesday breakfasts and Thursday lunches.
Harold is preceded in death by his parents, a brother Weldon Sandage, sister Wanda Bloom and in-laws Manley and Beatrice Boothe. He is survived by his wife Sue, daughter Sandra Sue (Steve) Clem of St. Louis, MO, son Hal David (Charlotte) Sandage of Smithville, MO, grandson David (Nao) Clem of Kurume, Japan, granddaughter Tami (Kris) Daigle of Eureka, MO, granddaughter Kesha (Cameron) Craig of Smithville, MO, three step-granddaughters, 8 great-grandchildren, eight step-great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews, special friends Arlin and Carol Anfinson, and beloved dog Brandy.
His body has been cremated.
Memorial services will be 1 p.m. Saturday October 12, 2019 at Reece Funeral Home in Ottumwa with Pastor Bill Hornback officiating. The family will be present one hour prior to the service. Inurnment will be in Rose Hill Cemetery in Mt. Ayr at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church in Ottumwa or Hospice serving Davis & Wapello Counties.
Reece Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.