Sandra "Sandy" Calkins Kowalski, 72, of 2605 Rosalyn Trail, Long Beach, Ind., died on Sunday afternoon, May 20, 2012, at her residence following a longtime battle with Alzheimer's Disease.
She was born Dec. 2, 1939 in Johnsonburg, daughter of the late James and Thelma Snyder Calkins.
On Jan. 30, 1960 in Holy Rosary Church, Johnsonburg, she married Stanley Kowalski, he survives.
She resided in Long Beach, Ind. for the past 47 years.
She graduated from Johnsonburg High School in 1957 and the University of Buffalo Edward J. Meyer Memorial Hospital School of Nursing as a registered nurse in 1960. She graduated from Purdue University Calumet in 1973 and received a master's degree in nursing from St. Xavier's University in Chicago in 1977. She received a Ph. D. in medical sociology from the University of Notre Dame in 1989.
She served on the boards of Visiting Nurses Association, Concerned Citizens for the Homeless, Minority Health Coalition and the Stepping Stone Shelter for Abused Women in Michigan City, Ind. She was a member of the Porter County Task Force on HIV/AIDS. She was a key to the development of the Pastoral Care Council of Notre Dame Church in Long Beach, Ind. She received the JC Penney Golden Rule Award in partnership with the United Way in 1992. She received the Exchange Club of Michigan City's Book of Golden Deeds Award in 1999 and was honored by Valparaiso University, Notre Dame University Alumni and the state of Indiana for her community service and contribution to learning.
She was appointed in 1989 at Valparaiso University as an associate professor in the College of Nursing where she had been teaching nursing for 23 years.
She had been a faculty member at Purdue University North Central while getting her field experience at the Mile Square Clinic at Cabrini Green and Robert Taylor low-income housing communities in Chicago.
She had also been employed by the Visiting Nurses Association of LaPorte County and was the association's first hospital-to-home care coordinator and would become the VNA's advisor for 30 years.
Besides her husband, she is survived by three children, Michael Kowalski of Seattle, Steven Kowalski of Michigan City, Ind. and Debra Kowalski of Michigan City, Ind.; three grandchildren, Amanda Fries, Michael Fries and Jarod Kowalski; and six brothers and sisters, Carol, Mrs. Thomas Parana of Johnsonburg, Jane Schuck of Orlando, Fla., Norma, Mrs. John Kurk of Lake Forest, Ill., Cindy, Mrs. Joel Elmquist of Johnsonburg, James Calkins and his wife Janet of Seattle, and Michael Calkins and his wife Patty of Johnsonburg.
She was predeceased by her parents.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Sandra "Sandy" Kowalski will be conducted at the Holy Rosary Church, Johnsonburg, on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 10 a.m. with the Rev. David J. Wilson officiating. Interment will be in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Johnsonburg.
Friends will be received at the Anthony F. Ferragine Funeral Home, 401 Chestnut St., Johnsonburg on Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.
Memorial contributions, if desired, may be made to the Sandy Calkins Kowalski Community Nursing Fund through the Unity Foundation, P.O. Box 527, Michigan City, IN 46361.