Sally Schanstra

Obituary of Sally Ann Schanstra

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Sally Ann Schanstra (nee Leonard), 86, of Troy, NY, passed away on January 6, 2023, after an extended illness.


She was born March 3, 1936, to Archibald and Mabel Leonard in Lansing, MI. She graduated from Farmington High School in 1954 then attended the University of Michigan for one year. She married Joseph Petty, and they had a daughter, Robin. She worked as a secretary at General Motors Company in Detroit.


In 1963 Sally married Hank Schanstra, they had two daughters, Megan and Marji. She excelled in her roles as mother and homemaker. She was a creative person – sewing, sketching, playing the piano and singing, even dabbling in poetry. Sally loved live music and musicals. She was active in her neighborhood on Randy Dr. in Livonia, MI with Bunco parties and talent shows. She was a member of Rosedale Gardens Presbyterian church for over 20 years. Sally loved Jeopardy, word games and puzzles, and consistently trounced anyone she ever played Scrabble with.


Sally earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Madonna College in 1976 where she was a member of a theater troupe. She was cast in Moliere’s “The Miser”, in Sondheim’s “Company” and did stints reading to children at local libraries as Mother Goose. She became head nurse at Henry Ford Hospital before becoming head nurse at Brighton Hospital, and later served as Vice President of Clinical Services there. She was a member of the National Nurses Society on Addictions, National Consortium of Chemical Dependency Nurses, and Sigma Theta Tau. She was listed as a noteworthy Nursing Administrator by Marquis Who’s Who. She retired from Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit as a Cancer Information Specialist. She then moved to a sheep farm in New York, helping with shearing and birthing them, in addition to looking after two granddaughters.


Sally will be remembered for her kindness, honesty, work ethic, and especially her sense of humor. Her laughter was loud and infectious.


She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters Mabel Ellen and Ada, and brother Ted. Sally is survived by daughters Robin Hansen Church (Randy); Megan Schanstra Willis (Steve) and Marji McLaughlin (Will); grandchildren Colin, Karl, Sofie and Ava, great grandchildren Jade and Jasper; along with a wonderful assortment of nieces and nephews.


A memorial service will take place on April 22, 2023 at Rosedale Gardens Presbyterian Church in Livonia, Michigan at 10:00 a.m., coffee and sweets afterwards. Contributions in her honor can be made to the American Heart Association ( or the Alzheimer’s Association (


Please feel free to offer your on-line Condolences by using that tab on this website.



10:00 am
Saturday, April 22, 2023
Rosedale Gardens Presbyterian Church
9601 Hubbard St
Livonia, Michigan, United States
734 422-0494
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Sally Schanstra

In Loving Memory

Sally Schanstra

1936 - 2023

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