Sandra Ann Hingtgen walked, ran, jumped and danced her way into heaven on Saturday night, February 9, most likely in heels. Visitation will be Thursday, February 14 from 8:30 am to 10:45 am at Resurrection Church followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 11 am.
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Sandra was born in Dubuque on October 13, 1960, to Jean and Mickey Hingtgen. She grew up in East Dubuque and attended St. Mary’s grade school. There she made life-long friends and she discovered her enjoyment of gatherings and parties. Fortunately, she had 5 siblings, which ensured her a group of comrades at all hours. (Pam Jochum, Deb (Lon) Link, Dan (Regina) Hingtgen, Amy (Jonathan) Asbury and John (Rita) Hingtgen.)
Sandra graduated from Wahlert High School and went to Kirkwood Community College, where she received a degree in computer programing. Extroverted and loving celebrations, Sandra quicky traded computer programming for event planning and became a catering director at the nearest Holiday Inn. This started her career in hospitality; she “retired” 20 years later as the Regional Director of Sales and Marketing for RFS hotels where she managed 11 hotel chains throughout the South. She lived in New York, Florida, Tennessee, Texas and South Carolina before returning to Dubuque in 2006. Her circle of friends and acquaintances grew with each stop and her warmth and smile touched people in her good and in her challenging days; and challenging days she had.
Sandra was diagnosed with progressive multiple sclerosis at the age of 36. It didn’t take long for the disease to take away the use of her legs. She continued to work and travel until she was falling literally, on her face. Her pat answer when asked by friend or stranger after a fall, “Are you hurt?” was always, “Only my pride.” When her working life was no longer an option, she became a volunteer at hospitals and organizations, often visiting and cheering people far less handicapped than she.
Fiercely independent, Sandra lived in her own home, in Dubuque for the last 14-years. Upon returning to Dubuque, she met Brian Noel, and it gave her great joy to have movie dates and Brian’s companionship. Sandra maintained her own condo and took care of her beloved cat Sox for as long as she could. Behind the scenes was her devoted sister Deb, directing her care and advocating for Sandra, who would have never asked for help or for “more” from anybody.
Sandra had amazing and giving caregivers, volunteers, helpers and family who all have stories of how she smiled, engaged and chose to be “better not bitter.” She lived her life with grace and dignity.
Sandra is survived by her mother Jean (Noel) Hingtgen, 5 siblings, 7 nephews and 7 nieces. She was preceded in death by her father Eugene “Mickey” Hingtgen, and two nieces, Sarah Jochum and Jean Hingtgen.
The Egelhof, Siegert and Casper Westview Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Sandra’s family extends sincere appreciation to the amazing nurses, CNA’s, and home healthcare workers that were loving and caring to Sandra over the years. Thank you to those at Mercy Hospital, Hawkeye Care Center and Hospice of Dubuque.