Dawn Bennion Sandberg, 91, died Aug. 6, 2020, at her home in St. George, Utah. She was born on May 9, 1929, in Taylorsville, Utah, to Joseph Samuel Bennion and Florence Hamilton.
Dawn grew up in Taylorsville, Utah, the youngest of six children, surrounded by a close-knit extended family of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. She served a two-year French-speaking mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her love of teaching children began early in her life, having graduated from Brigham Young University with a teaching degree in 1953. She was teaching kindergarten in Orem, Utah when she married Karl Christian Sandberg on June 7, 1954.
In 1961, after several cross-country moves for the military and education, Dawn and Karl spent seven rewarding years in Tucson, Arizona raising their young family. They moved to St. Paul, Minnesota in 1968, where they set down roots and remained for over 30 years. Dawn’s greatest joy in life was raising her four children. She continued her love of working with children by becoming a certified Montessori teacher in 1976 and getting a Parent-Education Certificate from the University of Minnesota. She taught at the Forest Lake and Lake Country Montessori schools for many years before moving to St. George, Utah, with Karl in 1999. Once there, she worked for several years to help establish the St. George Children’s Museum.
She also had a lifelong love of classical music, singing and opera. She thrived on traveling, enjoying the arts, reading and learning about both history and current events. She took great pleasure in connecting with friends and family throughout her life. She also had a wry sense of humor. One time when checking her into the hospital before her first heart surgery in Utah, the nurse asked if there was anything else they should know about her before being admitted. She dryly replied, “Well, I am a Democrat.”
After Karl’s death in 2000, she remained in St. George where her love of life kept her going for 20 more years despite many health challenges. Dawn believed in the saying “Bloom where you are planted” and she blossomed in the desert of St. George in the company of many friends, church members, caregivers and family. She believed that life was an adventure to be lived and she approached each challenge with curiosity and optimism. She is now on to “new adventures” and will be deeply missed.
Dawn is survived by her four children, David Karl Sandberg (Cindy) of Plymouth, Minnesota; Stephanie McGovern (Phill) of Eden Prairie, Minnesota; Mark Bennion Sandberg (Elisabeth) of Albany, California; and Shireen Woodward (Joel) of Colorado Springs, Colorado, as well as 10 grandchildren spread across the country in New York, Indiana, Georgia, Utah, Massachusetts, Minnesota and California. She also has five great-grandchildren in Minnesota, Massachusetts and Indiana. She was preceded in death by her husband, Karl Christian Sandberg.
An online funeral service will be held on Aug. 22, 2020, at noon (CDT). For more information about access to the funeral, please send your name and a note of interest to [email protected].
Thanks to Metcalf Mortuary at 288 West St. George Blvd., St. George, Utah for burial arrangements. For condolences please visit their website at www/metcalfmortuary.com. Interment will take place at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, St. Paul, Minnesota.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Montessori school where Dawn taught for many years: Lake Country School, Attn: Memorial, 3755 Pleasant Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55409, www.lakecountryschool.org/giving