Dean Eliot Sandahl, 89, of Lincoln, died June 16, 2013 at the Legacy Arbors. He was born to Ernest George and Mabel Sophia (Nelson) Sandahl on September 8, 1923 at the Sandahl home place near Wakefield, NE. He was baptized and confirmed at Salem Lutheran Church, Wakefield, NE.
Dean graduated from Wakefield High School in 1940 and began college at Wayne State Teacher’s College, Wayne, NE. His education was interrupted by WWII. In March 1944 Dean enlisted in the Army, serving in the infantry and fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. He was captured by the Germans on December 16, 1944 and became a prisoner of war at Stalag 9B at Bad Orb, Germany. Dean was liberated by American troops on Easter Monday in April 1945. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his military service.
Dean returned to Wayne State and graduated January 1947. He became principal, teacher and coach at Roland High School, Roland, IA before returning to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln for an Agricultural Engineering degree, utilizing the GI Bill. On June 10, 1949 Dean married Della Clarine Fischer at Salem Lutheran Church, Wakefield, NE.
Dean began his engineering career at the Nebraska Department of Roads, working until May 1973, when he became Chief Engineer with Nebraska Game and Parks. In October 1983 he returned to the Department of Roads as an engineer in the Bridge Division, and then retired April 1989.
While living in Lincoln, Dean was a member of First Lutheran Church, serving on the church council. In 1956 Dean became a charter member of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in northeast Lincoln. Through the years he served on the church council, building committees, taught Sunday School and gave many hours of service in building projects.
Dean was also active in the Lincoln YMCA, Association of Conservation Engineers, Ex-POW organization, Habitat for Humanity and delivering Meals on Wheels. He enjoyed woodworking, photography, camping, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Survivors include his wife, Della; daughter, Linda Peterson of Hordville; sons and wives, Larry and Chalena Sandahl of Lincoln, and Bruce and Alisa Sandahl of Hastings; grandchildren and spouses: Eric and Aimee Peterson, Krisa and Jay Howland, Sarah and Brian McCoy, Laura Peterson, Tim and Emily Peterson, Matthew Sandahl, Brian Sandahl and Nathan Sandahl; great-grandchildren: Reese Howland, Ellee Howland and Fynnegan McCoy; brother and sister-in-law, Neil and Bonnie Sandahl, nieces, nephews and cousins. Preceded in death by his parents, brother, Wayne Sandahl, son-in-law, Deryl Peterson and nephew, Ryan Sandahl.
Prayer service, Friday, June 21 at 7:30 pm and Celebration of Life, Saturday, June 22 at 11:00 am, both at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Memorials are suggested to St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Lincoln, NE, Salem Lutheran Church, Wakefield, NE, or donor’s choice.