On Sunday, June 19, 2022, at the age of 84, Saundra completed her earthly journey to join her heavenly family.
She was born on March 16, 1938 to Frank and Virginia (De Keyser) VandenBranden. She met her soulmate and future husband, Irv Collins, in Kindergarten, spent the next 12 years in the same schools, graduating together from East High School in 1956. She went on to graduate from St. Mary's School of Nursing in Wausau, WI. Saundra and Irv were married on September 5, 1959 at St. Phillip Parish.
Saundra worked as a Registered Nurse at St. Vincent Hospital in Labor and Delivery, delivering babies and caring for new moms for 13 years. She spent the next 27 years at Beaumont Clinic as a triage nurse for Internal Medicine and Surgery, retiring in 2000. She returned to work in 2007 at Furs of Distinction, retiring for good in 2011 to care for her husband.
She was a seamstress at heart. She crafted everything from neck ties to blazers and dresses. If she couldn't find a pattern she liked she would make her own. She also made and donated dozens of items for local nursing homes and hospice services in Green Bay. In addition to her love of sewing, she loved to cook, golf and tend to her flower gardens. Most of all, she loved to entertain family and friends for all occasions.
Together, Saundra and Irv traveled to most of the 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. They also traveled through Europe and celebrated the new millennium on Fiji with friends.
Saundra is survived by her 2 sons, Steve (Michelle) Collins of Green Bay and Scott Collins of New Franken. Scott lived with Saundra and Irv, first assisting with the care for Irv, then helping to keep up their home and finally caring for Saundra. She is further survived by 9 grandchildren: Martin (Tiffany) Kelsey, Casaundra (Steve) Hutson, Jennifer (Nick) Zellner, Palmer Kelsey, Henry Kelsey, Arthur Kelsey, Walter Kelsey, Merrell Kelsey and Shelby Kelsey; 3 great-grandchildren: Evelynn and Eleanor Kelsey and MacKenna Hutson; brother, Mark (Karen) VandenBranden; brothers-in-law, Milt (Carol) Collins and Merrill (Carol) Collins; sister-in-law, Marge (Robert) Collins and many nieces, nephews and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Virginia VandenBranden; her husband, Irv; her daughter, Jeannine Kelsey; son-in-law, Mike Kelsey; brothers-in-law: Marv Collins, Les Collins, Robert Collins, Gaylord Collins, Gary Collins, Jerry Buchanan; sisters-in-law: Phyllis Collins, Isabelle Collins, Joyce Buchanan and Kathy Collins and nephews, Jeffrey Collins and David Collins.
Visitation will be held at Newcomer Cremations, Funerals & Receptions (340 S. Monroe Ave., Green Bay, WI), Sunday, June 26, 2022 from 3 to 5 PM. A prayer service will conclude the visitation at 5 PM. Visitation will continue at Prince of Peace Catholic Church (3425 Willow Rd., Green Bay, WI), Monday, June 27, 2022 from 10 to 11 AM. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 AM.
Don't grieve for me, For now I'm free, I'm following the path God has laid, you see. I took His hand, when I heard Him call. I turned my back and left it all. I could not stay another day, to laugh, to love, to work, or play. Tasks left undone must stay that way. I found that peace at the close of the day. If my parting has left a void, then fill it with remembered joys. A friendship shared a laugh, a kiss. Oh yes, these things I, too, will miss. Be not burdened with times of sorrow. I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow. My lifes' been full, I savored much. Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch. Perhaps my time seemed all too brief. Don't lengthen it now with undue grief. Lift up your hears and peace to thee. God wanted me now. He set me free!
Until that one sweet day when we will be reunited with you, keep sending your strength and wisdom to us. Rest in peace, Mom. You will be missed.
A special thank you to the staffs at St. Vincent Hospital and Unity Hospice for their loving care.