Follow Us

Celebrating Sandra Gravunder

By Rene Armado

With social distancing the new law of the land during this pandemic, our traditions have become potential victims of COVID-19. One of the more unfortunate victims of this new regulation is funerals.

No matter the cause, when a loved one reaches their final moments, it’s only natural for us to want to be near our loved ones. But, unfortunately, social distancing rules apply for funeral services too. Funeral homes are required to limit attendance to services and now broadcast them live online via social media for those not allowed in to watch along.

Sarah Gravunder

The family of Sandra Lynn Gravunder attended a minimal service for her as well as they laid her to rest on Friday afternoon.

The funeral home set a limit of seven attendees for her service and burial. For the many who were not able to attend, Gravunder’s daughter Jackie Baugrud and her family arranged for a parade of Love celebration. Held at the West Lawn Memorial Park cemetery where Sandy now rests, dozens of cars full of Gravunder’s loved ones made their way through the cemetery.

As they passed by her grave, Gravunder’s husband Roger, their children, and grandchildren waited to

greet them. All through the caravan, cars came adorned with signs bearing scriptures, lyrics from Sandy’s favorite worship songs, and other thoughtful messages that brought some to tears.

Even Racine and Mount Pleasants Fire Departments made appearances to pay their respects to their former team member’s wife. Throughout, there may not have been any hugs and kisses, but there were plenty of smiles, laughs, and kind words shared.

Sandra’s family will miss her, despite this new abnormal.

Proper etiquette in our world may be to keep at a distance from others. But it’s encouraging to see that it takes more than a global pandemic to stop us from touching each other with the kind of heartwarming love and compassion that is currently needed by so many.

Now, I may not have known Sandra or Sandy as her loved ones called her, but during the time I spent with her daughter Jackie and their family, I could see her life was full of love, and many kind-hearted people.

On a personal note, I had my first – and hopefully only – experience with this on Thursday as I, too, attended the service of a lifelong friend’s father’s service. I watched on Facebook live while sitting in my car in the parking lot of the funeral home.

While I still feel weirded out to the idea and experience of a Facebook live funeral service, I rather enjoyed this new experience of a Parade of Love.

I trust Sandy did too. May you rest peacefully.


Support our publication

With the support of readers like you, we provide thoughtfully researched articles for a more informed and connected community. This is your chance to support credible, community-based, public-service journalism. Please join us!

$
$
$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Read More

Lewis University honors Burlington student on 2022 fall Dean’s List

ROMEOVILLE, Ill. — A Burlington student is among the more than 1,300 students honored on the Lewis University Dean’s List for the 2022 Fall Semester. Rachel Fosler is studying Illustration at Lewis University. To be eligible for this honor, students must have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours during the semester with a grade…

Racine Police, Hope City Church celebrate 1st annual Love Week; 20 educators honored

RACINE — The inaugural celebration of Love Week kicked off today as Racine police officers and pastor Tylre Butler of Hope City Church visited nine different locations throughout Racine Unified School District to honor educators who continually show love to their schools and the community. This special partnership between the Racine Police Department’s Community Oriented Policing Unit…

Women and heart disease: Ascension Cardiologist talks about Wear Red Day 2023

RACINE, Wis. — National Wear Red Day unites people across the United States each February during American Heart Month to spread awareness about heart disease, especially its impact on women. On Feb. 3, Americans will focus on going red for women and community members will take strides to raise awareness for heart disease. Dr. Desiree…

Childcare, school immunization requirements for 2023-24 updated by Wisconsin DHS

MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has announced updates to its immunization requirements for children in childcare centers and schools. The new requirements include updated guidelines for meningitis and whooping cough immunizations, and documentation of previous chickenpox infection by a qualified medical professional. There are no changes to the existing exemptions for…

Downtown Racine seeks participants St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 18

RACINE — Participants are being sought to partake in the annual Downtown Racine Corporation’s St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 18. The parade will kick off at noon and last approximately an hour. “The St. Patrick’s Day Parade draws in thousands of people from the community and the surrounding areas. This fun and family-friendly parade is…

Preventing heart disease: America’s number 1 killer

February is American Heart Month and the perfect time to focus on heart health. Heart disease (cardiovascular disease, or CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. Cardiovascular disease accounts for about one in three deaths every year and nearly one million deaths in 2020, according to…