Sandra Catherine McChain Johnson

MADISON-Sandra Catherine (McChain) Johnson, 76, passed away Monday, March 3rd at St. Mary's Care Center, after a long, courageous battle with Diabetes, heart and kidney failure.

She was born March 16, 1937, the daughter of Catherine Emma (Hout) and Robert Louis McChain, in Rachel, West Virginia. She will best be remembered for her never-ending positive attitude, lovingly shared with everyone she met. She graduated from Cambria High School, Ebensburg, Pennsylvania. She received her Bachelor's degree from Carroll College, Waukesha,Wisconsin, as a member of Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority and a cheerleader.

Marrying Dale Johnson, 1961, she ultimately resided in Naperville, Illinois as a realtor with Rich Port Realty, and an executive secretary for RTE, Inc. After divorcing, she moved to Florida in 1986, and worked for Critikon (Johnson & Johnson.) Her greatest joy was her five grandchildren. The need to be near them and her daughters brought her back to Wisconsin in 1994. Her maternal instinct was so strong that she was a sorority housemother for the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, University of Wisconsin for 13 years. While there she won House Mother of the Year several years in a row. At the same time, she also worked for Marshall Fields in Madison, Wisconsin. Sandy was such a positive giving person who left a lasting mark on everyone whose life she touched--always able to laugh at herself and seeing life through rose-colored glasses. She found great enjoyment and pride watching her grandchildren perform in dance recitals, show choirs, gymnastic events, playing football, volleyball, soccer and swim team. She also loved watching the UW Badgers and Green Bay Packers.

She is survived by daughters Jodi (Joe) Kelley of Prairie du Sac, WI; Lisa (Gary) Woodward of Middleton, WI; grandchildren Morgan and Brenna Kelley, of Prairie du Sac, and Max, Sarah, and Holly Woodward of Middleton. She is further survived by her brother Robert (Kay) McChain, niece Amy (Andrew) Yarem; Aunt, Gladys Vinton, and her ex-husband, Dale Johnson.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Kay McChain.

Special thanks to the University of Wisconsin physicians and nurses who took wonderful care of her, especially, Dr. Cassandra Valmadrid, Darcy, and Dawn, who were always a tremendous support for Sandy and her daughters, Jodi and Lisa. In Memory of Sandy, donations can be made to Friends of Henry Vilas Zoo, 606 S. Randall Ave, Madison, WI 53715, or

A Celebration of Life to include family and friends will take place in the spring with information to follow at Gunderson Funeral Home web site. Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson West
Funeral & Cremation Care
7435 University Avenue

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