APPLETON – Our loving mother, Marcella “Sally” (Baumann) VandenHeuvel, age 87, was received into the arms of Jesus on her birthday, Wednesday, March 10, 2021, surrounded by family. She was born on March 10, 1934, in Milwaukee, WI, the daughter of Victor and Hildegarde Baumann. Sally spent the majority of her childhood growing up on a farm in Black Creek, WI. There was rarely a dull moment for the family of fourteen. She relished sharing stories of her childhood antics she engaged in with her siblings. A unique part of her childhood involved sharing a one-room classroom with several of her siblings. She spoke of the wintery walks from their farm to school. Unlike many of the hard luck stories of travel to school shared by many, hers were actually based on fact. Sally attended Seymour High School, and then attended college in Kaukauna because she originally dreamed of becoming a teacher. She married at the age of twenty and began life anew. After marriage, Sally proceeded to have five children: Keith, Rebecca, Shirley, Charles, and Sue. She devoted all of her energies into making our lives filled with love, patience, faith, and happiness. What she accomplished as a single mother while working three jobs and raising five children, continues to amaze us. Every holiday with our mother was beset with a household filled with decorations. Few, if anyone, could match her Christmas treats. Whether they included homemade candies or richly decorated cookies, the anticipation of finally being able to sample the “goodies” was hard to take. Rarely, did the contents make it to the desired date without a few missing. Our mother never let being a single parent stop her from seeking out memorable adventures. In the summer she would often take us camping, and even drove us to Canada twice. Somehow, someway, after her children were grown, Sally was able to save enough of her money to buy a house of her own. She was an avid gardener and turned her yard into a “Home and Garden” wonderland. She never was quite able to conquer her arch enemy, the rabbits, from invading her treasured flowers, but there were some epic battles.
Sally’s grandchildren were also the beneficiaries of her kindness and generosity. Some of their favorite memories of her involved her special sleepovers. They would all line their sleeping bags up in her living room and giggle late into the night until “Grandma Peanut” would tell them it was time to settle. They awakened early in the morning to the aroma of Grandma’s special pancakes. Eventually, even Sally’s great-grandchildren were the recipients of her love, attention, and caring.
Sally is survived by her five children: Keith (Karen) VandenHeuvel, Rebecca Fisher, Shirley (John) Hopkins, Charles VandenHeuvel (Christine Janssen), and Sue (Greg) Obermeier. She is further survived by grandchildren: Caleb, Krista, Katrina, Samuel, Katie, Sara, Jocelyn, Scott, Courtney, Peter, Ethan, Jessica, Rachael, Angela, and Alicia. Surviving members of her family also include 10 great-grandchildren, siblings Mary, Jane (Willie), Cliff (Pam), Donna (Bob), and Mike, as well as brothers-in-law Jerry and Al and sister-in-law Liz. She was preceded in death by her parents, siblings Bill (Delores), Betty, Peter, Corrie (Neal), Joan (Vern), and Barb. Sally also was preceded in death by a grandson, Michael.
Due to COVID restrictions, a private memorial will be held. The family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the incredibly devoted staff at Oak Park Place in Menasha. They cared for our mother with the kind of patience and understanding every family dreams about for a loved one. If you are interested in giving a gift in memory of Sally, her family would very much appreciate a donation be given to the ALS Association.
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