Martin Warner Sandstrom, Physical Therapist for 50 years, passed away comfortably at his condominium in Park Ridge last Tuesday evening, attended by his beloved wife Susan (Douglass), sons James and John, as well as by his daughter in law, Debbie (Colby) and two grandchildren, Linnea and Colin. He was also cared for and thought about considerably during his last days by a wide group of friends from all walks of life.
Marty recently spent much of his time enjoying his retirement home in Algoma, Wisconsin, with family and yet more new friends. Above all, he was happiest when others were close by and sharing their stories with him. Truly, the little things in life were most important to him: making sure others were content, helping out if anyone needed anything, or making sure there was enough dessert and coffee for all. (Chocolate ice cream and black.) Unfailingly, he listened to others before he spoke his own opinions.
Dad was a steadfast Christian all his life, attending North Park and Augustana College, where he was active on several athletic teams. He was born in a house in Saint Paul, Minnesota on October 22, 1934, to Swedish immigrants, David and Carrie Sandstrom. Two older brothers, George and William, guided him after his mom died while he was just a boy. He met his wife Susan on a blind date and embarked on a romantic relationship with her that lasted 60 years. Marty was immediately loved and welcomed into her Douglass family by mother in law Ruth, her husband Bernard, and their five sons.
Mr. Sandstrom earned his professional degree at Northwestern University and in 1962, became chief of physical therapy at Veterans Administration Lakeside Hospital where he cared for veterans for 30 years. Later on, Marty directed the rehabilitation department at Swedish Covenant Hospital, before “retiring” as an assistant professor at Oakton Community College’s PT Assistant Program where he specialized in enrolling and training students from minority backgrounds. Still later, he combined his love for animals and therapy, helping children with disabilities ride horses at a nearby stable. He was unanimously loved and appreciated by patients, colleagues, and students, alike.
Marty’s family would like to invite dear friends to attend his visitation at Cooney Funeral Home, 625 Busse Highway, Park Ridge from 11 am to 12 pm, on Monday, September 28. After visitation, the family will convene a short, private service for immediate family only, to honor his life, before meeting anyone who would like to attend a graveside salute at 1:30 PM, at Memorial Park Cemetery, located at 9900 Gross Point Road, Skokie. For everyone’s safety, please wear masks and keep 6 feet apart as much as possible. In addition, there will be no motorcade. A live FaceBook stream of services will be available at https://www.facebook.com/cooneyfuneralhome/ In lieu of flowers, donations in Marty's name can be made to North Park University Athletic Fund, Augustana College Athletic Fund, North Park Covenant Church, or Park Ridge Community Church.
We know that Marty would like everyone to know he loved them very much, appreciating so much affection and kindness in return. Please listen to each other and care for one another.
Thank you, Dad.
John and James
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Martin W. Sandstrom, please visit our floral store.