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Obituary for Joann Rita (Schrauben) Sandborn

Joann Rita (Schrauben) Sandborn passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, May 4, 2022, after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Her last moments were spent with Randy, her husband of 48 years, and daughter, Brianne “Breezy” Sandborn. Joanie had just celebrated her 70th birthday. She was preceded in death by her parents, Clarence and Irene (Weiland) Schrauben; mother and father-in-law, Bud and Diane Sandborn; brother, Wayne Schrauben; sister-in-law, Anne Schrauben; and brother-in-law, Jack Zimmerman.

Joanie graduated from St. Patrick Catholic School in 1970, and she was, in her words, part of a very memorable and wild class. She worked for the State of Michigan Department of Treasury until her retirement in 2007. Joanie was at her happiest surrounded by family or friends on the golf course, in the bowling alley, or at the cottage at Houghton Lake. She played in The Dirty Dozen golf league at the Portland Country Club for several years. As her disease progressed, she continued to play and was well taken care of and guided by her golf partner for life, Kris Ham. Joanie loved trips to the casino, girls’ “deer hunting” trips, listening to 60s music, family vacations, and taking cruises around the back roads with Randy or Breezy.

Joanie will be remembered as the life of the party, always encouraging those around her to let loose and have a good time. She took every opportunity to dance and have fun. Although Alzheimer’s changed a lot about Joanie, she never lost her sass or contagious giggle. She still had her spark until the very end.

In addition to her husband and daughter, Joanie is survived by siblings, Marlene (David) Lefke, Diane Zimmerman, and Germaine (Dan) Hinds; sisters and brothers-in-law Darlene Schrauben, Carol (Chuck) McLeod, Kevin (Debbie) Sandborn, Marianne (Jeff) Stephenson and Dave Sandborn; as well as several nieces and nephews and great-nieces and -nephews.

Special thanks to McLaren Hospice, especially Katrina, Lynlee and Adrianna.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Rev. Mike Alber at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 140 Church Street, Portland. Rite of Committal will be in Portland Cemetery. A luncheon will follow the Mass at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 690 Maynard Road, Portland. The family will receive friend 2-4 and 6-8 p.m., Tuesday at the Lehman Funeral Home, 210 E. Bridge Street, Portland. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to McLaren Hospice or Portland area schools. Online condolences may be made at


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