Murphysboro — Sandra Kay Renshaw, 81, joined her Lord and Savior at 12:15 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, in Carbondale.

She was born Sept. 30, 1938, in Centralia, to the Rev. Wendell A. and Wanda Lee (Corzine) Robinson and married her sweetheart, the Rev. Earl Richard Renshaw, Oct. 25, 1958.

A graduate of McKendree University with an education degree, Sandra taught at various Southern Illinois elementary schools as the couple moved to communities where Earl served as a United Methodist pastor. Her schools included those in Carterville, Mount Vernon, Murphysboro, De Soto, and Irvington. Although she taught grades ranging from kindergarten to third grade, she was most passionate about first grade so she could inspire students to share her love of reading.

Fondly known as “Gram” to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Sandra delighted in showering her family with love. God uniquely gifted her with an innate sense of how to make each child feel special – whether it was perfecting her macaroni and cheese for the pickiest eater, or hosting doll tea parties, or jumping at rubber snakes hidden by mischievous grandsons, or creating a Christmas wonderland with her decorations, or simply lavishing her loved ones with gifts. Gram could transform the ordinary into an extraordinary memory. While a devoted daughter, sister, and mother as well, Sandra also modeled her Christian faith as a quiet source of encouragement to all whose lives she touched in their various church homes. Her musical talent as a pianist and organist was yet another way she served the Lord and blessed others.

Parkinson's disease eroded Sandra's mobility and speech in later years, but it could not dampen her drive to be a supportive, positive force in the lives of her family. She always found a way to celebrate each milestone and took great comfort in being surrounded by photos marking the precious memories she and Earl treasured during their 60 years of marriage.

Sandra was preceded in death 11 weeks ago by her beloved husband, Earl.

She is survived by two daughters, Lisa and Doug Cherry of Carbondale, and Beth and Jeff Groh of Oklahoma City; 13 grandchildren, Nathan Cherry, Kalyn Waller, Lucas Cherry, Christina Cox, Rebekah Conbeer, Jacob Groh, Hannah Erickson, Micah Cherry, Ryan Groh, Matthew Cherry, Ethan Cherry, Lydia Cherry, and Josiah Cherry; sister, the Rev. Sharon Potter; nephew, Jay Potter; niece, Andrea Potter; 10 great-grandchildren and more on the way.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 11, in Murphysboro United Methodist Church. The Revs. Danny Motta and Doug Cherry will officiate. Graveside services will follow at 2 p.m. Friday in Hillcrest Cemetery in Centralia. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, at Crawshaw Funeral Home in Murphysboro and from 9 to 10 a.m. Friday at the Murphysboro United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to Preacher's Aid Society and United Methodist Church of Murphysboro.

To send a condolence or for additional information, visit the memorial tribute at www.crawshawfuneralhome.com.

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