Sandra Shay Maresh

Born in Iowa City, IA
Born on Feb 14, 1945
Departed on Mar 21, 2024

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Sandra Kathleen Shay Maresh, of Loveland, CO, formally of Cedar Rapids, IA, died on March 21, 2024. Sandra was born on February 14, 1945, to Cecilia Kurtz Shay and Clement Shay in Iowa City, IA. 

After graduating from Regis High School in Cedar Rapids, Sandra followed her life purpose: to help others before helping herself by becoming a nurse. After working in her mother’s dermatology office early in her career, Sandra spent the bulk of her career working in the emergency room of Mercy Medical Center, Cedar Rapids, and at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinic’s (UIHC) DeGowin Blood Donor Center. 

Ever a lifelong learner and curious about the natural world, she was always learning new things. In the late 1980s, she became a licensed massage therapist. In her 50s, she went back to school, taking one course at a time to achieve her RN to BSN degree from the University of Iowa. As a lifelong Iowa Hawkeye fan, she was proud to call herself an Iowa alumnus. Within a year of getting her degree, she would retire from UIHC. This didn’t mean retirement from being a nurse, as she went on to become a health care coordinator with the Sisters of Mercy Sacred Heart Life Center, Cedar Rapids. 

Sandra married Richard Maresh and had a daughter, Angela, and a son, Donald. Her children were her greatest joy in life, and she was their biggest cheerleader. Many memorable trips were taken with her and her children, and many stories resulted from these trips. She always ensured her kids had time to be kids, and her home was always filled with love. She especially enjoyed visiting her son in Colorado, often going up in the mountains with him in his old Toyota Land Cruiser and helping pick out Christmas trees. It was after one of these trips in the summer of 2016, at the age of 71, she decided she would move to Colorado to be closer to her son. Moving to Colorado was one of the best decisions she made, as her life was richer and more fulfilling as a result.

Sandra enjoyed working with fabric and crocheting. While not athletic, she loved the challenge and competition she experienced while geocaching. While she hated cooking for one, she loved cooking for others and enjoyed cooking with her daughter. Her cats were her companions and very much a part of her life. She treated them just as she would her kids, spoiling them with love and attention. 

In 2019, Sandra visited Moab, UT, for the first time with her son, falling in love with the land and everything it has to offer. It was the first of four trips to Utah she would make, and she often used trips to Utah as an incentive for healing from her various health ailments. She became fascinated with Utah, its natural history, and the secrets the land possessed, often saying she wasn’t ready to die as there was so much yet to learn.

Although Sandra is no longer with us, she still has more traveling to do. Per her wishes, her children will take her ashes off-roading in Colorado and Utah before funeral services are held in Marion, IA, with burial in Iowa City, IA, this summer.

Surviving Sandra are her children Angela (Ben) Bowen of Johnston, IA, Donald (Mona) Maresh of Wellington, CO, and her brother Robert (Carolyn) of Marion, IA. She was preceded in death by her parents, former husband Richard Maresh, and her brothers John and Gerald Shay.

Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home is overseeing local arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made to Animal Friends Alliance, Fort Collins, CO, or the Sisters of Mercy, 1125 Prairie Dr NE, Cedar Rapids, IA.