David S. Sandberg
May 15, 1939 - September 10, 2014 Reverend Dave Sandberg, after living with cancer for 10 years, died peacefully at home on Wednesday, September 10, 2014, surrounded by his family. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, Dave moved to Muskegon, Michigan, with his parents, Dr. Reverend Arthur and Florence (Edwards) Sandberg when in high school. Later Dave attended Northwestern University, then studied at Oberlin School of Theology in Ohio, where he met Ruth, his future wife and partner in ministry. While still in seminary, Dave served the Methodist Church in Brownsville, PA. He then transferred to the United Church of Christ, ministering in Sheffield Lake, Ohio, for 5 years before moving with Ruth and two young children to Laguna Niguel, CA, in 1970. For the next 20-plus years he built Shepherd of the Hills Church (UCC) from the roots up. SOTH was a progressive, inclusive, and socially active congregation, and during Dave's inspiring leadership, the church sponsored refugees from South Vietnam. Dave was very active in interfaith issues and worked especially closely with his colleague and close friend, the late Rabbi Alan Krause, to counteract the prejudicial spirit of the John Birch Society. Under Dave's leadership, SOTH sponsored a lecture series at the church, with speakers such as Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Ray Bradbury, Scott Peck, Jeb McGruder, and Reverend Cecil Williams. Next, Dave served as Senior Minister at Norwell UCC in MA, then returned to CA. As Interim Minister he served First Community Church Berkeley (UCC), Piedmont Community Church, Orinda Community Church (UCC), Congregational Church of San Mateo, and First Presbyterian Church, Richmond. He also ministered at the HI churches of Po'okela Church in Makawao, Koloa Union Church, on Kauai; Church of the Crossroads in Honolulu; and Windward UCC, also on Oahu. His interim ministry was often done in partnership with Ruth. Dave was an avid contract bridge player. He also loved traveling, a highlight being a recent trip to Europe, in celebration of his 75th birthday, and Ruth's and his 50th anniversary. Dave also enjoyed reading, following political commentary, and watching sports, especially Pittsburgh teams. However, his greatest love was for his family and friends. His joy for life often spilled out in easily heard and recognizable laughter, yet his compassion also caused him to shed tears for those who suffered. Ruth, Dave's and her daughter Vicki and son-in-law Fernando Ayala; and their son Paul and daughter-in-law Hillary Langberg all feel a tremendous loss. Dave is survived by his brother Valdimar and his wife, Marilyn, his sister-in-law Mary Sandberg, his nephews Eric (wife, Chris), David (wife, Ellen), Jonathan (wife, Diana) and extended family members. We know Dave is at peace, and the many people whose lives he touched are richer for the experience. A celebration of life was held on October 5 at Piedmont Community Church. Donations in his memory can be made to City of Refuge UCC, 8400 Enterprise Way, Oakland, CA 94621 or Chanticleer Choir, 44 Page St, # 604, San Francisco, CA 94102.
Published by Los Angeles Times from Oct. 8 to Oct. 12, 2014.
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miss you, Poppa, more than any words could ever say. There was a "Vicki Morning" the next day that was awesome. We're okay. Mom's okay, I promise we'll make sure she is. The emptiness I feel is real and it hurts bad. But I hated when you were in pain, and I'm so happy you won't feel that any more. You could have handled it though, better than anyone. Always Your Little Girl.
Vicki Ayala
November 4, 2014
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