It is with extreme sadness that the family of Robert Sanderhoff, announces the loss of their beloved husband, father, and grandfather. He died peacefully in his bed on Saturday, July 7th 2018, at the age of 71.
He was born July 13, 1946 in Omaha, NE to John and June Sanderhoff. He graduated from Omaha North High School in 1964. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Education in 1968 and his Master of Science in 1972, both from The University of Nebraska at Omaha.
In 1968, he met and married the love of his life, Carol Martig. They were both looking forward to celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on November 1st of this year. Their daughter Amy was born in 1969, followed by their daughter, Elizabeth in 1974.
A gifted teacher, he began his teaching career with Omaha Public Schools at Belvedere Elementary in 1968 and then spent 21 years teaching sixth grade at Florence Elementary. He always treated each student as an individual with dignity and respect and allowed them the freedom to be themselves, without any pre-conceived notions. He received a number of awards for excellence in his profession, but no greater reward than the cards and letters of appreciation from his students, many of whom remained in touch with him over the years. Though he officially retired from OPS in 1996, everyone who knows him knows he never stopped teaching.
Despite contracting polio as a young child, he was always a determined athlete. In the mid-1970s, he got involved in wheelchair sports. He was an avid softball, basketball, and tennis player, winning many trophies over the years. His passion was encouraging young people to join wheelchair sports and realize that their potential is not limited by their physical disabilities. He was proud to be one of the founders of the Youth Wheelchair Sports Camp which has grown significantly over the years. An active member of the Eastern Nebraska Wheelchair Athletics Association (ENWAA), he was inducted into the ENWAA Hall of Fame in 2016.
He was preceded in death by his parents John and June Sanderhoff and his nephew Dane Sanderhoff. He is survived by his devoted wife, Carol; daughters, Amy Sanderhoff (Mark Ackerman); Elizabeth Eckley (Jim); granddaughter Stephani Eckley; great-granddaughter, Rozylann Daggett; brother John W. Sanderhoff; sister Marilyn Swanson; and beloved nieces and nephews, John Jay Sanderhoff; Gary Swanson; Audra Sanderhoff; and Chrissy Maybon. He also leaves behind many cherished students, teammates, friends, and his furry companion, Gypsy.
Memorials are suggested to Nebraska Humane Society and/or Nebraska Adaptive Sports.
Services will be held Friday, July 13th at 10:30am at Forest Lawn Cemetery. On that day, his birthday, we will celebrate his life and rebirth as he runs full-speed into his next adventure.
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Robert was a childhood friend and even as a child it was easy to see that Robert had gifts to share with many others. My deepest sympathy to Carol and his daughters. Robert is deeply loved and will not be forgotten.
He was one of a kind! He's leaving a great legacy behind, not just in his family, but all the people he touched, especially his students. Sympathy to all.
My condolences to Carol and her family.He was a fighter and an inspiration.Jerry Dolejs,Pharmacist
It is with mixed blessing to lose a loved one. He is not gone he is just not here.. You have many caring friends that help mold a different life. You are a very positive person and will do well but it still hurts a lot. Sending love Claude
Carol:. My Heart & Prayers are with You & Your Family at this difficult time! Bob was a wonderful Man & a very Caring Person!
The teacher who changed my life. He was my sixth grade teacher in 1970, and we reconnected when I became a sixth grade teacher when I tracked him down to thank him for his life changing impact as a teacher. Though we had many conversations as adults in the last several years, I could never call him by his first name. He was and is the Mr. Sanderhoff who reminded the chubby, smart, shy 11 year old me, “Never forget. You beat the fastest kid in the sixth grade.”
We grew up together with all the great times we invented to keep us busy. I remember staging tremendous crashes in the Sanderhoff basement, head on, Robert in his wagon and me in the toy fire truck. Who could forget the wild games we came up with at North Bend. Loading the aluminum boats with rocks and shelling each other in the middle of the lake. We had great times playing all kinds of sports, from golf to baseball. I stayed at Robert’s House when uncle Sandy and Aunt Junie would go out of town and we would cook and eat everything in the house. Great fun, always. Camping in Colorado, racing our Chevy impalas on dodge street. And the laughter always. We both became teachers. Taught one summer at Kellom grade school together. What an adventure. And Carol, you are the most patient, wonderful person. My thoughts are with you always.
Rich Hall, cousin always.
I was so saddened to hear of Robert’s passing. He was a wonderful cousin of whom I will always have fond memories. Love and prayers to Carol and all the family.
Betty (Hall) Klingemann
Punta Gorda, FL
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