Sandra J. Shofner, age 80, of Topeka, Kan., passed away Wednesday, July 1, 2020, at Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka. Sandy was born August 22, 1939, in Oberlin, Kan., the daughter of Kenneth and Helen Hopkins of Hays, Kan.
Sandy married her husband, Gary N. Shofner, on August 13, 1961, in Hays. The couple met at the University of Kansas where Sandy received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Music Education in 1961. Prior to K.U., Sandy graduated from Hays High School in 1957.
Sandy loved playing piano and teaching music. She taught vocal music at Abe Hubert Junior High in Garden City, Kan., and went on to become a substitute teacher in Topeka, both in the 501 and 437 districts. Her students held a special place in her heart and she kept in touch with many of them for decades.
Throughout her life, Sandy enjoyed serving her communities and donating her time to organizations such as the American Cancer Society where she chaired the Daffodil Days fundraiser. She received the Shining Star Award in recognition for her volunteer efforts and commitment to Topeka, as well as being the recipient of a volunteer award for the Topeka Capitol-Journal. Sandy also served on the Evening as a Child committee for the Capper Foundation. She was a member of Alpha Phi sorority at the University of Kansas, the K.U. Endowment Club, the University of Kansas Alumni Association, the K.U. Williams Fund Club, the Topeka Jayhawk Club and was an Arab Shrine Lady. She was an active member of First Baptist Church in Topeka and loved her Sunday School class and the church handbell choir.
Sandy was a fantastic golfer and loved every minute on the golf course. Everyone statewide knew of her single handicap and competitive drive. She was a past Kansas State Senior Women’s Champion and a three-time Topeka Country Club women’s champion, along with many other golf awards and honors. If you ever needed someone to read a putt for you, Sandy was your girl!
Sandy also loved to travel with her husband of 59 years, Gary. She especially loved the sun and enjoyed cruises, any beach, Las Vegas, New York City and Hawaii being a few of her favorites. You would never find a video poker machine she didn’t love! She also loved her Kansas Jayhawks and enjoyed decades courtside at Allen Fieldhouse and in the stands of Kansas Memorial Stadium.
Sandy was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister and daughter. She passed 30 hours after Gary, the love of her life, took his last breath. They fought COVID-19 together in the hospital side-by-side.
Sandy is survived by two daughters, Stacy Shofner Vobach of Overland Park, Kan., and Terri Shofner Mallioux and her husband, Ross, of Fayetteville, Ark.; and four grandchildren, Tate Vobach of Portland, Ore., Ryann Vobach of Topeka, Trevor Mallioux of Fayetteville, Ark., and Alec Vobach of Overland Park. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Terry Hopkins of Hays.
Following her wishes, Sandy will be cremated and will be interred at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Topeka. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers or similar gifts, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Shofner Memorial Fund. All proceeds will be used to benefit the COVID-19 nursing staff at Stormont Vail Hospital. Memorials can be sent to: Shofner Memorial Fund, c/o Heritage Bank, P.O. Box 67029, Topeka, KS, 66667 or dropped off at Heritage Bank, 3024 S.W. Wanamaker Road, Topeka. Dove Cremations and Funerals, Southwest Chapel, Topeka is assisting the family. To share your memories of Sandy or to leave a special condolence message for her family, please click the Share Memories button above.
Sandy’s family would like to personally thank every doctor, nurse and healthcare professional who cared for and loved on her as extended members of the Shofner family since we could not be by her side.
As you always said mom, you did it your way. Now, finally go and get that hole-in-one!