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Sandra Kay Emerson

Sandra (Sandy) Kay Emerson, 73, of Cedar Rapids, passed away on Thursday, March 2, 2023, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m., Thursday, March 9, 2023, at Brosh Chapel and The Avacentre in Cedar Rapids, located at 2121 Bowling Street SW. Celebration of Life services will begin at 11 a.m., Thursday, March 9, 2023, at Brosh Chapel. Burial will be in Cedar Memorial Cemetery.

Sandra Kay Emerson
Sandra Kay Emerson

Sandy was born Dec. 12, 1949, in Rochester, Minnesota, the daughter of Edmond and Beulah (Guenther) Wacker. She graduated from Charles City High School, class of 1968, where she made life-long friends. Sandy studied fine arts at Luther College under Dean Schwarz. After a brief break from school to experience Denver, CO in the late 1960’s, she earned a degree from the University of Iowa, in Social Studies.

Sandy was united in marriage to John Emerson on May 5, 1973, in Charles City, IA. Soul mates and partners in mischief since high school, they were married for almost 50 years.

She was an accomplished potter and founded Earth Echoes Pottery, traveling around the Midwest for over forty years selling her art. A celebrated and collaborative artist, Sandy had deep roots in the Iowa art community, an early member of the Creative Colony in Amana, IA. Later in life, she was the co-owner of Brambles Gift Shop in Cedar Rapids. With an eye for the special, unique, and well made, she enjoyed antiquing, re-selling, and collecting antiques and art.

Through it all, Sandy was known as a loyal friend, compassionate humanitarian, generous community member, and a good neighbor. She cared for people in need by investing not only her time, but her heart. She was a safe-haven for people and animals, all coming to her for care when in need.

Most of all, Sandy was the best of moms and grandmothers. She was always present, always available.

Sandra is survived by her husband John; her children Brian (Adrienne) Emerson and Shawna (Josiah) Horn; six grandchildren Amelie, Augustus, Mathias, Olin, Elijah, Thaddeus; her brother-in-law Marshall (Donna) Emerson; her sisters-in-law Merry (Lester) Johnson, Margaret (Norman) Benson, and Patricia (Joe) Clappier-Winkels; as well many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her granddaughter Alivia, her siblings Marlon (Betty) Wacker and Waldon (Jean) Wacker, siblings in-law Mike Emerson, Christina Johnson, and Kathy Boggess, and many beloved pets especially, Squeak.

Memorials may be directed to Cedar Valley Humane Society in her name.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at

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