Sara Sundquist Shepard


Sara Jean Sundquist Shepard, 45, of Ankeny, died at 2:15 p.m. July 5, 2023 at Iowa Methodist Medical Center, Des Moines due to liver failure.

She was born July 22, 1977 in Ottumwa to Gene Dixon and Teresa Ann Hill Sundquist.

A 1995 graduate of Ottumwa High School, Sara earned her RN license from DMACC. She had worked as a cardiac nurse at Mercy Hospital, for Unity Point Clinic and for Iowa Heart. Most recently as a nurse at John Deere Ankeny Works.

Sara loved music, especially attending concerts of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. She also enjoyed photography, traveling, spending time in the ocean and at the beach, as well as spending time with her dog Birdie and her cats, Jackson and Leelu.

Surviving is her partner, Matt Althaus of Ankeny; her daughter, Lily Shepard; her parents, Terri and Gene Sundquist of Ottumwa; her brother, Todd Sundquist of Ottumwa; nephew, Garrett Sundquist; niece, Jocelyn Sundquist; Matt’s mother, Julia (Robert) Coash; Matt’s sisters, Jeanette Santana and Amanda Althaus; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

She was preceded in death by grandparents, Fred Hill and Patricia Hill, Gayla M. Menge and Burton Wayne Sundquist; and cousins, Lizzy Sundquist and Matthew Sundquist.

Visitation will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 9th, at Reece Funeral Home with the family present to greet friends from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Monday, July 10th, at Reece Funeral Home with Pastor Mel Kendall officiating. The service will be livestreamed on the Reece Funeral Home Facebook page. Burial will be in Agency Cemetery followed by lunch at UFCW Local 230, 1305 E. Mary St., Ottumwa.

Memorials may be made to the family for her daughter’s education.

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