Lemley Chapel
Serving Sedro-Woolley &
All of Skagit County Since 1935
1008 Third Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA
America Sanchez Memorial
America Sanchez Memorial

America Sanchez

America Sanchez

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

At the age of 69, America Sanchez went to be with our Savior on December 22, 2021.  A retired paraeducator and substitute teacher to the end, she never missed an opportunity to seek out more knowledge and hold a lesson or two about math, spelling, and simple life history.  She was surrounded by her brother, sisters, children, and friends at her home in Burlington, WA.

Along with her four beloved children and two foster-children, America leaves behind thousands of students that she taught at Burlington-Edison High School for 44 years.  She also translated, oversaw detention, and had a passion for selling tickets at all sporting events.  Several of her students had come to visit over the years, and those who brought an apple or a treat were granted the Mrs. Sanchez Seal of Approval (her version of a gold star): a simple, “Thank You” and smile which usually sealed the deal.

America had beautiful handwriting and enjoyed novelas, sewing, tole painting, crocheting, and games like BINGO, Sudoku, word puzzles, and slot machines.  She also loved to travel with her co-workers and beloved friends.  A Tejana through and through, she often made trips to Guadalajara, Mexico, Cabo, Reno, San Francisco, her birth state of Texas, and family in Sunnyside.  She would often use the term “Choir Practice” as code for having a Girl’s Night Out.  Her children and grandchildren will miss their birthday cards filled with one-dollar bills for every year of their life.

America was born on January 14, 1952.  She served on the PSA paraeducator’s union, which instilled in her a lifelong love for education and her co-workers.  Over the next several years, she attended Skagit Community College to secure her para-education/teaching credential.  She then graduated valedictorian of her class at 52.  Before that, she earned various certifications aimed at education.  Specifically, she took great pleasure in special education because it challenged her abilities.  We truly believe that her students were, in many ways, her children.

A special thank-you is deserved for Dr. Johanna Santos and Hospice of the Northwest for responding to us quickly on the medical progress and working through our grief, as well as Dr. Janice Gatzke for her support and palliative aid.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Alvarado Soto Sr. and Geneva Veliz Soto; her two sisters, Minerva Torres and Gracie Reyes; her father-in-law, Jesus C. Sanchez; and her brother-in-law, Joe Santoy.

She is survived by her loving husband, Juan L. Sanchez; one daughter, Peggy (Ruben) Palomarez from Sunnyside, WA; three sons, John (Debbie) Sanchez Jr., Reuben J. Sanchez, and Roland (Cory) Sanchez; two foster-sons Daniel (Jen) Mora from Sedro-Woolley, WA and Kevin (Amy) Saegert from Yulee, Florida; one brother, Alvarado (Elvirda) Soto Jr. from Grandview, WA; two sisters, Elvirda (Mario) Garcia Soto from Grandview, WA and Norma (Paul) Sanchez from Burlington, WA;  grandchildren, Thomas Gonzalez, Michele Gonzalez, Buddha Joseph Jr. Palomarez, Ricky (Sandra) Palomarez, Darian Sanchez, Reumar Sanchez, Justin Sanchez, Austin Sanchez, Roco Sanchez, Lulu Sanchez, Madison Mora, Axton Mora, Tanner Saegert, and Sydney Saegert.

A time of visitation will be available from 1:00 to 6:00 on Wednesday, December 29 at Lemley Chapel, Sedro-Woolley, and a Rosary will be recited at 6:00.  The family will be greeting guests from 5:00 to 6:00.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00, Thursday, December 30, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 719 Ferry Street, Sedro-Woolley, WA.  A reception will follow at Super Star Hall at 205 Ferry Street, Sedro-Woolley.  A Committal of her cremated remains will take place on January 8, 2022 at Green Hills Cemetery in Burlington, WA.  She asked that anyone who plans to speak at the reception include a pun and put some B-E spirit in their address.

The family would like to thank you in advance, also ask to bring and dress in your Burlington – Edition Tiger spirit or attire and bring a single red rose to place in her casket to honor her.  Share your memories of America and sign the online guest register.


  • Ingo Lemme

    I was saddened to hear of America’s passing, and offer my condolences to her family. I knew America for many years through her work at the high school in Burlington. She was a great help to the students, staff and families! She will be missed.

  • Debbie Rodriguez Garcia

    Our Deepest condolences to the Sanchez Family..R.I.P.America Beautiful lady.much love to the family

  • Debra L Garcia

    Our deepest condolences to the Sanchez Family,R.I.P Beautiful America.you had a Heart of gold.gone but never will be forgotten.much Love
    Rey and Debbie Rodriguez (Garcia).

  • Maria Day and family

    It was such a pleasure to have known America through the years. She was a sincere, fun loving, caring and accomplished instructional assistant at B-ESD, such a delight to have had her with us! Our greatest condolences to the Sanchez family.

  • Janice Hamilton-Sestrap

    Our thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences go out to the family of America. She will truly be missed and remembered as the loving, bright spirit she is – The Hamilton Family

  • Vicky Gonzalez

    I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to have America’s friendship over the years and I will carry all the many memories close to my heart.

  • Jen Willis

    Such a beautiful woman. I am honored to know her! I remember picking Roland up from the house for a Tigers football playoff game (Reuben’s/our senior year) and her telling me to drive safe with her baby in the car. She always radiated warmth and kindness. She had grace, compassion and forgiveness in her heart. She will be missed around Burlington. Sending love and comfort to the entire Sanchez Family. Thank you for sharing your precious America with all of us! Much love.

  • Dreama Burns

    She was my friend. Such a lovely lady with a beautiful spirit. My sympathy and condolences to the family.

  • Carmen Purcell (Vivanco)

    Our most sincere condolences to the Sanchez family, on behalf of the entire Vivanco family. It was a great honor growing up with America, in her beloved BE community. She was family to us. We pray that she is resting and reunited with her dear & close friend (ahijada), our sister Isabel 💖
    Hope they are cheering on the BE Tigers together 💙💛
    We will miss you, America! 🙏❤

  • Tony and Janie Sanchez

    Our sincere condolences. You all are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Nora Palomarez

    With Deepest sympathy 🙏.
    May God bless 🙌🙏 you and your family 👪.and give you strength.

  • Tami Whiton

    A wonderfully dedicated, beloved educator in the B-ESD. I enjoyed working with & getting to know America. She was one of a kind!

  • Heidi Vaughan Yeoman

    I was a new student at Roosevelt School (now BE Dist. offices) in Mrs Lundgrens first grade class. It was 1979 and Mrs Sanchez was the teachers aid (what we then called para educators). Mrs Sanchez introduced herself to the class and wrote “America Sanchez” on the chalk board and drew a picture of a globe. A moment that has never escaped my memory. That night at the dinner table I was asked who my new teacher was. After some thought I said “I think her name is world”. This is a story that has been told in our family since then! A few years ago I got the chance to tell Mrs Sanchez that story at a Basketball game. We had a great conversation about it! Mrs Sanchez was “the world” to so many and she will be deeply missed. My condolences to the Sanchez family.

  • Kelly Hawkins

    Such a wonderful lady. It will be strange to attend an event at BEHS without her warm smile and moment to catch up. My love and prayers go out to her family and friends.

  • Hernandez Family

    Dear Friends:
    Our family sends the most sincere condolences to you and your families. Our dear friend, America was a person who we will never forget. Her laughter, and the joy she brought with her will always be remembered most. These memories are the beautiful gift that God gives to us when our loved ones leave us. Nick and Fina Hernandez

  • Trudy Patina Carbajal

    My most sincere condolences to her entire family. America, rest in peace.