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.