FESTIVAL DEDICATION To SANDRA “Sandy” BLOOMQUIST (June 30, 1940 – April 25, 2012)
This year’s Birmingham Ethnic Festival Book is dedicated to one of the Birmingham Community’s most loyal members, Sandra “Sandy” Bloomquist, who passed away on April 25, 2012 after a brief battle with cancer. Born in Lima, Ohio, Sandy earned a Bachelor of Education degree from Mary Manse College. She began her career as an elementary school teacher at St. Michael’s in Findlay, and then at Lima, St. John’s. Sandy moved to the Birmingham neighborhood, where
she held a 26 year-long career teaching at St. Stephen’s School. Hundreds of children from the neighborhood and surrounding communities passed through “Miss B’s” classroom, where she was a strict, but influential part in shaping their lives. She was always well known for her science experiments and her knack for making algebra understandable. Miss B dedicated her summers to tutoring her students in math and science. Sandy also coached CYO basketball and softball teams, and was actively involved in all CYO programs, earning her awards from the Diocese of Toledo for her work in CYO.
After retiring from teaching at St. Stephen’s, Sandy began her second career in the healthcare field, working in the Emergency Room at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, and then in the Radiology Department there. She retired from St. V’s after 25 years of service.
Sandy was a long-time member of St. Stephen’s Church, and was very active in many parish ministries. She was a member of the choir and served as a Eucharistic minister, taking Holy Communion to the elderly and homebound. Sandy would be seen working at almost every parish function, including the volunteering of countless hours preparing for the Birmingham Ethnic Festival dinners.
Always a champion of the poor, Sandy was a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, where she tirelessly volunteered her time in helping the less fortunate of the community to attain basic needs including providing food, clothing, medications and shelter. Sandy served as the Executive Director of St. Vincent de Paul Society’s Toledo Chapter, a position which was voluntary and non-paid. Sandy also served on the Board of Trustees and as a resident-volunteer for Neighborhood Housing Services of Toledo.
Sandy’s dedication to serving her community also included her active involvement with Catholic Charities and feeding the hungry through the Food Pantry. Over the past several years, she coordinated the efforts of the high school volunteers of Catholic H.E.A.R.T Work Camp, in performing yard work and upkeep for the needy and elderly of the Birmingham neighborhood. Always working to better the Birmingham community, Sandy also volunteered for Toledo Grows Community Gardens and for the Birmingham Development Corporation.
In 2007, Sandy was finally inducted into the Birmingham Hall of Fame, as a distinguished citizen, for her dedication of service to the Birmingham Community as well as to the Toledo area.
This year’s Birmingham Ethnic Festival will not be the same without Sandy’s enthusiasm and zest for all things Hungarian. The Birmingham Community will never know a truer friend or stronger supporter than Sandy Bloomquist, and her passing has left a great void in the neighborhood and in our hearts. Her loyalty and compassion for service to the needy will live on in all those fortunate enough to have known her.