George Ernest “Ernie” Sandbach

Ernie Sandbach, 81, of North Kansas City passed away peacefully at home February 17, 2016 after a long battle with respiratory disease.

Ernie was born to Annie Rogers Sandbach and George Sandbach on September 2, 1934 in Slater, MO. He graduated from Slater High School and had a lifelong career in the steel industry with Butler Manufacturing, Ryerson Steel and Castle Metals.  Ernie was married to Joan Bartlett in 1954 and they welcomed their only child Sabrina Sandbach a few years later. Ernie volunteered in Big Brothers of America and was very proud of his “Little Brother” John Graves.

In his spare time, Ernie enjoyed float trips on many rivers in the United States, especially the Rio Grande, and appreciated the great outdoors. Ernie was a well-read, bright man who seemed to know everything! He was a dear friend to all who knew him and was a very proud father, grandfather and “Big Brother.”

Ernie is survived by his loving wife of 12 years, Mary Lee Sandbach, his daughter Sabrina Sandbach (Mike McKeever), step-sons Michael Freeman (Terri) and David Freeman (Geraldine), and step-daughter Michele Nelson (Barry). He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered  by his 12 grandchildren: Ernest Clinton McKeever (Amanda), William Kelly McKeever, Mike Freeman, Jr., Matthew Freeman, Maggie Freeman, Derek Nelson, Ashley Nelson, Jeremy Freeman, Johanna Freeman, Jordan Freeman, Jessie Freeman, and Shayna Freeman and his two great-grandsons Asher McKeever and Parker McKeever.  Ernie was thankful for his dear friends:  Bill Caldwell, Toni Madeira and Billy Meynier, Lorin Jurvis,  Gil and Di Watson and all of his Gardens of Northgate Village friends who were like family to him (he loved being a member of the “Round Table”).

Ernie was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Jo Sandbach, his sisters Eleanor Chapman and Gladys Hundley, and brother William O. “Bill” Sandbach.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday, February 23, 2016, at 10:30 am at the Gardens of Northgate Third Floor Community Room (3000 Swift Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64116). The family will greet friends at 10:00 am with the service starting at 10:30 am followed by a Celebration of Life and luncheon.

Memorial contributions may be made in Ernie’s memory to the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection Downtown – Capital Campaign (1508 Grand Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64108).


  1. Cheryl & David Aufdemberge on February 21, 2016 at 7:33 am

    So sorry for your loss. Our thoughts are with Mary Lee, family and friends. We met Ernie via Toni Madeira and always enjoyed his company. We thought Ernie was an intelligent, funny and kind man. He will be greatly missed.

  2. Marlene & Loma Frakes on February 21, 2016 at 8:25 am

    We are so sorry for the loss of our dear friend Ernie. Although we have only been neighbor for a short time, his friendship is very dear to us.

  3. Gil and Diane Watson on February 21, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Ernie has been a great friend over many years. After, Jo, his first wife passed away we happily welcomed Mary Lee into our lives. Mary Lee and her family brought a lot of love, caring, and happiness into Ernie’s life and we love them dearly. Our hearts go out to the family for the void Ernie’s passing will leave in their lives. We will remember him and hopefully share lots of fun and happy memories with Mary Lee and family. Love, Di and Gil

  4. Sonja Daniel on February 21, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    So sorry for your loss. I met Ernie when I joined a bridge group and played at his table for several years. He was always such a kind, intelligent person with a terrific sense of humor. He always played for fun, but was also competitive in a kind way. He will be missed.

  5. Geraldine Freeman on February 21, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    You will be missed Grandpa Ernie, so glad that we got to spend Christmas with you and saw you one last time during grandma’s birthday. Some of our memories of you include trips to Disney, the museums, canoeing, and best of all your loved for the fall..
    the leaves yellow on the cottonwoods..leaves floating on the trout streams and above the hills..the high blue windless skies.. now you will be a part of them forever. Our hearts ache however we will enjoy the outdoors such as you have and will always remember you this way.
    The Freeman family

  6. Adrienne and Irwin Friedman on February 21, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    We wish to give our condolences on the death of Ernie Sandbach. He was a good and sweet man. He will be missed. We hope that your sadness will be lessened when you remember all the good times you had.

  7. Edward (Eddie) & Beverly LaDuke on February 22, 2016 at 10:58 am

    We are very sorry to learn of the death of our Slater classmate. At the beginning of my (Eddie) senior year in high school I moved from Kansas City to Slater. Ernie and his good friend Bill Caldwell welcomed me into my new high school senior class and included me in many of their social activities for which I was very grateful for their friend- ship during this significant change in my life. Some of these social activities also included Beverly Head (high school junior) also born in Slater. Now married for 60 years we reminisce often about our high school days.

    Rest in peace dear high school friend.

  8. Bill and Toni Meynier on February 22, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Ernie came into our lives as our neighbor next door, but he became so much more. Words cannot express how much Bill and I will miss our dear friend and mentor. We have great memories of our time with Ernie and Mary Lee, parties on his back porch, dining in and dining out, and happy hours spent discussing politics, current events, and whatever came to our minds. Our heartfelt love and support to the family will remain constant and we will use our wonderful memories to keep Ernie in our hearts forever.

  9. Kathy Payson on February 22, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Mary Lee, my heart and thoughts go out to you and to Sabrina. I will remember Ernie as a great person, who was loving, caring, generous, and fun. He will be well remembered.

  10. Shirley Ann Barbour on February 22, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this very difficult time. Be comforted that you took care of him to the end.
    Love, Shirley Ann & Gene

  11. Alice Ann Halverson on February 22, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  12. Lia and Zak Greiner on February 22, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Dear Mary Lee,
    We are so sad for your loss. We are thinking of you and your family during this time and hope you are comforted by sweet memories. We always enjoyed talking to Ernie at Michele’s get togethers, we will miss Ernie. He always had a smile and was always friendly to us.

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