Sandra (Rettig) Stearns

February 21, 1955 ~ June 20, 2023 (age 68) 68 Years Old


Sandra Louise Rettig Stearns, 68, of Carterville, passed away on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, at her home, surrounded by her family and friends. She was born February 21, 1955, in Galion, Ohio, to Robert Jesse and Marie LaJune (Hosey) Rettig. Sandra married Robert Dean Stearns on July 19, 1986, in Carbondale, Illinois.

Sandy was devoted to her family. She loved traveling and always enjoyed a good adventure. She also enjoyed being in the outdoors, but among all of God’s creations, flowers made her especially happy. In a family of Cardinal fans, Sandy remained an avid Cubs fan.

As a registered nurse, she was dedicated to the care of her patients. Sandy worked at Biomedical Applications-Dialysis Center of Carbondale for 9 years. She cared for her patients like she would her family. She worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Murphysboro, then at Memorial Hospital in Carbondale in the OB Department for a total of 29 years. Her favorite role was guiding women and their significant others through labor and through the first few days of parenthood.

During her nursing career, Sandy served the families of Southern Illinois. Cancer forced her to retire, but it couldn’t stop her service. She chose to be part of a medical trial. She allowed doctors to experiment with treatments and to study the results, hoping the things they learned would help others in the future.

She is survived by her loving husband of 37 years, Robert Dean Stearns; children, Kyle Robert (MacKenzie) Stearns, Kelly Marie (Brett) Hankins, and Samuel Dean Stearns (Natalie Petro); granddaughter, Kiernan Jayne Hankins; 10 brothers and sisters in the Rettig and Stearns families: Richard Rettig (Linda Lewis), Melinda Inez Bohrmann, Phylls Rettig, Jerry (Sue) Stearns, Charles “Skeet” (Shirley) Stearns, Herb (Gina) Stearns, Dale (Pat) Stearns, Don Stearns, Verna (Rod) Worthington, Diane (Blaine) Bodkin; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Sandy was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Randy Carl Rettig; and brother-in-law, Daryl Stearns.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, 24, 2023, at Riggin-Pillatsch & Burke Funeral Home in Carterville, with Anna Mileur officiating. Visitation will be from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., Friday, June 23, 2023, at the funeral home.

For those who prefer, memorial contributions can be made to the Discovery Fund at Siteman Cancer Center, Shriners Children’s Hospital-St. Louis, or to Hospice of Southern Illinois.


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June 23, 2023

7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Riggin-Pillatsch & Burke Funeral Home
322 North Division
Carterville, IL 62918

Funeral Service
June 24, 2023

11:00 AM
Riggin-Pillatsch & Burke Funeral Home
322 North Division
Carterville, IL 62918


Shriners Hospitals for Children
4400 Clayton Avenue, St. Louis MO 63110
Tel: 1-314-432-3600

Hospice of Southern Illinois
204 Halfway Road, Marion IL 62959

Discovery Fund at Siteman Center
7425 Forsyth Blvd., MSC 1247-414-2100, St. Louis MO 63105


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