In Memory

Sally Ungerman (Backstrom)


                        Sally Ann Backstrom

                  January 3, 1944 - March 16, 2024


Sally Ann (Ungerman) Backstrom, age 80, of Chanhassen, Minnesota died peacefully on Saturday, March 16, 2024.  

“Some people are so much sunshine to the square inch.”   - Walt Whitman 

Born on January 3, 1944, to Richard and Mae (Craig) Ungerman, Sally was one of six children.  She attended St. Thomas Grade School and Southwest High School in Minneapolis and earned a degree in X-Ray Technology from the University of Minnesota, where she started her career at the University Hospital. Sally would work as an x-ray technician throughout her life, in facilities in Minnesota, California, New York and Colorado.  

Sally married her high school sweetheart, Doug, and they shared a wonderful life and love together for more than 65 years. Their young family was complete as they welcomed two children, Laura, and Greg. They would live in Evergreen Colorado for 25 years, where Sally balanced being a full-time mom and continuing her career. Sally loved the natural, wild beauty of Colorado, and the fact that she could blame the altitude for her less-than-gourmet results in the kitchen. Sally cherished every moment with her family, and her love and admiration for her children was boundless. The family celebrated Doug and Sally’s 55th wedding anniversary on February 15, of this year.  

The world of Sally’s family and friends knows there was something nearly impossible in the amount of life, energy, and pure love that was packed into her tiny frame. Sally, who stood just 4’ 10 ½” and did her shoe-shopping in the kid’s department, entirely filled every room she entered with light and joy. She was larger than life, with a smile that transcended differences and distance, and promised unwavering support and lifelong friendship. A testament to the richness and strength of her devotion, Sally continued to keep up with friends she had made in grade school and high school, meeting regularly as the “Lunch Bunch” to continue the gossip and conversations they began decades ago. For those who were lucky enough to call Sally a friend, it was forever. She will be profoundly missed. 

Sally was preceded in death by her parents and brother Ron Ungerman. She is survived by her adoring husband, Doug; her children, Laura Whitney Backstrom and Greg Backstrom (Brian Farley); siblings, Rick (Mary Jo) Ungerman, Sandy (John) Corbett, Craig (Camille Benjamin) Ungerman, Mary Pat (Greg) Shepherd; and many nieces and nephews.  

A celebration of life will be held on Friday, May 10th, 2024, at 1pm at Lakewood Cemetery Chapel, 3600 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN, with a reception to follow at Lakewood. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Sally’s memory to her “happy place”, the  Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, PO Box 860647, Minneapolis, MN 55486 or 

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03/21/24 06:07 PM #1    

Sharen Belcher (Wixom)

I admired her and enjoyed her energy at school.

03/22/24 11:17 AM #2    

Kathy Connolly (Albrecht)

Sally was one of the first classmates I met at St. Thomas School. Even at age 8, she was friendly, outgoing and had a wonderful sense of humor. She continued to be one of the kindest people I have ever known and I was privileged to be counted among her friends (and she had alot of them!). I consider myself one of her "oldest friends" and I think at this age, I probably am! She is very much missed.


03/24/24 09:14 AM #3    

Carol Jamgotch

Sally was one of the most beautiful people I've ever known.  She was so sweet, kind, funny she had it all.  Working with Sally on the reunion committee are the most recent memories that will remain with me forever. We need more people in this world like Sally.  She will be missed by many.  Blessings to Doug and Family.

Carol Jamgotch



03/24/24 03:03 PM #4    

Jane Yablonski (Ross)

I am so sad to hear of Sally's passing. I had so much respect and affection for her. We met in the freshman choir and remainned friends throughout hih school. She was a lot of fun at our slumber parties where we stayed up late talking, and laughing. I never heard Sally say an unkind word about anyone. I was so happy to hear that she and Doug got married. My friend hattie knew her son Greg from the New York theater scene. He is a Mensch too, just like his parents. It was a gift to know you, Sally. 

03/26/24 01:53 PM #5    

Patrick O'Malley

Its with sadness that I write this note. When I came to St Thomas grade school she was one of the first students to welcome me. From then on she always was a warm hearted and caring person to me and anyone who was lucky enough to meet her. Backstrom marrying Sally was a genius move. She brought a lot of light and energy to the world. My sympathies to Doug and the family. Pat OMalley

04/17/24 08:48 PM #6    

Bill Dobbins

The Lord now has one of his best Angels. 


RIP Sally we all admired you in so many different wayssmiley

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