Family Holds Swinging Celebration of Life for Feisty Grandmother

Vinge, who was in her 80s, lost her battle with cancer

Sandy Vinge may have gained notoriety from her 2008 kidnapping, but listening to friends and family speak about her at her funeral Saturday, you quickly realize the octogenarian's whole life has been captivating.

“I don't know how much time you have. I could spend all evening telling you about her,” one of her friends tells NBC 7.

Vinge’s best friend describes what a great personality she had.

“She says ‘we're not going to lunch today, we're going to Costco’. I says ‘why’? She says ‘because everybody there knows me and they'll give us doubles and triples.’”

In 2008, Vinge was choked unconscious by a door-to-door salesman. Her hands were tied with duct tape and she was thrown into the back of her own station wagon. Over the next 26 hours her captors beat her badly and used her stolen credit cards. She was finally rescued by a deputy who stopped them for a traffic violation.

One of the officers who rescued her, who she called “her hero,” and the prosecutor who represented Vinge both spoke at her funeral. The prosecutor flew in from Tennessee for the event. 

“Look how many lives she's touched. You guys are all here,” Marc Snelling said at the reception.

Her son, Dan Allen, says she hated funerals. “And she made it clear she wanted no one to mourn for her at her death.”

Vinge didn't like the taste of champagne so they toasted her with chocolate truffles, and then to honor the former swing dance club president - they danced. 

Her other son Wayne says he'd try to catch up with her and plan a time to see her. “She'd go ‘okay, wait a minute hon’. And grabs a calendar and she'd turn looking into the calendar and every day was filled. And she goes, ‘what are you doing a month from Wednesday?’”

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