Marilyn Stockdale Sanders passed away May 27 at her home in Chappell Hill, Texas, with family and long-time companion Inspector Clouseau (aka, Skeeter) at her side. She was born in Battle Creek, Michigan, on April 28, 1930.
The daughter of a career military officer, Marilyn traveled extensively with her parents. She graduated Valedictorian of Okinawa University School’s (now Kubasaki High School) first graduating class in 1946. She helped to create and edited the school’s first newspaper, the Typhoon. Alumnae respectfully called her “First Dragon” and have honored her at subsequent reunions.
Stateside, Marilyn attended Coker Women’s College in North Carolina before moving with her parents to Baton Rouge. She met her husband of fifty three years, Kenneth Ivan Sanders (Gus), while attending Louisiana State University and they were married at St. Alban’s Chapel on the LSU campus in 1951.
Marilyn and Gus moved to Houston in 1957 where they reared their family and became active in many charitable and civic causes. Marilyn supported her husband in his career and daughters in school and social activities. She was very active with the school and church of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Meyerland.
In 1981, Marilyn and Gus retired to Chappell Hill where they remained active and supported many civic associations. Marilyn served as president of the Chappell Hill Historical Society and was instrumental in keeping the Swearingen works of art on display at the Chappell Hill museum.
She was a dedicated member of St. Peter’s Episcopal altar guild in Brenham. She said she felt the angels commiserate with her as she hand cleaned and ironed the altar linen, which she did for 15 years. She took to her grave the names of the messiest priests officiating at St. Peter’s!
Over the years, Marilyn enjoyed many laughs with many friends in many clubs in Houston and Washington County; gourmet cooking, yoga, canasta, bunko, exercise and coffee group just to name a few.
Marilyn is preceded in death by her husband Gus, her son Thomas Paul, and her parents, Paul and Ruth Kent Stockdale.
She is survived by her daughters Nancy Ruth Strebeck and husband Lonnie of Streetman, Texas, Jane Kent Menefee and husband Len of Houston, Julie Watson Edwards and husband Jack of Houston and Chappell Hill and Martha Lynn Jackson; seven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
The family thanks Petra Pastrana who loved Marilyn and cared for her and her home for many years. The family also thanks her compassionate care-givers Erica and Shirley who were with her for the past year, and, in her last days, Stacey of Allumine Hospice. And, above all, Anna, who lovingly cared for her over the past year and in her final hours.
Marilyn died from complications as a result of COVID-19 and, unfortunately, was in quarantine and unaware of the outpouring of love in cards and messages sent for her 90th birthday on April 28th. Her family thanks everyone who reached out and plans to share these messages at her memorial service later this year. Marilyn will be laid to rest at Atkinson Cemetery in Chappell Hill.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 West Main Street, Brenham, TX 77833, 979-836-4564.
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