Patricia Sanders

Patricia A. Sanders

Monday, April 27th, 1931 - Wednesday, August 26th, 2020
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Patricia Ann Sanders, age 89, of Jefferson City, died August 26, 2020 surrounded by family.

She was born to the late Mildred and William Smashey, April 27, 1931, in St. Louis, Missouri. Pat grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas and Louisiana, Missouri. She graduated from Washington University and lived in Boston, Massachusetts; Wiesbaden, Germany and Columbia, Missouri before settling in Jefferson City.

Throughout her life, Pat’s first love was her family. Her mother, Mildred, was a loving role model and mentor, sharing her love of books, gardening, and community service with her daughter. Pat relished her role as a mother and grandmother and was always there to help within days, if not hours of a grandchild’s birth. She also made it a point to visit all of her children and grandchildren no matter how far away they lived. She loved flowers, gardening, traveling, and books, passing these passions on to her children, grandchildren, and great- grandchildren as her mother did with her.

Pat’s love of travel and different cultures led her to the Galapagos Islands, Russia, India, and Nepal at a time when traveling to those places was a much greater adventure than it is today. We will always remember her endless curiosity about distant lands, ancient civilizations, and today’s Native American cultures. She visited the Paleolithic cave paintings in France, attended the sacred Lakota Sun Dance, walked the Egyptian ruins, participated in archeological digs, and held hands with Sherpa children as she trekked the Himalayas. Her home was filled with special mementos from all of her travels. Her kids and grandkids have continued traveling to far away places and she never tired of listening to their many adventures.

Pat had a special heart for education and children. She was most proud of being elected to 3 terms on the Jefferson City School Board and leading committees to establish the Nichols Career Center and The Special Learning Center. She loved to tell the story of The Special Learning Center starting out in an old garage with 50 children who had developmental delays and the teachers who worked without pay until funding could be obtained. This program now serves over 600 children throughout the Cole County area from birth through elementary ages.

Pat spent the first part of her adult life raising her children and volunteering for more organizations than we can list. In her fifties, she had the courage to enter the work place for the first time, when few women did. She worked at Scholastic Books when their most famous character was “Clifford the Big Red Dog” instead of “Harry Potter”. She worked at the News Tribune for several years and is still remembered fondly by many of her co- workers. After retiring, Pat volunteered to read with first and second graders at Moreau Heights Elementary School for over 10 years. During that time, you might see her along a road or in a park, looking for milkweed and monarch caterpillars to take into the classroom so the students could watch them transform into butterflies.

Pat will be remembered for always having a new book to share, for never-ending walks on the beach because the most interesting seashell or piece of driftwood is “just a little farther”, for always having time to stop and admire the flowers, and for so much more. She led a life filled with love, curiosity, and service and made an immeasurable impact on the world around her. She will be remembered with love and will be greatly missed.

Pat is survived by: her children, Linda (Shawn) Gary of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Jeff (Carol) Sanders of Jefferson City, and Laura (Roger) Arndt of Franktown, Colorado; grandchildren, Elizabeth (Matt), Adam (Carly), and Holly (Russ), Ryan (Ashley), Shane, and Meagan, Erik and Cory; great-grandchildren, Iris, Abe, Eleanor, and Jayla, Sawyer and Rowan; and family friends, Linda (Gene) Wiseman of Jefferson City and Micou (Laurent) Vergnettes of Toulon, France.

She was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Wilma Little and her husband Merle.

A memorial service will be held with family at Pat’s much-loved Lake Michigan cottage at a later date. Friends may mail sympathy cards or a story of Pat to the funeral home or leave notes online to be given to her family.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Special Learning Center, 1115 Fairground Road, Jefferson City, MO 65109. You could also plant a flower, read a book to a child, or volunteer somewhere to make the world a better place.

Funeral arrangements are under the care of Freeman Mortuary, 915 Madison Street, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

We hope you enjoy reading remarks that her children wrote to remember their Mom - Link to ’Remarks from Pat’s Children’

Please read some of Pat’s ’Words of Wisdom’ for family and friends - Link to PDF file Pat’s ’Words of Wisdom’
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Memorial Program

We have provided a digital copy (PDF) of the Memorial Program that we supply at the time of the service. To Download this file please click the filename below. Patricia A. Sanders - Memorial Program

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Barbara Tetley Anderson

Posted at 10:10pm
Dear Laura, Jeff, and Linda,
First, sending you my deepest sympathy. Loosing a parent is hard. But the love you shared, as you all expressed so lovingly here, will ease the grief you are feeling now, someday down the road. Many people knew and loved your mother, but only 3 people in this world are honored to call her "Mom". Hold on to that as you get through these days. As I think of my memories of your Mom, it was through Girl Scouts and growing up in the Presbyterian Church. What do I remember? Always her smile. Always happy. Thank you for sharing your stories of HER story. Loved the story of the sea shells that were walking around, and the reminder to hug a tree. She will live on in you.

Terri Bissonette

Posted at 06:16pm
Thank you for all of your support and love for our school, Pat. We have appreciated every one of your thoughtful gestures, both small and large. We are especially so thankful for your daughter, Laura, and all she has given to our school. You can always tell who amazing parents are by the amazing people that they raise and send off into the world. And we thank you deeply for that.

Terri Bissonette Posted at 06:20pm

Although we didn't ever get to meet you in person, we hope that those who love you take comfort in knowing the wide reaching impact that your love, kindness, and thoughtfulness had on a school several states away. May you rest in peace. Sending love, hugs, and prayers. ~ American Indian Academy of Denver

Cam Lupkey

Posted at 09:37pm
Pat had the most contagious smile that I see in the pictures never left her, and such a unique sounding and comforting voice. I can still hear her despite the passing of more than half a century. Probably selfish of me but I'd like to take us all back to the days of Livingston and Crest, if only for a few moments. My deepest sympathy to you Linda, Jeff, and Laura. May God give you and your family a peace that passes all understanding over the next days, weeks, and beyond.
Cam Lupkey

Susan Raaz

Posted at 09:58pm
I have known your mom since our fathers met in Columbia and my dad joined his practice. Going through my parents pictures and tapes there's so many of us together as children. Pat has been a big part of my life. One of my favorite memories was being in the first group to go into the prison after prisoners had been transferred out 2 weeks prior. It was your mom, my mom, me and Harriet Waldo. The guy doing the tour would take us to different buildings and just set us free to wander
Around on our own. So interesting.
None of us had our picture taken in the gas chamber. Bad Karma. I loved your mom and her laugh. Susie Bregant Raaz

Rebecca Ambrose

Posted at 09:45pm
Linda, Jeff, and Laura- I have so many great memories of your mother- starting with meeting Linda in Girl Scouts. Neither of our mothers were campers but didn’t keep us from going. Our moms carpooled Linda and me to Candy Striping at Memorial Hospital, Girl Scout events, and high school events. They both deftly drove us in big station wagons. And then I spent lots of time at your home with MICOU. After I graduated, your mom and I began helping the Kappas at Westminster- and the college girls loved her, as she was interested in them! I always picture your mom working in her yard or reading. She was always interested in Everything! Her children and grandchildren meant the world to her. I will miss seeing her!
Becky Hunter Ambrose

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