Carol SANDERS

Obituary

SANDERS, Carol Melton Went to be with the Lord Monday morning, August 28, 2012. Born July 30, 1932, she was an only child of the late Beulah and Clarence Melton. For the many that knew and loved Carol, her indelible impression will forever remain. Carol and Tommy, affectionately known as Mama Bear and Papa Bear, began their life-long journey together 56 years ago, growing a large family of 6 children, 15 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. Like her late husband, Carol was a fearless competitor full of grace and poise. Throughout their marriage, the two "ACBL Grand Life Masters" of bridge acquired a staggering number of titles, including the Israel Swiss Team Championship in 1986, the Taipei Bridge Week Championships in 1979, the Beijing International Friendship Cup in 1986, and the Beijing Ambassador's Cup in 1987. Carol especially shined as one of the top women's players of the era by winning four world championships, including two Venice Cups (1974, 1976). She also captured seven international medals, including a gold as a member of the 1984 Olympiad team and the 1982 World Women's Pair. Carol was trustee of the ACBL Charity Foundation from 1989 to 1997, and served as vice chairman of the ACBL GoodWill Committee for over two decades. As a result of her illustrious career, she rightfully achieved the highest World Bridge Federation ranking of World Grand Master, and later accepted induction into the Hall of Fame in 2002. Carol earned enough trophies for two lifetimes, but Mama Bear wore the names of family and friends like fine jewels around her heart. As the accolades and honors collect dust on the shelf, the memories of Mama Bear generously serving the ones she loved remain as vibrant as ever. In an ACBL Hall of Fame interview, she fondly declared, "I'd like to be remembered as being really nice and easy to get along with; thoughtful...that would be all I need to be happy." Truly, her thoughtfulness at the Bridge table was trumped only by her devotion for her loved ones. Carol was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Thomas K. Sanders, Sr., who passed away in December of last year. She is survived by her children, Lynn Sanders Cates (John), Jan Sanders Jacobs, Thomas Koonce Sanders, Jr. (Pam), Constance Sanders Cates (Jamie), Catherine Sanders McPherson (Steve), Richard Moyse Sanders; her grandchildren, Melissa Bath Clift (Bo), Bryan Christopher Bath, Lynlee Cates Kennedy (Lee), Holland Carol Cates, John Harvey Cates, Jr., Christen Cates Johnson (Scott), James Wilson Cates III, Thomas Koonce Sanders III, Caroline Joyner Sanders, Maggie Catherine McPherson, Jackson Lee McPherson, James Stephen McPherson, Joseph, Lynn McPherson, Shelby Marie Sanders, Christian Paul Sanders; her great-grandchildren, Braelyn Sanders Clift, Karsyn Bo Clift, Lee Locke Kennedy, Jr., Cates McCorvey Kennedy, Britton Christopher Bath; her nieces, Elizabeth Ann Sanders Evans, Amy Sanders Justus, Harper Sanders Mowry; her nephews, James Jernigan Sanders III, Stephen Wright Sanders, William David Sanders, Jr.; great-nieces and great nephews. Grandsons, grandsons-in-law and great-grandsons will serve as Pallbearers. Friends are cordially invited to a visitation Thursday evening from Two O'clock till Five O'clock, and Friday morning from Ten O'clock till time of service. Funeral services will be Friday morning at 11:30 a.m., in Dignity Hall of Woodlawn Roesch-Funeral Home, with final placement to follow in Woodlawn Memorial Park.
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Published in The Tennessean on Aug. 30, 2012
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