Twister Sanders Kennedy

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  • "As you remember your love one, as God heals your broken..."
  • "Twister was very loving and attentive to Peter Kennedy, my..."
    - Lynn Conant
  • "I did not know your mother, but what a beautiful tribute to..."
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Twister Sanders Kennedy My mother slipped away quietly from parties. She always wanted to avoid being a disruption, so she often left without ceremony. I have known her to leave her own happy house guests to continue their chatter when she chose to disappear and go to bed without even saying good night. It was if she thought she would not be missed. She will always be missed, especially by me, her only daughter, (Sudee Sanders). As she would have wished, she slipped quietly from her Hilton Head Island life on Monday, July 9, 2018. Until almost the very end, at age 98, she had been a contributing member of her Tidepointe community who took responsibility for displays in the curio cabinet and found small unused spaces for small and clever, sometimes whimsical, flower arrangements. She regularly played cards but often preferred to stay home with her cat. She cooked and entertained less in later years, but she could still set a beautiful table and entertain with apparent ease. I once heard her say that she didn't fee as good as people thought she did, which is probably why she was too proud for a long time to use a cane or a walker. She did not always feel well, but she seldom let it show, so she maintained a healthy, energetic image until last fall when she moved to the Broad Creek Care Center. She had worked hard since the 1940's when she and my father (Dick Sanders) started Sanders Sport and Luggage Shop on Central Ave. in Cortland, NY. By the mid 1950's, their business had moved to Main St. as Sanders Sport Shop, which included the short-lived Sanders Archery Company. A decade later, the Sanders Ski Shops thrived on Tomkins St. and at Greek Peak with Mom's creative help. When the business was sold to a young employee, my mother became a housewife for the first time, and she had time to play bridge. My father went to work for the Cortland Line Company and eventually became President and Chairman of the Board. He was always more of a golfer than a fisherman, so he was drawn to Hilton Head, SC where he played often and served as the President of Sea Pines Country Club. Always supported by Twister, they enjoyed a rich social life and had more than fifty years together. Dad died in 1996, and three years later, Mom married an also widowed long-time friend (Pete Kennedy) who died in 2009. She was born Margret Mary on June 17, 1920 in Parish, NY as part of the Harter clan: it was there that she was dubbed Twister by a cousin who watched her play basketball as a young girl. I don't know why she was always evasive when routinely asked about the origin of her name: her parents (Grace and Glenn Harter) were the only people who ever called her Margret, spelled the way an ancestor spelled it. She left Parish to attend Teacher's College in Cortland (Class of '43), a choice she was apt to explain as being halfway between her father's school (Cornell) and her mother's (Syracuse). Grace Mosher, in 1904, was one of the founders of Alpha Gamma Delta, to which she remained ever faithful. Following her mother's example, Twister was a campus leader who supported her own sorority (Nu Sigma Chi) long after graduation. She stopped visiting Parish after her parents and sister (Dorothy) died; its as if she walked away quietly from that part of her life. Parish, Cortland, and Hilton Head. Homes and lives once cherished will be remembered and missed by the few friends who will notice her absence, in spite of her preference not to be missed. Her health failed in 2017, and she lost her feisty spunk. The following year she was moved to the Memory Care facility at Bloom. It was hard for her and hard for me as she struggled with confusion, hearing loss, reduced vision and mobility issues. An independent soul with a surprising sense of humor, her faith sustained her as she faced multiple challenges. The loss of good health frustrated us both, but I always loved her, admired her and appreciated the freedom and respect she gave me. She thought sometimes that she would not be missed; she will. It's the end of an era. She wanted to slip away quietly several months before she did. She was weary, but she recognized the blessings of her ninety eight years and was ready to meet her Maker. A brief tribute will be offered in the Tidepointe ballroom on Sunday, July 15, at 11:00 AM. Remembrances may be sent to the Cortland Rural Cemetery, PO Box 288, Cortland, NY., or Compassis Hospice and Palliative Care, [email protected]
Funeral Home
Keith Funeral and Cremation Services - Hilton Head
63 Arrow Rd.
Hilton Head, SC 29928
(843) 715-4584
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Published in The Island Packet on July 11, 2018