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Dona Margaret (Hendry) Sanderson

1932 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Dona Margaret (Hendry) Sanderson Obituary
BLACKWELL - Dona Margaret Hendry Garvin Sanderson was born Jan. 6, 1932 in what became the bottom of Oak Creek Lake near Blackwell, Texas. She departed this earth on Jan. 16, 2016. She was the youngest of three children born to pioneer ranching family, Arthur Sinclair and Riley Lee Nabers Hendry of Blackwell.
Dona is survived by her daughter, Linda and son-in-law Larry Horwood of Sterling City and son, James and daughter-in-law Heather Sanderson of Blackwell. She is also survived by three grandsons, Lyle Edmond Horwood of Henrietta, Texas, Lane Ethan Horwood of Lubbock, Texas and Lathen Lee Horwood of Sterling City and three granddaughters, Halee Sue, Emilee Kay, and Lilee James Sanderson of Blackwell; sister-in-law, Jinger Hendry of Sterling City; brother-in-laws, Dee Jay and Donna Garvin of Eldorado, Jim and Elaine Garvin of Cleburne and Henson Garvin of Coleman. She dearly loved all of these people.
She was recently preceded in death by her husband of 49 years, Bobby James Sanderson. Previously, she was preceded in death by her parents and both her brothers, James and MC Hendry. She also lost her first husband Eddy Garvin in 1965 due to a tragic automobile accident. Even though her losses were many, her faith was steadfast, always trusting in God's perfect plan. God is good!
Mom wore many "hats" in her lifetime. She loved to work at the ranch and truly loved the land. She was a teacher by occupation and a conservationist, historian and a story teller by nature. She enjoyed sewing, quilting and was a faithful Christian woman who loved the Lord and served the Lord at the Blackwell Methodist Church. She was a former Sunday school teacher, VBS teacher and 4H leader. She was a loving wife, mother and MeMa. She was a member of the Eastern Star and a former Worthy Matron. She was a prayer warrior, she woke up and began her day with prayer. She prayed at every meal, prayed for each of her family members and anyone that she knew that needed prayer throughout the day. She ended her day talking to her Lord and Savior. What a legacy to leave her family. You knew you were loved and you were prayed for.
Growing up as a young girl her family owned the land in what is now Oak Creek Lake outside of Blackwell. She always loved to tell "that she born in the bottom of Oak Creek Lake," however it wasn't a lake back then! She had the fondest memories of her childhood and frequently shared about "how her family was self -sufficient during the depression years. They had their own cows for milk and butter, chickens for eggs; they raised hogs, chickens and turkeys for meat." She would tell "how they cured hams, made corn meal from home grown corn and canned vegetables for the winter from their garden." Mom would say "the main source of income was from raising white faced cattle." The tradition of work and caring for the land and livestock was a lifelong value impressed upon her from her parents. She often quoted, "We are but stewards of the land for a short time, all of this belongs to God."
In her younger years she was an active 4-H member, she loved the organization and the life skills and lessons that she learned, and opportunities that it afforded her. She learned wonderful sewing skills and constructed a three piece grey wool suit, that she won state and national sewing honors with her garment. She went on to compete in Chicago, winning a sewing machine, which was one of her prize possessions that she used for years sewing for our family.
As she was born, raised and a life time resident of Blackwell, she was always proud to be a BHS Hornet and enjoyed the annual homecoming celebrations. She graduated from Angelo State University and taught special education for 22 years at both Blackwell and Divide schools. She had a deep love of history and specifically Texas history and all things old or antique. She delighted in participating in "History or Heritage Days." She really preferred how things were "in the past" to all the new ways of the world.
Mom was wise, very conservative and never afraid of hard work - she took care of business. She and Daddy worked many hours farming and ranching, and she favored that to being indoors. She would garden, can and preserve what she grew in her gardens. She enjoyed family togetherness and telling stories from times past. She would always say that she was a product of the "Depression Era" and she did not believe in wasting anything! She saved everything, recycled and repurposed before the "Go Green" idea was ever promoted. She saved foil, food and especially money! When the grandkids were young and went to MeMa's house, they knew they would be read to, and "taught." The grandkids would laugh about being ready for one of "MeMa's lessons." No doubt, they covered history lessons on faith, family and Texas, three of her favorite subjects. One often repeated lesson was always, "Put God first, family second and your job third." If the lessons got long or boring, she was always ready to give the grandkids some outdoor activity of gathering pecans or picking up limbs. Again, she was not a fan of wasting anything, especially TIME!
In 2007, she was recognized as both the Nolan County SWCD and the Area II Soil and Water Conservation Homemaker of the Year. Looking back at the script from those award banquets it brings to mind Mom's career was in education and that did not end when she retired. Into her later years, and after she was 80, anybody visiting with her could see that she still had a lot to teach about the history of the region and her varied knowledge. In April of 2006 the Ranch & Rural Living magazine published an article by her entitled "Heritage of the Blackwell Area." She enjoyed recording and preserving history for future generations.
She was very faithful to visit the elderly and she regularly visited nursing homes in the surrounding area. She loved to be invited into area schools to present programs on quilts, flowers or Texas history. She enjoyed sharing her wealth of knowledge with others. She also collected "Angels" and shared her faith. She had a unique lighted glass shelf cabinet in her den that housed the angel collection. Much to Mom's surprise and delight when the light came on, it cast the shadow of an angel on the wall behind it, she had loved showing it to others. Oh the mysteries of faith....
Mom had a passion for ranching and conservation. She worked hard to preserve the integrity of the land. She cleaned up driftwood in the creeks and tanks. She fought the spread of cockleburs by hoeing any that she saw, drying them and then burning them. She would ride on the front of dad's four-wheeler to scatter grass seed. She would sprig and water coastal Bermuda on waterways, on the backs of tanks and in cattle pens. She loved being out in God's beautiful creation and was always keeping an eye out for arrowheads as she worked or walked. She always enjoyed collecting them. We have a wonderful story of her finding a cache of arrowheads, if you ever spent much time with Mom, chances are you have heard this story at least once.
We would like to thank the nurses, caregivers and staff at the Bronte Health and Rehab Center for the excellent care that they gave Mom during her time there. When Dad broke his hip, Mom went every day to see Daddy, and she traveled back to Blackwell each evening. She did this until her health prevented her from safely living alone. At which time she joined Dad in living at Bronte. They were both very content and enjoyed the activities, kind staff and the good meals at the center, for that we are truly grateful.
Mom's favorite and often quoted bible verse was Romans 8:28, "All things work together for good, for those who love the Lord." She believed this with all her heart! One day as her health declined, I asked her if she wanted to go to James' house, she did not feel well, she put her head in her hands and said, "I want to fly away home." I trust she has changed her residence to heaven, left her failing earthly body behind and was joyously met by those that she loved and they will be celebrating her arrival in her eternal resting place. Thanks be to God for a life well lived.
Memorial donations can be made to the Blackwell Methodist Church, P.O. Box 466, Blackwell, Texas 79506 or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 3611 Soncy Road Suite 6A Amarillo 79119.
Viewing will be held all day Monday, Jan. 18, 2016 and Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016 at the funeral home in Bronte. Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016 at the Blackwell Methodist Church with burial to follow in Blackwell Cemetery. Services are under the direction of Shaffer Funeral Home.
Pallbearers are her nephews and close family friends.
Online condolences may be made to www.shafferpioneer.com.
Published in Sweetwater Reporter on Jan. 19, 2016
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