SANDERS MARY ELIZABETH TUCKER SANDERS "Betsy" Mary Elizabeth Tucker Sanders, known to everyone as "Betsy," died peacefully at her home in Washington, DC, on Monday, January 14, 2019, at age 83 of complications from a long courageous bout with emphysema (COPD). She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Cameron Haskin Sanders, Jr., a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer, also of Washington DC; their four children: Helen Gray of London UK, Cam Sanders III of Los Angeles CA, Marcia Brady Loughran of Astoria NY, and Nicholas Sanders of Sebastopol CA; seven grandchildren; and her three siblings: Mrs. Marcia Boogaard of Potomac MD, Mrs. Robert Gerwin (Naomi) of Cincinnati OH, and Luther Tucker, Jr. of Easton MD. She was born in Boston MA, the daughter of Josephine Pullman Tucker of Bridgeport CT and the Rev. Luther Tucker of New York NY, an Episcopal clergyman. She was a great granddaughter of Anthony Nicholas Brady, the New York public utilities pioneer. In her earliest years she lived in Shanghai, China, where her father directed an English Language School for the YMCA. On a family holiday in Japan shortly before the outbreak of WWII, her father was jailed by Japanese authorities on a possible capital charge of sedition for conveying embargoed information from Chinese students to their Japanesecounterparts regarding Japan's incursion into Manchuria (which he freely admitted doing, pleading "guilty as charged"). Betsy vividly remembered sitting in darkness at age 3 on the dock in Yokohama watching Japanese soldiers march her father off to prison as her family was just about to board their boat back home to China. Despite the alarming outlook, his release was eventually secured and the family returned to the US, where her father became Secretary of Dwight Hall, the undergraduate Student Christian Center at Yale University. In the late 1940's, he was called to become Rector of the Indian Hill Episcopal/Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati OH, where Betsy spent her teen and college age years. She and Cameron Sanders, a Cincinnati native, were married in 1961. After a brief residence in New York City where he worked at LOOK Magazine, he joined the U.S. Foreign Service, and they embarked upon a series of postings including Baghdad (where their first child, Helen, was born), Rotterdam, the State Department Atlantic Affairs Program at Columbia U in New York, and Brussels (NATO Delegation), interspersed with assignments at the State Department in Washington. Despite all the moving about, Betsy maintained her high good spirits, was supportive throughout, and kept the family firmly on track. She was educated in New Haven and Cincinnati schools, the Villa l 'Assomption in Paris, graduated in history from Vassar College (1957), and earned Master's degrees at the New York School of Social Work at Columbia U and in Early Childhood Education at George Washington U. In Washington, she worked as a teacher at the St. Alban's Day Care Center, becoming its Board Chair. She was an active member and volunteer at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, serving on the Board of the Workers of St. Alban's (WSA), its grant-making body to local charities, for the rest of her life. She served on the Board of the Marcia Brady Tucker Foundation of New York, a family charity. The Sanders family enjoyed a longtime summer home they built in Wellfleet MA on Cape Cod, and were parishioners there of the Episcopal Chapel of St. James the Fisherman. She was a member of the National Society of Colonial Dames. She was devoted to her family, her church, and her many friends and was greatly loved for her warmth, unfailing sense of humor, dedication, and always caring disposition. She will be much missed. There will be a memorial service for her at St. Alban's Church at 3001 Wisconsin Ave., NW in Washington on Sunday, January 27, at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, suggested memorials are St. Alban's Episcopal Church or Vassar College (for the Josephine Pullman Tucker Landscape Endowment).She was devoted to her family, her church, and her many friends and was greatly loved for her warmth, unfailing sense of humor, dedication, and always caring disposition. She will be much missed. There will be a memorial service for her at St. Alban's Church at 3001 Wisconsin Ave., NW in Washington on Sunday, January 27, at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, suggested memorials are St. Alban's Episcopal Church or Vassar College (for the Josephine Pullman Tucker Landscape Endowment).
Published in The Washington Post from Jan. 19 to Jan. 21, 2019.