Melanie Smith Sanderson
1955 - 2014
Resthaven Funeral Home & Cemetery
5740 West 19th Street
Lubbock, TX
LUBBOCK Melanie Smith Sanderson, 58, of Lubbock passed away on February 2, 2014 after a month long battle against the H1N1 Flu Virus.

The family will receive friends for a visitation to share and remember memories of Melanie this evening February 4, 2014 from 6 until 8 pm at Resthaven Funeral Home.

Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday February 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm at Monterey Church of Christ with Lonnie Hamil and Barry Stephens officiating.

Interment will follow in Resthaven Memorial Park.

Melanie was born on Feb. 17. 1955 in Wichita Falls, TX to Billy and Minalee Smith. She graduated from Permian High school in 1973 where she was the President of The Pepettes. She received her degree in education from Texas Tech in 1979. She married Brian Sanderson from Springlake, TX on June 9, 1978. She was a loving wife, mother, and Nana always putting the needs of others before her own. She had a warm smile and a big heart. Her sweet spirit will be missed by all.

She is preceded in death by her father.

She is survived by her husband of 35 years, Brian Sanderson; her daughter, Emily DiDonna, and Heather Sanderson; son Matthew Sanderson; granddaughter, Valerie Sanderson; mother, Minalee Smith; brother David Smith and wife, Karen; and a host of friends and family.

Condolences may be offered at
Published by Odessa American on Feb. 4, 2014.
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6:00p.m. - 8:00p.m.
Resthaven Funeral Home & Cemetery
5740 West 19th Street, Lubbock, TX
Funeral service
Monterey Church of Christ
Resthaven Memorial Park
Funeral services provided by:
Resthaven Funeral Home & Cemetery
Sponsored by The ODESSA AMERICAN.
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45 Entries
My thoughts are with you during this difficult time. Melanie was such a sweet lady and with a beautiful smile.
Lois Peebles
February 12, 2014
Beautiful smile, beautiful eyes, beautiful lady. You will be missed, but never forgotten. Beverly Quick Hatfield
Bev Hatfield
February 11, 2014
I was so sad to hear about Melanie's passing. Melanie was always radiant and touched so many lives with her vibrant charm and love of life! She will always be remembered for her genuine and kind heart!
larry feeler
February 10, 2014
So sorry to hear about Melanie's passing. I have not seen her since high school but I will always remember her smiling face and great attitude. Her legacy will live on through all the lives she touch during her lifetime. The world is a better place because of her.
Jerry Maliszewski
February 10, 2014
Melanie - Summer 1983 - at the 10th Permian High School reunion.
Pat Carriker
February 9, 2014
I remember Melanie from our years in high school, she was always quick with a kind word and a smile. Always an uplift personality. Good to have in class and had a good ear for listening.
Bill Richmond
February 9, 2014
It's very difficult to express myself when it comes to the relationship I had with Melanie. I was 15 years old, when Melanie was born in Wichita Falls, TX. I had been waiting with bated breath until the day she would arrive. You see, her dad (my brother) was just about perfect in my eyes. He was 14 years older than me and my sister was 15 years older than me. I grew up listening to all the big band music like Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw...which I'm sure that Melanie was familiar with, too.
My brother, Bill,was tall,dark,and extremely handsome. He also played football all through high school and college. He fell in love with a popular school beauty... Minalee. They were the perfect couple. I placed both of them on a pedestal growing up,so naturally, when the perfect couple announced that their first baby was on the way....I knew that baby was going to be more special than any other...and she was... The day she was born, February 17th, the office sent a note to my classroom that my parents were coming to pick me up. I was elated because I knew that meant that the perfect baby had arrived. I could hardly contain myself! I loved her before she was born and that love bloomed boundlessly when I first saw her.
Watching Melanie grow up was nothing less than pure joy. Unfortunately, my brother's job had them moving away from Wichita Falls....places like Vernon, TX, Beeville, TX, Corpus Christi, and finally Odessa, where they took root for the next several years. Minalee's parents,Mama & Papa Wilson,lived in Wichita Falls,, they did make many trips "back home"...and, of course, we made many trips to see them. The times spent with Melanie and David as they changed from toddlers to teens were some of the best! I remember one Christmas Eve night, Minalee "rolling" Melanie's hair into little individual flat curls held with "Bobbie Pins". It seemed like it took hours! {Minalee and I both are known for being a little slow at various tasks...because it has to be "just so."} Sweet little Melanie, who was only about 4 or 5 yrs. old, would sit and sit and sit,actually falling asleep several times, waiting for her mom to finish.....that same patience and gentleness that Melanie showed that night carried right on through the years.
My husband and I were blessed to get to move to Odessa and be close to Bill and his family for awhile. By then, I had my family, Mike,12, Mark,11, Molly,6 and Mitzi on the way. My children adored Melanie and David. I am so glad that they had those two years growing up around them.
When Melanie and Brian got married, Melanie was the most beautiful bride I had ever seen. When she walked down the aisle with her dad and Brian saw her...well, I'm sure that he was astounded! Then the day came when their first born, Emily, made her appearance. Melanie was so proud and happy!
Emily, our little juice drinker,... who would bluntly exclaim, "Emmy Juice!" which meant she needed a refill...and thusly, was the reason she was tagged with the nickname, "Emmyjuice" by her Uncle Jerry. It was heart-warming to watch Melanie's face as Emmy would perform her cute little antics. Then, came Heather...and again, Melanie was filled with pride and happiness. Two beautiful and adorable little girls....soon, Matt came along.
The complete family...and what a lovely family they were....and now they have precious little Valerie..and what a joy she is!
I will always remember the time that Melanie loaded up the kids and came to spend a week with me. What fun we all had! Melanie and I would drop the girls off at the Corsicana Library, where a summer program on "Texas Dances" was going on. They wanted to place Heather in a different age group and she didn't want that at all! Melanie convinced the coordinator that Heather would be able to do the more advanced dancing and so they let her go in with Emily's group. After it was all over the coordinator admitted that Heather had been the best one in the group!
I finally convinced Melanie to let Matt go to the prestigious Candy Cane Day Care Center in Corsicana while the girls were dancing... She was reluctant because she was afraid that Brian would not be happy if he found out...I said, "Well, we just want tell him!" (Sorry, Brian)...:) After we dropped the kids off in the mornings, Melanie and I would go to the Waffle House, order breakfast and sit and talk, laugh, and reminisce until it was time to pick up the kids. Melanie and I bonded on a higher level that trip... and I'm thinking that that might have been when Matt was tagged with the nickname "Matt, the Brat"....:) It didn't bother me one bit... trying to clean the crayon marks off my walls...:)
I also remember visiting them when they lived in Earth...I loved their home! and the location...Melanie and I would sit on the back porch drinking coffee while looking out as far as the eye could see with nothing higher than corn from their backyard to the horizon. It was beautiful, peaceful and quiet... well, until the kids got up..:)
What a great time Melanie and I had blanching and freezing a ton of corn!
Emily, do you remember the play that you and I wrote and coerced all of the family, including Grannie, into performing?? What fun that was! And all the entertainment that you kids afforded through the years...playing the piano,dancing,singing...while Melanie sat watching and beaming with love and pride. Oh, how she loved her children!
I also remember the time that I brought my grandkids to Lubbock. I wanted them to get to know their cousins and I am so very glad that we made that trip...
My "babies" will never forget you kids and especially your mom...sitting around the "campfire" and singing while Brian and Matt played their guitars and your mom bustling around trying to make sure everyone had everything they wanted.....Melanie was the most "giving" person I have ever known...She always wanted everyone to be happy..and, I think, may have sacrificed her own happiness at times because of that. You just can't please everyone all the time...but Melanie tried.Melanie was a very compassionate, loving,and beautiful person and a very special niece. A big chunk of my heart is missing now, but I know that Melanie and my brother are holding each other and rejoicing at being "home" with their heavenly father as well as those others who have gone on ahead and are waiting for us....
I have to say that Matt has written a song in tribute to his mother that is awe-inspiring. I wish that everyone that knew Melanie could hear it. Thank you, Matt, for capturing and fusing your emotions into such an inspiring and meaningful song... I love you..
Aunt Dee Dickens-Reznicek
February 8, 2014
I have known Melanie since junior high. She always had a smile on her face. Melanie was always nice to everyone, and that makes her pretty special. I have a feeling her big heart and kindness lives on through her family. My deepest condolences.
Anne Freeland McKandles
February 8, 2014
My memories of Melanie in high school are quite fond. I offer my most sincere condolences to her family.
Raymond Benson
February 7, 2014
Our deepest sympathy for your family during this time. We continue to pray for healing and that God give you all strength.
Chad and Tarrah-Shea Waller
February 7, 2014
Heather and Family...I just want you all to know we will always have you in our thoughts and prayers. I pray for Our Father to bless you all with peace and for your hearts to smile again. Love and Prayers.
Karman Abel
February 7, 2014
When I heard that Mrs. Melanie was gone my heart skipped a beat. She was the most loving, kind, sweetest, and generous lady I have ever met. I remember going over to visit with Emily and Mrs. Melanie was just so welcoming. I pray that your family will feel peace and comfort during this time.
Crystal Mosqueda
February 7, 2014
Melanie will be missed by all of us who knew and loved her. She was my sister-in-law for almost 37 years. It's hard to believe that she's gone, but she's at peace. I have to believe that we'll all see her again in paradise.
Karen Smith
February 7, 2014
Brain and family so sorry to hear of Melanie's passing . Just wanted you to know that you are in our prayers. May God you give peace in and strength. Randy and Cheryl Gray (Spade Texas)
February 7, 2014
We are so saddened to hear the news about Melanie. I've know Melanie since Karen fell for David and remember her best from our time at Tech together. I was around when she met and fell in love with Brian. I remember her telling me one night in the dorm that she thought he was her dream come true. She was head over heals for him. She was such a bright light, kind and thoughtful. We all loved her and will miss her presence in this world.
Lisa Ellsworth & family
February 5, 2014
Brian, I was so sorry to hear of Melanie's passing. You are in my prayers. God bless you and your family.
Renay James Bell
February 5, 2014
Brian and family I am so sorry to hear of Melanie's passing. Melanie and I had our first child the same day in at the Muleshoe hospital. I have never forgotten her sweet spirit.
February 5, 2014
We just wanted to let you all know you are in our thoughts and prayers. Mrs. Melanie was a very sweet and kind person. We pray for peace, strength, understanding & comfort during the difficult time. May God bless you all!
Roosevelt, Alma, Demetra & Debra Houston
February 5, 2014
To Melanie's family,
Although I did not have the pleasure of meeting any of you I knew your mom. I met her in 7th grade at Nimitz and she was so bubbly and full of kindness. For the next 6 years I shared many memory filled times with her. She was one of the sweetest people you would ever meet and how proud you all must be because that is what people will always remember. She left a great imprint on many hearts. May you find comfort in Our Saviour in the days ahead! God Bless you all!!!
Karen Landers Ward
February 5, 2014
Here's Melanie at a Permian High Reunion in 1988.
Pat (Patsy) Carriker
February 5, 2014
Brian and family, we are so sorry to hear of Melanie's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with y'all. She was such a kind and precious soul. It was a privilege to know her. The world is a better place for her having been in it.
Collom Family
February 4, 2014
I did not know Melanie but do know Shelli and I am truely sorry this wonderful womens life was cut short. My hrart goes out to the entire family
Sherri Antonowitch
February 4, 2014
Sweet and Beautiful woman , who loved her Family with all her Heart. Prayers
Jessica & Jeremy Owen
February 4, 2014
I really enjoyed getting acquainted with the Sandersons, while doing the families hair years ago. Such a sweet loving bunch. I'm so very sorry for y'all's loss. Cherish those memories! Love to the family, Cheryl Bass
February 4, 2014
I am so saddened by this loss in our family. I remember so many summers in Earth, and all the times you visited us. I loved Melanie so much. I've never known anyone with a heart as pure as hers. Such a sweet cousin, wonderful mother and great person. Her laughter rings in my ears. I feel as though I grew up with Emily, Heather and Matt. I remember the time we were going from Earth to Lubbock ( I think) in the plane. I asked Heather if we could open the window.. She screamed good golly no, you'll suck right outta here!! We all laughed so hard! I most cherish the time Kami and I drove to Earth and stayed the weekend... Kami asked your mom for a hair dryer and your mom said " what kind?" Kami looked at her funny and said " one that dries hair". Your mom brought a huge box out full of about 15 different kind of hair dryers!! If you ever needed anything you can bet Mel had it! There are too many memories to share! You know the best ones are Emmy juice, Heather goose and Matt the bratt! Love you all!
Mitzi Gray
February 4, 2014
My thoughts and prayers are with the family during this time. The entire month of January I followed Heather on fb and kept Melonie on my mind. I had the honor to meet her, have conversations with her and simply love her. Melonie will be missed greatly.
Carrie Timmons
February 4, 2014
I remember Melanie would come get Heather and I from our dorm every Friday while we were at Texas Tech. She would always have a bagel and coffee waiting for us in the van and would drive us to class on those mornings. She was always amazing, and I consider her a second mother to me. She will always be in my heart.
Amy Griffin
February 4, 2014
Barry and I are completely sadden by the loss of your beautiful wife. May you and your children feel overwhelmingly blessed through the love and prayers of others now and in the future. You are certainly in our prayers as you face the coming days. Barry and Retha Pittman
Retha Pittman
February 4, 2014
Everyone at Rocket Aviation,LP are so sorry to hear about the loss of Melanie.
What a sweet person she was. Brian, and family, you are in our thoughts and prayers!! May God's speed always be with you and your family.
February 4, 2014
Sharing a photo with all..... This shows Melanie at the Permian High reunion in 1993.
Pat (Patsy) Carriker
February 4, 2014
Sharing a photo with all..........This shows Melanie and Brian at the Permian High Reunion in 1988.
Pat (Patsy) Carriker
February 4, 2014
Oh, how I'm going to miss my dear sweet friend Melanie. We met in high school, had slumber parties on the living room floor, went out on double dates, and had a thousand laughs and alot of fun together. Since we were separated by miles after high school, I enjoyed catching up with her at our high school reunions or with our annual Christmas letters/photos. I'm so sad that she is gone. My heart is broken for Melanie's loving family! I will keep all of your family in my thoughts and prayers. I will look forward to the day that I get to see her again. Let me know if there is ever anything we can do for your sweet family.
Pat (Patsy) Carriker
February 4, 2014
Brian we are so sorry about Melanie. Wanted you and your family to know you all are in our thoughts and prayers. It's been a while but the one thing that I remember the most about Melanie was her sweet smile . My wish for you all is that you can feel Gods hand on you shoulders and feel his comfort in your hearts. Once again our love and deepest sympathy. Danny and Kelly Quisenberry
February 4, 2014
We are so very sorry for your loss. Ken & I are praying for your sweet family during this difficult time.
Rhonda Wearden
February 4, 2014
I grew up my entire life looking up to my sweet cousin. She wore a smile like no one else and it was constant when we were around. To my sweet emmyjuice, heda goose, and mattmoo.... I love you more than you know.... I want you to know your mom made my life special because every time we came to visit or yall came down... it was like a HUGE treat! I will never forget all the wonderful times we shared together like the can can dance, the fresh corn eating, the ridiculous plays and skits that my mom made us do.... I loved her cute laugh and how she would get so giggly.... I am so glad God gave her to us.... Even for a short while... She will always be cherished in my heart and in our family.... Just think of all the ones who are already in heaven and think about what a rejoicing time they are having when they see her!
Molly Barlow
February 4, 2014
Brian, we are so sorry for your loss. Don and I will keep you and your family in our prayers. Melanie was such a sweet person.
Sheila Park
February 4, 2014
We are so very sorry for your loss. Melanie was so very sweet and kind to us. May all your precious memories be held closely to your hearts now and forever. There is certainly a celebration in Heaven today. You all have a very special Guardian Angel wrapping her loving arms around each of you.
Don and Donna Locker
February 4, 2014
Emily and Steve I am so sorry for your loss. Our hearts go out to you at this time in your sorrow. Thank God she was a child of God and she is with Him.
You are all in our prayers and hope we can offer you our comfort.

on behalf of the 12th St. Church of Christ
Ealy Brock
February 4, 2014
We're so sorry to hear of Melanie's death. We extend our deepest sympathy to you and your family.
Brian Muller and Danny West
February 4, 2014
Brian, Our prayers are with you and your family that God will give you a peace that passes all understanding. We grieve with you during this time.
Tom Brown Family (Littlefield,Tx)
Tom Brown Family
February 4, 2014
Heather my thoughts and prayers are with you through this difficult time!! My heart hurts for you and wished I could take away the pain!! I'm here for whatever you need love you!!
Khristina Tarbet (Horney)
February 4, 2014
Brian and Family - Words are so grossly inadequate at such a time as this. Melanie was one of Randy's favorite cousins. She was always so bubbly and vivacious. Please know that you all are being remembered by many in both thought and prayer.
Marinelle & Randy Szenasy
February 4, 2014
We were so shocked to read of Melanie's death. Please know that we are thinking of you and have the whole family in our prayers.
Jo and John Edwards
February 4, 2014
Brian, I am so sorry for the loss of Melanie. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. Love to all. Yvonne Jones
Yvonne Jones
February 4, 2014
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