Barbara Isobel Sanders passed away peacefully on November 12. 2019 at her Goodwill Retirement Community residence in Grantsville, Maryland, where she had resided since 2016. Barbara was born at the family farm along Sanders Lane near Hutton, Maryland on May 16, 1933 to Cyrus Nelson Sanders and Valesca (Vally) Sidonia (Paulie) Sanders. She was the youngest of ten children and the last of her immediate family. The following brothers and sisters preceded her in death: Gladys Louise (Sanders) Whetsell, Paul Richard Sanders, Margaret Sanders, Marjory Sanders, Lawrence Nelson Sanders, Dortha May (Sanders) Nemith, Forrest Leo Sanders, Ellwood Rodney Sanders, and Bethyl Ernestine (Sanders) Martin. Barbara is survived by sisters-in-law, Margaret (Wotring) Sanders and Martha (Buffenmyer) Sanders and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
Barbara's childhood years were deeply influenced by the Great Depression. Farm life was particularly hard during this period. Seven-years younger than her next oldest sibling and many years younger than her parents, Barbara tagged along with her older siblings as best she could, but often had to entertain herself. In her own words, she frequently felt alone and feared her own shadow. She adapted by developing strong attachments to the farm animals and especially her pets. Her parents were lovers of animals and this love was imprinted on Barbara at a young age. Her mother became ill while Barbara was in her teens, passing away when Barbara was 16. She helped with her mother's care during an awkward period of her own life. Her mother's passing created a challenging void she overcame by developing attachments with her many nephews and nieces. Her niece Eleanor was especially close to her, perhaps her closest friend. They were practically the same age and Barbara eventually served as Eleanor's maid-of-honor. To most of her nieces and nephews, Barbara was their favorite Aunt.
Affectionately known as Babs, Barbara was an avid photographer, collector of family memorabilia and enjoyed traveling. Babs lovingly cared for pets throughout her life, there was rarely a period she was without at least one. Family and her farm heritage were very important to her. She lived in many places throughout her life, but returned home often. She was the motivator and prime organizer of family reunions, often hosting them at her Sanders Lane cabin adjacent to the family farm. Barbara loved to play cards, cook and enjoyed social interaction. She was famous for her buckwheat cake breakfasts with fried eggs, chicken gravy, puddin, sausage, bacon, maple syrup and any other condiment imaginable. She was a regular organizer of card tournaments and dinner parties, frequently hosting them.
Barbara graduated Oakland High School in 1951 and the Cumberland, Maryland Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1954. After working a year at Garrett County Memorial Hospital, she moved to Columbia, Missouri and worked at University Hospital as an OB nurse. She helped deliver her nephew Walker while working at University Hospital. In 1958 she entered the Air Force Nursing Corps at Schilling AFB, Salina, Kansas. She was a career Air Force nurse, a Viet Nam era veteran and eventually rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. She had four and a half years of Foreign Service as a flight nurse, participating in Air Evac missions on six continents. She graduated Nurse Practitioner School while in the Air Force, a member of one of the first classes taught. She was one of the first Air Force OB/GYN Nurse Practitioners and while stationed at Lackland AFB in Texas, she was a researcher and co-authored papers reporting on women's reproductive health. Upon retirement from the Air Force in 1980, Barbara embarked upon her second career, 20-years of service at Planned Parenthood of San Antonio, Texas. She was especially proud of her work providing basic health and reproductive care to low income girls and women. In 2000, she retired a second time and relocated to Tellico Village, Loudon, Tennessee, near her sister Bethyl. She worked part-time at medical clinics in Loudon, Tennessee during her years at Tellico.
Barbara was a very active member of the Tellico Village Solos Club, frequently organizing club activities. During her early years, Barbara attended Saint Mark's Lutheran Church in Oakland. Her Lutheran heritage led her search out Lutheran Churches where-ever she lived. During her years at Tellico Village, she attended the Loudon Community Church.
The C & S Fredlock Funeral Home, P.A. is managing funeral arrangements. The friends and family visitation will be at the funeral home, 21 North Second Street, Oakland, Maryland on Friday, November 15, 2019 from 3 PM until 7 PM. Funeral services will be led by Reverend Carl Fike at the Oak Park Church of the Brethren, 110 Church Lane, Oakland, Maryland 21550 at 11 AM on Saturday, November 16, 2019. According to her wishes, Barbara will be laid to rest beside her parents at the Oakland Cemetery. Military and Air Forces Nurses Association honors will be accorded. Barbara will be deeply missed and long remembered. Suggestions for memorials honoring Barbara include contributions to a charity of one’s choice. Condolences for the family may be left at www.csfredlockfh.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Barbara Isobel Sanders, please visit our floral store.