Gay New Sanders was born on December 6, 1931, to the late Guy Frank New and Lela Christian New in Jennings, Louisiana. She was the only girl sandwiched between six brothers leading her to be quite the tomboy, feeling the need to compete somewhat with them. She led her basketball team her Senior year to the State Championships in 1948. After graduating a semester early from high school, she headed straight to college to become a nurse. She was in the first graduating class for Bachelors of Science in Nursing at Northwestern University of Louisiana. She began her career at Charity Hospital in Lafayette, where she met the love of her life, Daniel Thomas Sanders-he said he heard her laugh and had to meet her. They were married in 1954 and soon after began their life together traveling during Tom’s time in the Army.
He had graduated from medical school while she worked and had two children.
Gay was a creative, innovative woman who loved her family, learning, nature, genealogy, sewing, quilting, gardening and much more. She enjoyed projects of all kinds - she never met a house that didn’t need renovating! She learned to play the piano at the age of 40 and could sing alto and soprano. She never stopped investigating new techniques for quilting and sewing, causing Tom a few headaches when she wanted every new sewing machine innovation.
After Tom retired from the military in 1980 and began a second medical degree program, Gay returned to nursing to help the family. She worked night shift and ended her working career in home health, with her daughter who had graduated with a BSN a few years earlier. Gay and Tom took both of their mothers in to live with them and were wonderful examples of love and service. That service included opening her home to children and grandchildren for decades as they recovered from life events, always encouraging further education and self-reliance. This selfless help was extended to people she had just met and who soon became beloved friends. Gay was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints holding many callings from Primary chorister to seminary teacher. Her favorite calling by far was the Gospel Essentials class - she loved teaching new members of the church the basic principles of the Gospel.
Gay Sanders is preceded in death by her beloved, Tom, and all six of her brothers. She is survived by her children (Melanie, Pamela, Tracy, Danny, Dawn and Karl), 19 grandchildren, 31 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren. Gay New Sanders created a legacy of everlasting love, compassion, wit and laughter. Gay and Tom created a legacy by exemplifying a relationship that was everlasting, creating an incredible family tree with a strong root, surely planted in love, service, faith and kindness.
Her viewing will be held on Friday, March 25, 2022, at 5 - 8 pm at Garr Funeral Home, 7806 County Road 311, Sellersburg, IN 47172. The funeral will be held Saturday, March 26, 2022, at 10 am at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1534 Slate Run Road, New Albany, IN 47150. She will be interred at The Gardens at Olive Branch Cemetery,1605 South State Road 135, Greenwood, Indiana 46143. She will rest beside her lifelong love, Daniel Thomas Sanders.
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