Mary Ellen Agee Sanders, a long time resident of Conway, South Carolina, died peacefully on Tuesday, February 2, 2011, after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s. She moved to the Raleigh area in 1991. She was 84.
Sanders was born December 25, 1926 in Florida. She grew up in Pikeville, and was one of six children born to Louis and Carrie Agee. Upon graduation from Bledsoe High School, she earned her degree in Home Economics from Tennessee Technical University and continued into the master’s program at the University of Tennessee. She began her career as an extension agent for the state of Tennessee and later North Carolina. After marrying Dr. Frank A. Sanders of Mullins, South Carolina, she moved to Conway and taught Home Economics at Aynor High School.
She was a devoted mother, wife, friend, and spent many hours at Kingston Presbyterian Church. She was a Girl Scout troop leader for 14 years. Her vision was to teach women to be self-sufficient and to strive to be the best they can be. In her opinion, the Book of Etiquette and the Bible held the guidelines for being a good woman. She was known to be one of the most loving and generous people.
She is survived by her three daughters and son-in-laws, Terry Espy and John Sharkey of Wilmington, North Carolina, Donna Wallin of Cary, North Carolina, and Andy and Scarlet Fowler of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Her grandchildren include Matthew, Kennan and Drew Espy, Joel and Megan Wallin and Tiffany, Austin and Dalton Waldorf. She is also survived by her sister, Mae Sullivan Rhinehart of Chattanooga and her brother, Harold Walter Agee of Memphis. Her nieces and nephews include Betty Lee Thurman of Lincoln Hills, California, Barbara Rous of Dalton, Georgia, Wanda Lamb of Cummings, Georgia, Howard Sullivan, Jr. of Cincinnati, Ohio, Peter Gibson of Chattanooga, Joyce Ann Morgan of Texas, Nancy, Tommy and Susan Agee of Memphis, Suzanne Sanders of Lexington, South Carolina, Fred and Vic Sanders of Mulllins, South Carolina and Gary Sanders of Dillon, South Carolina as well as many grand-nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her sisters, Terry Gibson, Ann Morgan, and Lena Hedke.
A celebration of her life will be held at the family gravesite in Pikeville. Memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org.