Sally Sanders

   Sep 20, 2018

Sally Sanders (Bertoncini) left this world on September 20, 2018.

She leaves behind to celebrate her life two daughters, Kathy Sanders and Karen Merritt (spouse William Merritt) and one son, Kevin Sanders. She is also survived by four grandchildren, Ryan B. Merritt, Drew Merritt, Sara McLain and Briana McLain, and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.

She retired from Motorola Corp after almost 20 years, starting out as an administrative assistant and becoming a district service representative for the last years of her employment. Her love of life and generous spirit extended beyond just family and friends, but also into her community in Houston. Sally was one of the original members of the Gray Panthers of Houston, an activist group confronting ageism in the US and many other social justice issues. She was passionate about civil rights and treating everyone with respect and dignity, including advocating for gay rights. She was also a volunteer with Meals on Wheels.

Sally was a tireless advocate for the rights of the disabled and handicapped, working with MHMRA, the Center for the Retarded and other agencies and families to ensure schooling, job training and housing to foster independence for young handicapped adults. Her own son Kevin benefitted from her efforts. She was a supportive and loving (albeit tough love) Mom and grandmother and could always be counted on for advice. She fostered a love of reading in her children, and volunteered as a reading tutor at a local elementary school. She belonged to numerous book clubs, always sharing books she enjoyed most with friends and family.

In her forties, with no stage experience, she volunteered with the Houston Grand Opera. She was hired as a supernumerary (extra) and spent a number of years in some of her most loved operas and appeared with some of her favorite opera singers. We all learned to appreciate opera, if not love it, by attending performances.

Sally loved to travel in the US, as well as other countries, and learn about different cultures. As a child of immigrant parents, and the youngest of five sisters, she instilled in her children the values of education, hard work, gratitude, personal responsibility and having a moral compass with integrity. She believed in standing up for your beliefs even if they are not popular at the time. She attended Unity Church in Houston for a number of years.

Sally brought love, joy and lively discussions to all that were lucky to know her. These were some of the times she enjoyed most: a gathering of friends, good food shared and an opportunity for discussions. Her easy smile, comfort hugs, and advice were given freely. A life well lived, all challenges met with grace. Well loved and loving, she will be missed by many.

At this time, no services are planned and her ashes will be scattered at a later date. Anders~Rice Funeral Home is assisting the family.