Ms. Constance Maria Sanders, affectionately known as "Connie," 69 of South Bend, Indiana passed away in the early morning on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at West Bend Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. She was born on July 24, 1950 in South Bend to the late Joseph Anderson Sanders and the late Henrietta Z. (Gulley) Sanders.
Connie grew up on “The Lakeside” of South Bend and completed grades K-8 at Benjamin Harrison School and grades 9-12 at Washington High School; she graduated in 1969. She was an intelligent young lady and received a full scholarship from Saint Mary’s College where she pursued her studies in education. Connie’s St. Mary’s classmates lovingly called her "Purple Chicken" because purple was her favorite color. Connie attended St. Mary’s until she became ill at the end of her junior year.
Connie was raised in a Christian home and attended Laymen Chapel Church under the leadership of the late Reverend B.W. Kirk. She moved her membership to Greater St. John Missionary Baptist Church when Reverend Kirk took leadership there. At St. John she was a member of the Drill Team for over 20 years. She was also a devoted member of Indiana Black Expo for a number of years.
Connie loved children and was a permanent substitute teacher for the South Bend Community School Corporation. She was also a day care volunteer for many years. She had a dynamic and pleasing personality. She always offered kind and encouraging words to those she encountered. She greeted people with a cheerful hello and genuine smile.
Connie loved music and loved to dance. Her favorite musical artist was Aretha Franklin and her favorite Aretha song was Bridge Over Troubled Water. She was especially enjoyed spending time with her family.
Connie leaves to cherish her loving memory, one brother, John A. “Tony” Sanders of South Bend; two sisters: Brenda J. Smith also of South Bend and Judith A. Williams of Niles, Michigan; four aunts: Rozelia Hill of South Bend, Susie Chandler of Fort Washington, Maryland, Deloris Walker of Washington, DC and Linda Franklin of Temple Hills, Maryland; six nieces: Roberta “Lynn” Sanders, and Jill (and David) Harris, all of South Bend, Jynell Sanders Kingsbury of Naples, Florida, Alicia J. Dixon of Washington DC and Dana R. (and Marcus) Johnson of South Bend; six nephews: Kevin (and Betty) Sanders, Shawn (and Rakea) Sanders, Danny R. McNamee Jr., and Corey A. McNamee, all of South Bend, Christopher (and Heather) Byrd of Orlando Florida and Ronnie A. (and Tonya) Sanders Jr. of Richmond, Indiana; a sister in law, Shirley Charles; and a brother-in-law, Danny R. McNamee Sr.; special cousins: Carmen “Denise” Boyden and Terri M. “Shelly” Hill; special friends: Sherry (and Tony) Johnson of South Bend and Pauletta M. Paskell of Van Nuys, California; and a Godson, Tony Johnson Jr., also of South Bend, along with a host of other relatives and friends.
Along with her parents, Connie was also preceded in death by two brothers: Joseph Allen “Little Joe,” Sanders, and Ronald A. “Ronnie” Sanders; one sister, Cordelia A. “Cordy” McNamee; paternal grandparents, Letha A. Franklin and Jacob Franklin; and paternal grandparents, Emma and Arthur Sanders.
Connie will be remembered for her fun and loving spirit, her warm smile and her loving and cheerful words of encouragement.
“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.”
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