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Charles Robert Sanders, Jr.

Born: Tue., Jun. 27, 1944
Died: Mon., May 27, 2019

Memorial Service

10:00 AM Fri., Jun. 14, 2019
Location: Westminster Presbyterian Church

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Dr. Charles Robert Sanders, Jr.


     Charles Robert "Chip" Sanders, Jr., 74, of Palmyra, passed away peacefully at his home on Monday, May 27, 2019. Chip was born on June 27, 1944, in New London, Connecticut, to the late Charles Robert Sanders, Sr. and Mary (Ware) Sanders.     

   He graduated from Spartanburg High School in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1962, where he was Senior Class President.   He attended Davidson College, then transferred to Auburn University to complete his undergraduate studies. He served in the Vietnam War and then in the U.S. Army Reserve, retiring as a Lt. Colonel after 20 years of service. Chip completed a PhD program in Higher Education Administration at Florida State University and pursued a career in Higher Education. In 1981 he was employed by Southern Bell/AT&T. After retirement in 2001, Chip attended Drew University and became an ordained Presbyterian Minister, serving church communities in New Jersey and Virginia. Chip has been a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville since he and his wife, Nell, moved to the area five years ago. There he taught Sunday School, was involved with IMPACT of Charlottesville and Albemarle County; was a member of the Clergy and Laity United for Justice and Peace; and participated in a Lake Monticello History Club.

     Chip is survived by his wife, Dr. Nell Stevenson Sanders of Palmyra; four children (Cynthia Vandenberg of Trenton, New Jersey; Patricia Ferrell of Orlando, Florida; Craig Sanders of Dacula, Georgia; and Aaron Sanders of Ashburn, Virginia); and his brother, Doug Sanders of Spartanburg, South Carolina. Chip was especially proud of his seven grandchildren (Ryan, Adam, Madison, Devin, Nicholas, Dalia, and Roland); and he loved spending time with them.   

      A memorial service will be held at 10:00 A.M., Friday, June 14, 2019 at Westminster Presbyterian Church (400 Rugby Road, Charlottesville, VA). The family will receive friends at the church immediately following the memorial service. A private interment will be held at Culpeper National Cemetery.     

      In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to IMPACT of Charlottesville and Albemarle County through Westminster Presbyterian Church.  

     Thacker Brothers Lake Monticello Funeral Home is handling arrangements. Family and friends may share memories and photos at www.thackerbrothers.com.

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Condolence Booklet

Andrew Hindle and family
   Posted Sun June 02, 2019
I never had the chance to meet Chip but I would have liked to. He was a good man who did good work and left the world a better place for his being in it. With deepest condolences and respect to him and to the good folk he leaves behind, from the Hindle family (Vantaa, Finland).

Nell S. Sanders
   Posted Sun June 02, 2019
Chip, you were the most thoughtful husband a person could have. Thinking about your capacity for love and your ability to express it makes my chest hurt. My real life began when we met over 46 years ago and the memory of your presence will keep me alive until God calls me as well.

   Posted Fri June 07, 2019
Dad, I don't know how to fill your shoes or the vast hole your death has left in this family. We're doing our best to keep all of your great work going. It seems to me now that I had very little idea who my Dad really was, and it hurts to realize that I can't start over again with this new understanding. I always thought I was strong. I hope one day people will see me as I see you now.

Fred and Cheryl Young
   Posted Sat June 08, 2019
Nell, Craig, Aaron, and families,
Hearing the news of Chip’s passing brought us much sadness. However, we know he trusted Jesus as his personal Savior, and that fact brings us much joy. Chip always demonstrated such care for the well being of others and will certainly be missed by all who knew and loved him. Our lives were made much richer by knowing him and seeing him with his family, especially his grandsons, Ryan and Adam. We are so thankful that our paths crossed many years ago when Wanda married into the Sanders family. Each of you will be in our thoughts and prayers in the days to come. Nell, much love and best wishes to you!

Adam Sanders
   Posted Sun June 09, 2019
Pop, still can’t believe it, but I am grateful knowing you are in better hands and a better place now. You were always a light to a dark room, put a smile on peoples faces, and did your very best to make others happy. I will never forget the times we spent together. Especially the On the Border Trip and the Donald Duck impersonations that will always be a cherished memory. You were a great grandfather and always made an effort to see us even though it wasn’t the easiest. You enjoyed that beautiful Mercedes of yours and I know you are in Heaven driving as fast as possible in that same Mercedes. I miss you each and every day and I know that one day we will see each other again. Rest In Peace pop, I love you and Nell so very much

   Posted Sun June 09, 2019
Stoic, long- suffering, patient and not easily rattled were traits you passed down to Craig, Ryan and Adam. These traits, along with many others, will carry on your legacy here on earth. Pop, you were always welcoming to me as the daughter-in-law and seemed to love and accept me as your own. I appreciate the manner in which you demonstrated your love to us and the many deep conversations we had sitting around the table after a meal! I even appreciate your love for your Auburn Tigers....the rivalry between Auburn and Georgia was even sweeter because it was something we shared as a family. Thanks for giving me the greatest treasure here on earth, my husband, and for raising him so well! I will miss you tremendously. Until we meet again.... War Eagle Pop. Fly high! I love you!

Craig H Sanders
   Posted Sun June 09, 2019
Dad, as I write this I am thinking of a lifelong list of interactions, conversations, and time spent with you. Although I may not have known or appreciated it at the time, I learned so much from you. As I reflect on your life and the influence you had on me, I count my blessings that you were my Dad. While we did not always have the closest proximity and we may have had gaps in time where we did not connect, the time we did spend together was and is special to me. You taught me so many things and I treasure the memories I have with you today. Just knowing you are not at the end of a phone or a text is tearing me up inside but I do know we will see each other again. Oh what a joyous day that will be! Until then. War Eagle Dad.

Anne Stevenson
   Posted Tue June 11, 2019
It is such a comfort to know that Chip and my husband, Ernie are catching up on old times as they explore the wonders of heaven together. From our worldly perspective, they both left us much too soon and with no warning or chance to say goodbye. Nell, we never got to spend as much time together as couples as we would have liked, but memories of shared experiences formed a strong bond despite the miles and years. I will always be grateful for the friendship Chip and Ernie shared since their days at Auburn and that Chip was the best man in our wedding. Having Chip become connected to the Stevenson family a few years later was a special blessing. My love and prayers go out for all of the family who will miss Chip so greatly.

Ryan Sanders
   Posted Tue June 11, 2019
As a young boy I will never forget you making me believe you were Superman but as I think back on your life I understand just how true that was. I am thankful for the time we got to spend together at my wedding (you and Nell looked so happy and full of life!) and for exemplifying what it means to listen first and speak last. The smell of your cologne is something I will never forget and will always associate with your strong, stoic demeanor. You were a soldier your entire laugh and battled valiantly until the very end. The Deep Souths Oldest rivalry just wont be the same without you teasing us Dawgs with your “Warrrr Eagle” cry in the back of my mind. I love you Pop and will miss you dearly.

   Posted Sun June 16, 2019
You will be missed dearly by the four of us. Aaron and I always knew we could turn to you for advice. You had so many great life experiences and wisdom to share with us and you offered it in a loving way. Through various major life events, moves, and job and parenting challenges, you encouraged us and always had confidence in our abilities and that we can handle what life brings our way. Thank you for the weekend talks and always making time for us through phone calls when we couldn't be together.

I will always remember the wonderful dinners you prepared for us in Morristown, the homemade salad dressing you often made just for me, and the many wonderful meals you grilled for us over the years. I will remember your encounter with the giraffe at the Natural Bridge in Virginia. All the beautiful birds in Palmyra will miss the feasts you arranged for them. I will remember your interactions with complete strangers at the grocery store--your sense of humor was contagious. I will remember the warm hugs the girls received from you. I wish they could have known you longer, but we are thankful that we had you for as long as we did, and that we were a part of your last days on Earth.

Gavin Millard
   Posted Wed June 26, 2019
Our prayers are with you and your family. Chip served as our interim pastor at Pluckemin. We have fond memories from the time he was with us in our interim period. He will always hold a special place for us personally as he officiated our wedding in 2009. We were blessed to have his calm and gentle demeanor as well as his skills running a session meeting to keep things on track. May God's peace and love surround you.

Lila Minervino
   Posted Thu June 27, 2019
Dear Sanders family, It was my pleasure to know Chip while he was an Interim at Panther Valley Ecumenucal Church. Our church was going through the usual changeover problems and Chip was a breath of fresh air. My late husband and I were very fond of him and tried our best to get him to stay at our church. I particularly remember his two precious dogs which he used to make a point in a sermon one Sunday. We shared numerous dog stories. Thankfully, our church has moved on and is doing well. You all must have wonderful memories of him and they will bring you comfort during these difficult times. I'm glad I knew hm.

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