Frances Irene Price Sanders, widow of the late Command Pilot, Lieutenant Colonel John Lowell Sanders, Jr., passed away peacefully into the arms of Jesus at 8:06 A.M. on Thursday, April 14, 2022 at the age of 100, at the home of her devoted caretaker, Susan Steel in Woodbridge in Somerville, Tennessee.
Irene was born July 3, 1921, in Somerville, Tennessee, the middle child and only daughter of the late Jesse Elmer Price and Velma Irene Morris Price, and then raised in the happy family with her beloved brothers, the late Jesse M. Price, Sr. and the late Arthur Ray Price. She was a graduate of Somerville Elementary School, Fayette County High School (where she played in the band), and she attended Memphis State College.
At 19, Irene married the love of her life, Lowell, on Christmas Eve, 1940. He was one of the first five volunteers from Fayette County to enter pilot training in the 1940 New Defense Army in preparation for World War II. She joined him when he was sent first to Arizona, and then Texas and then Alabama, while he trained, and she worked in office jobs at the various air bases, most notably as secretary to the Post Judge Advocate, and then as a court reporter in 1942 at Fort McClellan. She returned to Somerville to live while he went to battle the skies of the European Theatre during the war. Praying for him and tending the home fires became a part of her life, as he was called time after time to defend their beloved USA in other places like the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and finally Vietnam.
She joined the First Baptist Church in Somerville and served as organist there for 47 years. She took on jobs with Attorneys Moorman and Mosby, then with the Fayette County Health Department, the ASC Office, the County Court Clerk’s Office where she was Deputy Court Clerk, the Election Commission as Registrar, and then finally, as the Assistant Cashier at Somerville Bank & Trust Company (now Trustmark) which she loved so much, she stayed for fifteen years before retiring in 1980. Other activities in which she participated wholeheartedly were as a Girl Scout Leader in the 1950’s, a member of the VFW Auxiliary, and then several years as a Group Leader in Community Bible Study.
Irene is survived by her two daughters, Vicki Sanders and Cindy S. Hawkins (Ray), both of Somerville, TN; her granddaughter, Andrea Baker (Austin) and their sons, (her great-grandsons) Alex and Andrew, all of Somerville, TN; and her grandson, Dr. Joel S. Parker (Jaclyn) and their sons, (her great-grandsons) Cannon, Isaac and Oliver, all of Apex, NC. Other survivors of Irene’s whom she loved like her own are her nephew, Jesse Price (Maria) of Cumming, GA; niece, Connie Laine Price Bishop of Oxford, MS; nephew, Billy Price of Memphis, TN; and niece, Kim Price Jenkins of Somerville, TN; as well as all of their children.
Funeral Services for Mrs. Sanders were held at 2 P.M. Monday, April 18, 2022 at First Baptist Church of Somerville with Bro. Stan Smith, pastor of the church, officiating. Interment followed in the Somerville City Cemetery.
Those honored to serve as pallbearers were Melvin German, Jerry Redfearn, Terry Redfearn, Jesse Price, Jr., John David Douglas and Billy Ray Price.