LaVeta Carol Sanders was born August 30, 1936 in Harper, Missouri. She was the first born with four brothers and three sisters to Eathel (Feaster) Harper and Herschel Harper. Her name means Life. LaVeta grew up on a small farm near Harper, Missouri. Beans and potatoes daily, Sunday chicken and gravy, in-season or canned vegetables, bartering, and one butchered hog a year provided for family meals. The Harper abode was clap board and tar paper exterior with newspaper for wallpaper and insulation, lacked indoor plumbing, and the wood stove heated the water they used for washing clothes on Thursdays and bath-night Saturdays. Snow often accumulated inside bedroom windows. She didn’t realize they were poor because in terms of family, the Harper clan was and continues to be very rich.
She loved to read, often secreting with a book to her private spot behind the pig pen; reading and watching planes fly over, wishing she was aboard to places distant. LaVeta graduated Valedictorian from Weaubleau High School, where she melded lifetime bonds with the twelve other members of the class of ‘54 and, in her senior year met the love of her life. They would raise a family together and travel the world of her dreams.
LaVeta married Richard K. (Dick) Sanders-and into the Marine Corps—on June 16, 1957. Kent was born in Salt Lake City in 1958; Keith in Subic Bay, Philippines in 1961, and Karen (Missy) in Santa Ana, CA in 1966. LaVeta and Dick forged their lives away from her family, traveling with the Marines and later Pool Oil Company across the country and Middle East until they retired to Camp Nana in 1994. LaVeta was the consummate hostess, never sitting or partaking until everyone was served. Unassuming, she always put others first and never saw herself other than the plain farm girl who grew up, moved away and returned to her roots. Despite her unpretentious nature she was in fact absolutely beautiful inside and out. She was a diamond true lady in every sense of the word; and touched the lives of everyone who knew her.
She made countless friends over her life, hundreds of whom still receive Christmas and Birthday greetings, some of which were received this week. She was an accomplished cook and cake decorator and volunteered in the community and Freeman Presbyterian Church.
LaVeta is survived by her children and grandchildren, Kent and Karen Sanders (Nicole and Richard), Keith and Reem Sanders (Keane and Merrik), and Karen Forde (Samantha and Steven); siblings and spouses Louise and Don Boller, Willard and Dixie Harper, Wilford and Carol Harper, Lucille and Keith Darrow and Linda and Frank Janeczko; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
In LaVeta’s memory please take time to tell your family how much you love them, share a moment of kindness, make someone else’s life better, even in a small way.