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Laura Sanders, Age 82

Thursday, October 7, 2021
Laura Sanders, Age 82

Laura Sanders

Laura Sanders finished 82 years of a life well lived, surrounded by family, at her home in Cozad on September 26th, 2021.

Laura was born June 30th, 1939 in Colorado Springs, CO, to Arthur Lloyd and Edith Elizabeth Binks Vandenburg. In her early years, Laura lived in Colorado and the Bay Area of California.

She graduated from Mission High School in 1957 and worked for Pacific Bell phone company until she was 20. One weekend, her brother Robert brought a friend home from work and within two weeks Laura and Gordon "Pete" Sanders were wed.

For a few months after the wedding on October 28th, 1959 in Bakersfield, CA, they traveled through the southwest states for Gordon's job with the Santa Fe railroad, before creating their legacy of a colorful, diverse, loving family.

Through 82 years, three children, a couple of moves, and all of life's challenges, Laura was a generous friend, kind neighbor, loving mother/grandmother/wife, and a truly devoted servant to her Lord.

Laura and Pete joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Barstow, CA, in 1975 and she served in various ways including Sunday School teacher, girl's camp leader, homemaking leader, etc.

When Pete retired from the Santa Fe railroad in 1990, the couple moved to Cozad, NE and the couple embarked on adventures in ranching, river running, and the wildest sport of all...grandparenting. They traveled to visit the grandkids in California and Utah, and they became extra parents to those here in Nebraska. They made memories great and small on their ranch in Maxwell, on the Colorado River, in their "home away from home" at Little America in Salt Lake City, and on the beaches of Hilton Head and Newport Beach.

Through the last thirty years, Laura's vision and health deteriorated. She continued to serve and help others, with increasing help from Gordon, for as long as she humanly could.

After she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, she braced for the worst, and was incredibly grateful for the blessing of several final good months that she filled with precious memories.

Laura is preceded in death by parents Arthur Lloyd and Edith Elizabeth Vandenburg; sister Karen Wilkins, brother Robert Vandenburg, granddaughter Krystal Graff, and nieces Debbie Debalko and Betty Louise Moore.

Laura is survived by her husband Gordon "Pete" Sanders; daughter Sandi (Tom) Graff; sons Gordon (Cyndi) and Eric (Joy) Sanders; sisters Patricia Douglas and Beverly (Ken) Condry; 11 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren; nieces and nephews; and some very cherished friends.

The Sanders family extends heartfelt thanks to family and friends who lovingly cared for her in her waning months, particularly niece Kim Gilster; doctors and healthcare providers; Central Plains Home Health and Hospice, especially nurse Jessica, who was a rock and a beacon through the challenging journey.

Memorial service was Saturday, October 2nd at noon, at Berryman Funeral Home in Cozad, NE.

Friends who cannot make it to service can share memories and condolences on the Berryman website,

In lieu of flowers, friends may donate to the American Diabetes Association or Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.

When asked if she had a final message, Laura said "Love and trust Jesus. Treat others the way Jesus would ask. Take care of each other."