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Mrs. Margaret Sanders, longtime resident of DeFuniak Springs, passed away on December 31st at her home, surrounded by family and friends. She was born Margaret Rose Welch on January 15, 1934 in Thomasville, Georgia, where she spent most of her young life. For reasons unknown, her grandfather gave her the nickname “Mutt” at an early age, and the name stuck so well that even today most of her friends and family in Georgia still know her as Mutt. In fact, on her wedding day, her husband Coy Sanders had to ask Margaret for her real name to put on the marriage license, since even he knew her only as Mutt. Mutt graduated from Thomasville High School in 1952, part of a graduating class so tightknit that they continue meeting for a yearly class reunion that has lasted over sixty years. Mutt and her classmates last met for lunch in Thomasville less than a month before her death. Her classmates knew her as we all did, as a loving and loyal friend, someone who could always be counted on, and someone who personified the most important of all of Christ’s teachings: love, charity, and self-sacrifice. Margaret Sanders spent her life caring far more for other people than she did for herself. Her husband Coy served in the United States Navy, and his career with the International Paper Company eventually brought Mutt and her family to DeFuniak Springs, where she lived for the rest of her life. She has three grandchildren, Ashley, Lindsey, and Josh, and three great-grandchildren, Maggie, Lucy and Charlotte, who are blood relations, but the size of her family is much larger than that. When her daughter Diane began a lifelong friendship with Eddy and Debi Showers, they almost immediately became Mutt’s children as well. Eddy and Debi Showers’s own children, Zac Showers and Kelly Showers Cannon, knew Mutt as “Grandma Margaret” and Coy as “OtherPa”. Zac and Kelly grew up to have children of their own, and soon “Nanny” had a house full of great-grandchildren who she loved as deeply and as selflessly as she loved her own. Truly, all of the Showers children as well as Diane’s best friend Darlene Newman and her daughter Sarah Alsammani, loved Mutt as their Nanny. There has never been a better mother, grandmother, and friend than Grandma Margaret, than Nanny, than Mutt. Even after Coy died in 2005, she continued to work tirelessly for family and friends. Mutt’s house was always open to everyone. She could often be found at a weekly Canasta game with her friends or volunteering at the First United Methodist Church of DeFuniak Springs. She traveled extensively, even as far as London, and nobody enjoyed a Carnival Cruise more than she. Despite all this activity, Nanny’s house perpetually reverberated with the sounds of playing children and chatting adults. Nanny’s holiday gatherings were always joyful affairs during which her family and friends came together, often with nothing in common save a shared love for a truly wonderful woman.She will be greatly missed. She will be forever remembered and hold a special place in the hearts of the dozens and dozens of people who continue to cherish her.
“Who can find a virtuous woman?
For her price is far above rubies...
Her children arise up, and call her blessed,
her husband also, and he praiseth her.
Many daughters have done virtuously,
but thou excellest them all.
Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but
a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”
—Proverbs 31:10, 28-30
Margaret Sanders is survived by her daughter Diane and son-in-law Fran McKenney; her grandchildren Ashley Markling, Joshua McKenney, Lindsey Showers, Zac Showers, and Kelly Cannon; and her great-grandchildren Margaret Dinsmore, Charlotte Markling, James and Eli Cannon, and Lilli Ann, Jackie, Joseph and Lucy Showers.
Memorials may be made in Margaret Sanders’s memory to the First United Methodist Church, General Fund, 88 Circle Drive, DeFuniak Springs, Florida, 32435. A memorial service will be held Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 11:00 A.M. in First United Methodist Church of DeFuniak Springs with Jim Coleman and Eddy Showers officiating. Margaret will be interred in Thomasville, Georgia, next to her husband Coy.