Frieda Paris Sanders, 95, passed away peacefully in her sleep on October 17th. Born into a loving family that included her parents, Esther and Morris Paris, and siblings Anne, Amelia, Sylvia and Hal, she was the baby of the girls and the self-appointed favorite child. Growing up in Brooklyn, the family frequently took advantage of the city by going to Broadway musicals, and seeing up-and-comers such as Frank Sinatra and the Lee Sisters. Inspired by their love of show tunes, Annie, Sylvia and Frieda created their own singing trio, which baby brother Hal promptly nicknamed the “Other Lee Sisters”—as in home-lee, ug-lee and ghast-lee. This moniker never failed to make them riotously giggle even in their advanced ages. While close to all of her siblings, their spouses and children, Frieda considered her sister Sylvia as her life-long dearest friend.
Frieda married the love of her life, Fred Sanders, and moved to Bloomington, Indiana, where Fred attended school. Frieda and Fred developed their love for basketball and remained loyal IU fans and advocates of the Jacobs School of Music because of their happy years on campus. After a post-graduation move to upstate New York for Fred’s research position at Lederle Laboratories, the couple moved to Galveston, Texas, so Fred could continue his education. Once he completed his MD/PhD (in a record three years), the family moved north to Indianapolis which remained their beloved home until their deaths.
Frieda contributed much working to support Fred and the family so he could pursue his professional education. In the early days of his medical practice, she also worked as his office manager and bookkeeper, a role she stayed in until Fred’s retirement. But, most of all, as a woman of her generation, she cherished with great pride her roles as head of the house and mother most of all.
Frieda was a happy, sweet and fun-loving person who did not know a stranger. She loved talking on the phone for hours, bowling with her girlfriends, singing in her temple’s choir, and doing needle work (which won her Best of Show ribbons at the Indiana State Fair three years in a row). Even in her eighties, she knitted beanie caps and blankets for the babies at Riley Hospital for Children. A true city girl, she did not learn to drive a car until she was almost 40 or ride a bike, preferring to use an adult sized tricycle with a large basket on its front for exercise. The most rebellious thing she did was refuse to eat Fred’s homemade vinaigrette, preferring her bottled Wishbone in its place. She loved cooking and baking—especially Fred’s favorite veal schnitzel, potato pancakes and maple pecan chiffon cake. Her grandchildren, now all adults, remember “Grandma” for her homemade milkshakes, English muffin pizzas, scooped out toasted bagels, knit caps and sweaters but mostly for the cozy book reading sessions and the love and arm tickles she showered on each of them.
In the eyes of her children, Frieda most impressed them with her remarkable strength, resilience and pure grit after Fred’s death in their 63rd year of marriage when she moved into Marquette Manor at age 86 and started her life anew. It was there that she made some of her most important friends—residents and staff alike. She loved them all as if she had known them her entire life.
She likened living in her independent living apartment to being in a freshman dorm… “minus the sex and drugs” she’d say with a twinkle. She thrived there, making the most of her post-Fred life.
Frieda is survived by her children: Susan Sanders of Los Angeles, Martha Sanders Hoover (John Hoover) and George Sanders (Dana Sanders), both of Indianapolis; grandchildren Sarah Hoover (Tom Sachs) - New York, Rachael Hoover (Denis Lekić) - Indianapolis, Jordan Sanders (Jessica Brodey) - Chicago, David Hoover - Los Angeles, Benjamin Sanders - Denver, and Rebecca Sanders - New York, and two great grandchildren, Guy Louis Armstrong Sachs and Fifi Bowen Lekić.
The Sanders-Hoover families would like to thank Frieda’s compassionate care givers Gloria Heck, Judy Parrish and Bethlehem Temam; Carrie McColly of AseraCare Hospice Care and the entire staff at Marquette Manor who made Frieda feel at home the minute she stepped in the door.
Funeral services will be private due to Covid-19. Memorial contributions may be made in her name to The Patachou Foundation, an organization that Frieda supported by donating her winnings from her penny-ante card games. www.thepatachoufoundation.org.
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