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Alyce Leigh Sanders, 81, died May 26, 2009.
Her funeral will be at 2 p.m. Monday at the Baker City Christian Church, 675 Highway 7. Pastor Roger Scovil will officiate. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Friends are invited to join the family afterward for a reception at the home of Jim and Sharon Sanders.
Leigh was born on July 11, 1927, at Atlanta, to Samuel Eugene and Margaret Helen Hardin Mott. At an early age Leigh and her mother moved to San Francisco. One of her favorite childhood memories was making long train trips between San Francisco and Georgia to visit relatives while carrying her pet goldfish.
As a teenager, she acquired her love and knowledge of the opera, spending many Saturdays in the wings. One of her favorite performers was Ezio Pinza.
She moved to Los Angeles as a young adult where she worked first at an insurance company, then later became an office manager for a film distribution company. She enjoyed the LA lifestyle of the film industry, attending many events with famous actors and actresses.
Leigh met James “Sandy” Sanders Sr. while he was living in Los Angeles. They were introduced by friends when bowling and they married in 1988. They later returned to Sandy’s home in Baker City where they enjoyed fishing, camping and RV-ing
As a child her favorite gifts were books and she especially enjoyed Baker City because of its bookstore. She remained an avid reader and she cherished all her books and many favorite authors.
Leigh’s love for history led her to become an active member and president of the Baker Historical Society. She also enjoyed teaching classes at Blue Mountain Community College. She became a member of the National Society of the Daughters of The American Revolution in 1949. Her ancestor was Colonel Isaac Motte. She was involved in the founding of the Lone Pine Tree Chapter of the D.A.R. which encompasses Baker City, La Grande and surrounding areas.
Leigh’s interest in Native American culture led her to be accepted by the Blackfoot Tribe.
It was a highlight of her life when she was invited to dance with the tribe in their ceremonies. She was extremely honored because it was such a rarity to receive such an invitation.
One of her great interests when she lived in Los Angeles was to protect the whales and dolphins. She was very active in the Whales and Dolphins Conservation Society. Her love for these beautiful creatures was reflected in the many wood carvings of her favorite animals carved by her beloved husband, Sandy. Leigh had a love for all animals, especially cats and dogs. Boxers were her favorite dog until she and Sandy adopted a miniature schnauzer named Dolly who very quickly became their special little girl.
Survivors include her husband, James Sanders Sr.; her stepson, James Sanders Jr. and his wife, Sharen; stepdaughter, Michelle Juba, and her husband, Robert; stepgrandchildren, Sharen Mae, Travis, Matt and Cory; and many cherished friends.
Memorial contributions may be made to Best Friends of Baker through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, May 29, 2009
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor