On May 29th 2022, Betty Foy Sanders passed away peacefully comforted by the fact she had been able to remain in her home in the later years of her remarkable life. Betty had suffered many years with a variety of ailments that were manageable thanks to her devoted daughter, Betty and the many equally devoted caregivers, who did their very best to make her life as comfortable as possible.
Betty Foy Sanders’ life was in many ways a storybook, having grown up living on a family farm outside of Statesboro in a community called Adabelle. In her childhood there, her playmates were primarily relatives and farmhands. At age 16 things changed when she lost her father, eventually resulting in her mother and sister, Teresa, moving to Statesboro. Betty’s mother, Ida Teresa Foy, aka Doll Foy, was a strong and determined woman, who worked selling insurance and managing the family farm to support her two girls. I might add that Moma Doll did a fine job, considering few women at that time were working in what was traditionally a Man’s world. Betty’s youth in Statesboro was what one might expect- participating in sports, beauty pageants, and other like activities teenagers happily do.
After a brief time spent in college at what is now Georgia Southern, Betty transferred to The University of Georgia, where she pledged the Tri Delta Sorority. It was there that she met her eventual husband of 67 years, Carl Sanders. Soon after Carl’s graduation from law school, they married and went on to have two children, Betty Foy and Carl Jr. Soon after, Carl became an aspiring young politician who ultimately held the highest Office in the State of Georgia, Governor Carl E. Sanders. That journey for Betty Sanders was quite challenging and even frightening for a young woman, whose life had begun in a rural small community of less than 100. Her husband Carl had been a USAF aviator prior to law school, so it was natural for him to campaign around the state piloting his own plane with an often-frightened young wife. Betty’s life experiences had served her well, having the ability to relate to people of all stripes. She was just as comfortable entertaining presidents and royalty as she was chewing the fat with farmers like she had grown up with.
While Betty was wonderful in her role as the First Lady of Georgia, she was quite capable in her own right and in actuality rode no one’s coattails to make her mark in life. Betty graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. Throughout her life her central focus in her works, and those of other Georgians, was all about the state. From the hills of North Georgia to the shores of our coast, all were near and dear to her artistic mission. While in office, she was instrumental in the creation of The Georgia Council for the Arts and spearheaded the committee to design, furnish and construct the current Governor’s Mansion. In later life, she also become a major benefactor to Georgia Southern University. Her pet project, as one might expect, was helping the University enhance their School of Art program. Her mission was to give those students a first class environment to hone their skills. Her efforts were evidently recognized, and today The School of Art bears her name. Having received this recognition, she doubled down her efforts to create a Betty Foy Sanders Scholarship Fund and Betty Foy Sanders Art Student Travel Fund to enable students to visit significant art venues throughout the state and the southeast. Her reward for her support of those students were the countless thank you letters she regularly received. Previously, now 50 years ago, she established the Betty Foy Sanders Collection of Art, representing many forms of Georgia art and artists. Betty was indeed a remarkable multi-faceted lady, who loved her family dearly and cherished her roots until the day she died.
“Well done , good and faithful servant ! “ Matthew 25..21
Her immediate family includes her sister, Teresa Brannen, her daughter and son-in-law, Betty and David Botts, and son, Austin Botts, deceased, middle son, Michael Botts, daughter, Alyssa and husband Seth Thomason. Her son ,Carl Sanders Jr, his daughter Caroline Hamburg, His daughter and son-in-law, Keaton and Taylor Martin, his son Carl Sanders III , and 5 great grandchildren.
The family would like to thank all of those people who did their best to love her and make her as comfortable as possible. Our thanks to her caregivers and long-term family employees, Margie Simms, Joanne Duffey, Craig Phillips, and Willie Derrico.
A private graveside service will be held at 11:00 AM Wednesday, June 8th, 2022.
In lieu of flowers the family asks contributions be made to the Georgia Southern University Betty Foy Sanders Scholarship Fund and/or Art Student Travel Fund, Georgia Southern University Foundation, P.O. Box 1107 Statesboro Ga 30459 Attn. Jeff Garland.
It is with great honor that these arrangements are entrusted to HM Patterson & Son – Oglethorpe Hill Chapel, 4550 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30319.
Friends may sign the online register book at www.joineranderson.com