Mary Evelyn Sanders, 85, of Amarillo died peacefully in her sleep at home on November 17, 2022. She is now reunited in heaven with her beloved daughter, Debbie. Private family memorial services will be held at a later date. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Evelyn, as she was known, was born March 3, 1937, in Spearman to John Layne Sanders and Mary Katherine Moore Sanders. The family moved to Hardesty, OK, when Evelyn was four-years-old, and she graduated from Hardesty High School in 1955. She attended college at Panhandle State University. Eager for adventures outside of a small town, Evelyn moved to Amarillo the summer of 1956 with her sister, Winn, a teacher, who was working there during the summer months while school was out. Evelyn met her future husband, Donald “Don” C. Kwiatkowski, an airman stationed at the Amarillo Air Force Base, and decided to stay in Amarillo and work instead of returning to college. Don and Evelyn married in 1957 and were blessed with their daughter, Deborah “Debbie” Marie, on January 2, 1958. She and Don divorced in 1988. Debbie passed away on November 23, 2014, and it was a tragedy from which Evelyn never recovered.
The family traveled the world during Don’s Air Force career, from Amarillo to Wichita Falls, Alexandria, LA, and Manilla, Philippines. After the Vietnam War, they lived in North Carolina and in Lakeland, FL for many years. Evelyn worked as a Civil Servant, retiring in 1994 after many years of service with the Social Security Administration. She was quite the golfer and also enjoyed bowling. In 2015, Evelyn moved to Amarillo to be closer to family.
Besides Debbie, Evelyn was preceded in death by her infant son, Patrick, in 1959; her parents; her siblings and their spouses, John Layne Sanders, Jr., Lorene Lester (E.A., “Dutch”), Homer Sanders (Helen), Emmett R. Sanders (Eleanor), Dr. J.C. Sanders (Velma), Dr. Roy Sanders (Bonnie); and Earl Steffen; niece Eunice Franz (Marvin); and nephew, Ray Lester, who was a rock to Evelyn during her time in Amarillo.
Survivors include her sister, Winifred Steffen of Burdett, KS, and Winifred’s children, Kerry Steffen of Burdett and Lana Steffen and Brad Steffen of Hawaii; a special niece, Sue Lester, of Amarillo; nieces and nephews and their spouses, Jackie Warden (Larry) of Amarillo; Hal Sanders (Jeanetta) of Austin; Glynna Gower (Gordon) of Prescott Valley, AZ.; John Walker (Sandy) of Wichita, KS; Gary Walker (Susan) of McPherson, KS; Cynthia Frisbie (Mike) of Pleasanton, KS; Kellie R. Sanders-Shipman (Don) of Amarillo; and Dr. Alan R. Sanders (Alicia) of Evanston, IL; numerous great-nephews and nieces, including those in the area, Brent Warden (Angela) of Vega and Lynette Hayhurst and Marvin Franz (Trisha), all of Amarillo; and numerous great-great-nephews and nieces.
May you now find the peace that has eluded you these past difficult eight years knowing you are once again with Debbie, our golden girl.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be to the Holt Cemetery Association, 10239 FM 281, Spearman, TX 79081; or the Colorado Ninety-Nines, in honor of Debbie, who was a pilot, at www.colorado99s.org.