Mother Lottie Mae Sanders was born May 23, 1921, in Hutchins, Texas, to parents William H. Sanders and Emma Calhoun-Sanders. She was the youngest daughter of six siblings. Both of her parents, sisters Mamie and Lavada; brothers Cornelius, Chester, and E. D. —all preceded her in death.
Lottie accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized at the Little Flock Baptist Church in Hutchins, Texas. As an adolescent, she helped her mother diligently with domestic duties such as cooking, cleaning, and keeping a magnificent home. Education was extremely vital in the Sanders household. Lottie attended public schools in Hutchins (outside of Dallas). In 1939, she graduated from Wilmer Hutchins Colored High School. Her academic achievements are worth noting because during this time, in the rural South, African Americans were known in most cases, only to complete an elementary school education. Lottie defied the odds. Aside from scholastics, she was a member of the women’s basketball team, a sport she loved to play.
During the historic Great Migration, 6 million African Americans of the rural South journeyed northward and westward to seek greater opportunities. Lottie relocated to San Francisco, following her two sisters Mamie and Lavada. She united with Olivet Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of pastor L. S. Rubin, where she was a faithful member for over 70 years. At Olivet, Mother Lottie served as the Church’s Secretary for many years, Director of the Baptist Training Union (BTU), a Sunday School Teacher, and worked on the Finance Committee. She was also a member of the Matrons Auxiliary Board, Senior Mission, and Senior Choir.
Mother Lottie loved the Lord. Throughout her lifetime, she evangelized three generations of children at Olivet. For she knew children are the heritage of the Lord. She was a humble servant, bringing many to Christ, acquainting them with God’s love. Her discipleship exemplified Jesus’s words, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really My disciples,” John 8:31. Thus, Mother Lottie’s life purpose aligned with the values of God. Her favorite scripture: “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” Matthew 5:8, and her favorite song: “When We All Get to Heaven.” She often enjoyed listening to the gospel recordings of Mahalia Jackson and Reverend James Cleveland. Mother Lottie’s love for gospel music and holy revivals were captured by her constant support of the Bay Area Satellite Heritage Music Foundation, founded by her dear friend in Christ Sister Dorothy E. Cook.
Beyond her Christian commitment, Lottie was a member of The International Order of Twelve Knights and Daughters of Tabor; she also was associated with Order of The Eastern Star. She worked for the San Francisco Unified School District for over 25 years. She worked in the cafeteria at Mission High School, where she made sure no one ever went hungry. She also worked as a part-time cashier for San Francisco Recreation and Parks, and most notably Hamilton Recreation Center swimming pool located in the historic Fillmore District.
In her spare time, Mother Lottie loved to travel. She took trips with her Big sister Mamie and friends to Hawaii and across the U.S. She especially enjoyed touring Southern California with her children Lynesta, Chester, and her niece Linnie. When her grandchildren and grandnieces and grandnephews were born, she visited Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm with them; enjoying vanilla ice cream cones, Coke floats, See’s Candies, and grape jam. When she retreated home, she often played Pinochle, watched Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, and her soaps All My Children and General Hospital. She loved the San Francisco Giants and was elated when they won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
Mother Lottie leaves to cherish her memory: daughter Lynesta Hunter, son Chester (Regina) Hunter, nephew Cornelius Sanders, Jr. (Dallas, Texas), niece, Linnie Pearl (James) Gibson. Three Grandchildren: Crystal Bidou, Marcelous Hunter, and Kayla Hunter; Two Great-grandchildren: Cerissa and Laylah; Great-niece Casarae (Husan) Abdul-Ghani (East Orange, New Jersey) ; Two Great-nephews: Gabriel Gibson and Nicholas Gibson; Great-great-nephew: Husan-Iddin II; Two God-children: Johnny(Leu) Loggins and Kim Hines; extended families (Lucas, Floyd, & Eagles ); her sisters in Christ: Dorothy Cook, Lillian Floyd, Jennie Johnson, Fannie Ruben, and Maggie Agnew; and a host of relatives, church family members and friends.
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