On Tuesday, April 6, 2021, Mary Lucy Sanders, 67, gained her wings and departed this world, and returned to her creator to live a more pleasant and joyous life. Born on April 11, 1953, in South Hampton County, VA to the late Calvin Lee (Sr.) and Lottie Beatrice Worrell, she was the youngest of three children. There she attended grade school before moving to Boston, MA, by herself, at age 16.
Her first task of business when she arrived in Boston was to get her GED, so she studied for and passed her GED exam in 1969. Mary had a love for the medical field, she first became a Certified Nurse’s Aide and then became a Medical Assistant. She started her medical career at Carney Hospital and worked for them for over 20 years. While there, she worked her way through nursing school at night and graduated from Youville Hospital School of Practical Nursing in Cambridge, MA to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. In 1995, she left Carney Hospital for a nursing position at Beth Israel’s Bowdoin Street Community Health Center, where she worked a total of 31 years before retiring in 2018. She loved working as a nurse in the pediatric department for the health center. She watched many of the children and families she served over the years growing up. She was known by her patients as the “shot lady” for having delivered thousands of immunizations. If you wanted the job done, you went to Mary. Many of the physicians she worked with adored her, advocated for her, and often preferred to work with her because she was hard-working and always willing to lend an extra hand, even on long days. She was awarded “Star” status by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center 2004 for being an outstanding employee. Mary truly had a servant’s heart.
All while pursuing her career endeavors, she met and married Otto Sanders in 1976. That union birthed two children, William Otto and Ayana Maia; and she was also a stepmom to Angela Oliver and Tracy Robinson. In 1982, Mary joined the Daughters of Isis and the Order of the Eastern Stars of Prince Hall.
Mary was a quiet soul but definitely loved to have a good time. Her laugh was infectious, and her smile could light up a room and she gave the best hugs. In her younger years, you could find her out dancing and enjoying the nightlife with friends or playing her vinyl records and dancing around the house with her family. But her true joy was spending time with her children and later her grandchildren. Her family would call her “Pedi Nurse Nana.” Not only was she NANA, but she was our personal nurse as well. Mary was an avid reader, lover of turtles and hummingbirds really enjoyed a nice glass of wine, her Sunday paper, and “breaking news.” One of her biggest life highlights was sitting front row to see Alvin Ailey Dance Company.
The legacy of her life is left to her devoted children, her son, William Otto Sanders of Boston, MA, her daughter, Ayana Henderson of Boston, MA, son-in-law, Charles Henderson of Boston, MA, her stepdaughters, Angela Oliver and Tracy Robinson, both of Boston, MA. Her sister, Gertrude Beamon of Colorado. Eleven grandchildren: Christian Basulto-Mason, Damian Sanders & Wife, Kiyah Sanders, Javon Matthew-Sanders, Cheylynn Sanders, Ke’ara Eman Dixson, Ryann Basulto-Mason, Sekai Neal, Taylor Basulto-Mason, Anaya Neal and Levi Neal. Two greatgrandchildren, Ava & Otto Sanders and many other family and friends who loved her dearly.