Marie Pope Sanderson, cherished mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and aunt passed away peacefully on March 7, just days shy of her 100th birthday. She was the wife of the late Alonzo Sanderson for fifty-one years.

Marie adored her parents, Tom and Sara Pope of Cooley Springs, South Carolina and she loved growing up on the generational family farm as the third of their six children.

After graduating as valedictorian, Marie attended Asheville College in Asheville, North Carolina before accepting a position in the C&S Bank in Spartanburg, SC. In 1943, she traveled by train to Jacksonville, Florida to marry the love of her life, Alonzo, where he was serving in the U.S. Navy. During Alonzo’s service in the Pacific Fleet, she lived in Sacramento, California and worked for the Bank of America.

As Alonzo continued his naval career, he and Marie made homes for their three children in Spartanburg; Charlotte, NC; Norfolk, Virginia; Portsmouth, Rhode Island; and Virginia Beach, where they chose to remain after Alonzo’s retirement.

Marie very much enjoyed caring for her family, both near and far. She was exceedingly generous to and lovingly protective of family and friends, always seeking to guide and help them, as she thought best.

“Mom and Dad, thank you for instilling a deep respect of learning, encouraging us to do our best and lovingly supporting us all the way. Your legacy lives on !”

Marie leaves sons Tim (Sue) of Norfolk, Richard (Dana) of Colorado Springs, and daughter Stephanie Mutty (Dan) of Portsmouth; grandchildren Maria Wsol (Marc), Tom Mutty (Erin), Kate Anjal (Nick), Liz Sanderson, Phil White (Molly) and Gabe Sanderson. She was a loving GiGi to Sara, Jack, Pete, Ben, and dear Phoebe, golden retriever extraordinaire.

A memorial service will be conducted at a future date at the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

Marie’s family wish to express sincere gratitude to the compassionate caregivers at the Grand Islander Center and to those at Beacon Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, gifts in Marie’s memory may be made to the American Cancer Society; the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society; or the Audubon Society.

Memorial Funeral Home

This obituary was originally published by Memorial Funeral Home on It has been republished here with permission and at no cost.