Rozella Lee Sanderson

Date of Birth

February 20, 1925

Date of Death

March 27, 2013

City of Death

Santa Barbara

Rozella Lee Sanderson passed away March 27, 2013 in Santa Barbara, California. She was 88 years old. Most people knew her as Lee Sanderson. She was the oldest daughter of William ‘Eddy’ and Ethel Ross. She was preceded in death by her husband Robert John Sanderson, and by two of her younger brothers, Herbert Ross and Gerald Ross.

Lee was born in Enid, Oklahoma February 20, 1925, and spent her childhood in rural Tennessee, near McEwen. Her family moved to Redlands/Loma Linda, California when she was 13. Lee met and married Robert John Sanderson of Oak Glen, in May of 1942. Lee and Robert were married for 22 years, until his death in Santa Barbara in 1964.

Lee and Robert moved to Santa Barbara in 1947. They bought their first home in the Bungalow District, and moved there with their 4 daughters in 1957. After Robert’s death, Lee continued to live in her own house until the time of her death. Her four daughters and granddaughter Marian Marshall all grew up there, and Lee’s oldest daughter Joan continued to live in the house with her mother, caring for her in her later years.

Lee cared about, and cared for people throughout her life. She cared for children in her licensed day care home, and worked very hard for many years as a practical nurse. She was a ravenous reader with a wide range of interests, and had a keen sense of curiosity. She had a special way with plants, and just couldn’t resist beautiful linens and dishes. She will be remembered for her compassion and empathy for people and causes great and small; for her love of cats, especially Sweetie who purred her to sleep each night for many years; for her resilience in the face of life’s adversities, and for her courage sticking up for the rights of others.

Lee will be greatly missed by her friends, neighbors, and by her surviving family – daughters Joan Marshall, Marina Ross and partner Joy Ewing of Lompoc, Katherine Sanderson of Northampton, Massachusetts, Toni MacDonald and husband Frank MacDonald of North Saanich, Vancouver Island Canada; by her younger brothers Ralph Ross of Santa Barbara; Floyd Ross and wife Alicia Ross of Santa Barbara. She also leaves five grandchildren, Marian Marshall, Paul Rinaldi, Sharon Pryor, Miles MacDonald and Corina MacDonald; six great grandchildren; seven nieces, and one nephew.

The family would like to thank Lee’s doctors, and all those who helped in her care. Should friends wish, memorial donations may be made in Lee’s honor to Amnesty International USA.

Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery on April 17, 11:30am, followed by a gathering of family and friends at the family home in Santa Barbara. For details, email


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