Beverly “Betty” Sanders
Beverly Sanders (Betty to everyone who knew her) died peacefully on April 8, 2014, two and half months shy of her 90th birthday.
Betty was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1924. Her parents, Sara and Jack Cibull were Jews who had immigrated to this country from Poland and the Ukraine. She grew up during the Great Depression, living with her parents and her brother Bob in Vincennes, Indiana; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Tucumcari, New Mexico.
As a girl, she was a talented tap dancer and singer, and as a teenager, she had a singing gig on a popular Sunday Tucumcari radio show. She also helped her family out by working regularly in her father’s shoe store.
World War II broke out when Betty was a senior in high school. After graduating, she moved to Los Angeles to study dance but decided instead to take a clerical job at Douglas Aircraft, followed by a secretarial position at Warner Brothers Studios.
Soon thereafter, she met her future husband, Maxwell Sanders (known as Macky) at a dance for young people that was sponsored by organizations in the Los Angeles Jewish community. Macky, the son of Frances and Leo Sanders of Santa Barbara, had enlisted in the Navy and was going to be shipped to the South Pacific in a matter of weeks. After a whirlwind courtship, they promised each other that they would write every day, and they proceeded to conduct a three-year long-distance love affair. When Macky returned, they were married in the garden of his parents’ Santa Barbara Street home.
Betty and Macky lived in Oxnard for a time and then moved to Santa Barbara where they raised their children, Trudy and Richard, and where they lived for the remainder of their nearly 69-year marriage.
Betty was a devoted wife and mother as well as a hands-on grandmother. She was a fun-loving friend who was always up for a party. She was remarkably good-natured, had an irreverent sense of humor, and was almost never ruffled. She was uncommonly beautiful, but also genuinely modest. She appreciated stylish clothing—and especially fabulous shoes. She never lost her great singing voice and was known for her classy rendition of “Old Black Magic.” She had excellent card-sense and played gin rummy, bridge, pan, and mahjong with aplomb. She and Macky traveled extensively and enjoyed spending time in their homes in Palm Springs and Acapulco.
She was a long-time active member of the Congregation B’nai B’rith Sisterhood as well as Hadassah, and she was a founding member of the Santa Barbara Jewish Federation’s Women’s Auxiliary. She was also on the Women’s Board of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, a member of the CALM Auxillary, and a supporter and patron of the Music Academy of the West.
All in all, it can safely be said that Betty Sanders led a well-lived life.
She is survived by her husband Macky; her brother Dr. Robert Cibull and his wife Jan; her daughter Trudy and her spouse Amy; her son Richard and his wife Rosemary; her grandchildren Ethan and his wife Hsingyi, Naomi and her husband Ron, Omri and his wife Dafna, Olivia and her husband Marc, Julian, and George; her great-grandchildren Lila, Ari, Levi, Maya, Rose, Shira, and Joshua; and many nieces and nephews.
Betty’s family would like to thank her wonderful caregivers—Dolores Weaver, Ryan Hughes, Sally Salgado and Laura Manzano for their compassionate care for Betty while she lived at Maravilla Retirement Community.
A celebration of Betty’s life was held this past Sunday at Congregation B’nai B’rith.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Santa Barbara Jewish Federation, Congregation B’nai B’rith, or the Music Academy of the West.