Peggy Jo White Sanders, Buffalo, WY, was not old enough when she died on January 27, 2013 at Johnson County Health Center. Despite being diagnosed with colon cancer, she lived, loved, and thrived for seven years before dying in the arms of her family. A gathering to remember the contributions that Peg made to family, friends, community, and education will be held on Thursday, January 31st from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Catholic Recreation Hall in Buffalo. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday February 1st at 10:00 a.m. from the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church with Father Pete Johnson as celebrant. Burial will follow in Willow Grove Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in Peggy’s name may be made to Bread of Life Food Pantry in care of the Adams Funeral Home
Peggy was born in Laramie, Wyoming, the oldest daughter of John White and Mae Smith White. She graduated from high school in Greybull, Wyoming in 1966. She graduated with a degree in English and Education from the University of Wyoming in 1970.
While studying for a Shakespeare test in the geology library, she was introduced to Jerry Sanders which led to dating and a subsequent marriage proposal. A judicious woman, she measured everything in terms of pros and cons. Jerry was found to be in the “pro” column. They were married by Judge Tadlock in the Texaco Station in Bosler, Wyoming, on September 6, 1969.
Following her graduation they moved to McClave, CO, where she taught reading and whatever else was necessary in farm country. Itching for adventure, in 1973, with frugality, they headed across Mexico, Central America and Colombia. Their next adventure began with the birth of their first child, Dallas, in 1975 while Peggy completed her M.A. in School Psychology in Billings. That fall she took a school psychology job in Buffalo, WY.
She worked for 25 years in the Johnson County School District. In that time, she created the gifted and talented middle school program, which became a model for the state of Wyoming. She was long time Director of Special Services. Throughout her career she continued to advance her education which allowed her to become Superintendent of Sublette County Schools in 2000 where she worked for two years. She then moved to Carbon County No. 1 (Rawlins) where she also served as superintendent for six years, before retiring in 2007 and returning home to Buffalo.
A staunch Democrat, in 1992 she ran for the newly created District 22 Senate Seat, narrowly losing.
Peggy was one of the original members of the Wyoming Women’s Commission. Throughout her life, she pushed the envelope of what was often considered to be, unattainable for many women of her time.
Peggy is survived by her husband, Mr. Peggy Sanders, (Jerry) , and their children, Dallas and wife, Laura Lockard, sons Gus, 7 & Nash, 4; Kassahn and husband Dave Mathson, sons Grady 3 and Otto, 4 months; and the youngest, Spenser John and wife Ashley, daughter Fiona, 17 months. Survivors also include her siblings and spouses: Patti Guicheteau, (John), Boise, ID; Marylee White, (Charlie Thomas) Wilson, WY; Kathy Mae Graham (Gordon Graham-deceased) and William F. White (Liz Adams) plus numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John White and Mae Smith White of Laramie, WY and one brother, Michael, who died of leukemia in 1952.