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03/14/18 - NNHS Newsletter - Ruth Dugger Sanders

Ruth Dugger Sanders
(d. 20 Aug 2018)

Newport News High School Class of June 1940
Newport News High School Faculty

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,  

   As previously reported, this sad news in a more complete form continues this Wednesday.
Ruth Dugger Sanders, Class of June 1940 and beloved NNHS Physical Education Teacher, passed away in Newport News on Wednesday, March 07, 2018, at the age of 95.  

From the Daily Press - 03/14/18:

                  Ruth Dugger Sanders



NEWPORT NEWS - Ruth Dugger Sanders, age 95, a life-long resident of Newport News, died peacefully surrounded by her loving family on 7 March, 2018 after a stroke.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 49 years, Gordon L. Sanders. Ruth was the daughter of Eugene F. Dugger and Ruth Manville Dugger and grew up at Merrie Oaks in Lee Hall where her father was Director of the Newport News Waterworks.

She graduated from Newport News High School in 1940 and from Longwood University in 1944 with a double major in Physical Education and Biology.

She met Gordon, the love of her life, in Clewiston, Florida where she was teaching school and he was training RAF and US pilots during World War II. They were married in 1946 and started their life together in Newport News living in Stuart Gardens, Hidenwood and Windward Towers.


Ruth Dugger Sanders



Ruth is survived by her daughters, Mary Ruth Coleman (Dick) and Carol Cobb (Phil); four grandchildren, John Coleman (Lindsay), David Coleman (Carrie), Maggie Cobb, and Mark Cobb (Michaela); and nine great-grandchildren, Emma, Owen, Abigail, and William Coleman (John); James, Oliver, and Teddy Coleman (David); and Sophia and Noah Cobb (Mark).

She has been described as a magical mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, always ready for fun and adventure. Ruth cared deeply for everyone she met, and her greatest joy was her family who she supported, encouraged, and loved until her last day.

Mrs. Sanders was a deeply religious person whose faith was unshakable. She was a member from birth of First Presbyterian Church of Newport News where she served as a Sunday School teacher, Deacon, Elder, President of the Women of the Church, Circle Chairman and in many other capacities in the life and work of the church. She was most recently a member of Wythe Presbyterian Church where she remained active until she could no longer attend.

Mrs. Sanders was a Physical Education Educator for the Newport News School System from 1956-1971. She was the head of the PE departments at Newport News and Ferguson High Schools. She coached tennis, gymnastics, volleyball, field hockey, and basketball and could not go anywhere on the Peninsula without meeting someone who said "you taught me," including the doctor in the Emergency Room at Riverside Hospital shortly before she died. Her legacy and influence lives on in many of her students and in the friends of her daughters.

Ruthie was an avid sports-woman playing competitive golf and tennis until her mid-eighties.

She was a member of the James River Country Club and is a former President of the Women's Golf Association. Giving back to her community was very important to Mrs. Sanders. She was a volunteer with the Red Cross, Link, Food Bank, Riverside Hospital and Contact Peninsula and past Regent of the Newport News/Warwick Chapter of DAR.

The family wishes to thank the dedicated staff at Keswick Assisted Living, Warwick Forest Retirement Community, who provided our wonderful Mother with loving care and friendship during the final years of her life.

A Memorial Service will be held at Burton Hall, Keswick Assisted Living, Warwick Forest Retirement Community on Tuesday, March 20 at 1:30 pm with a reception to follow. Valet parking will be available at the front door of Keswick Assisted Living.

Memorial contributions may be made to Wythe Presbyterian Church or Riverside Hospice.

To share condolences with the family please visit View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in the Daily Press from March 10 to March 14, 2018.
View Guest Book


March 10, 2018
March 10, 2018

~ LaVerne Mitchell, Newport News, V

March 11, 2018
Aunt Ruthie, you will be missed. I am working and inquired about you because I was told you were here. I just found out you passed and I am very saddened by the news. I love you, and will always remember the good time we shared.

Ruth McLawhorn, Williamsburg, Virginia

11, 2018

So sorry to hear of Mrs. Sanders' passing. She meant a lot to my husband, Jimmy. The few times I saw her she was so sweet to me. A true lady. Cherish your memories.

Linda Schroer, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

12, 2018
My dear sweet Ruth... I already miss your sassy self in our fitness class! What a pleasure it was to know you and to have learned from you! Every time I count out an exercise, I'll smile thinking of you. Peace to you, super lady! Love you, Kimberly

Ruth...We will miss you and your sweetness! Love Kimberly and Eric

   Our deepest sympathies are extended to Mrs. Sanders' family, friends, and former students at this difficult time.


   Y'all take good care of each other! TYPHOONS FOREVER!
We'll Always Have

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty
7020 Lure Court
Fayetteville, NC 28311-9309

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

Words by George Matheson (27 Mar 1842 - 28 Aug 1906). 1882

Music by Albert Lister Peace (26 Jan 1844 - 14 Mar 1912), 1884

O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

"O Love That Will Not Let Me Go" midi and lyrics courtesy of - 09/17/12

Greg Olsen Paintings courtesy of – 03/15/05

Flower Bar 35 clip art courtesy of - 01/27/10

DAR logo courtesy of - 01/13/08

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