Lucille "Lou" Saunders
Mrs. Lucille Beckwith Davidson Saunders passed away on Monday, March 13 after a period of declining health. She was 90 years old.
“Lou” was born and raised in Bremo Bluff, VA but resided in South Hill VA since 1949.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Benjamin Ovid Davidson and Mildred Ellen Jones Davidson, a sister Jacqueline Davidson Snead and her beloved husband of 67 years, Dr. Thomas Archer Saunders. Surviving are two children, Thomas Archer Saunders, Jr. and wife Carolyn of Richmond, VA and Mildred Saunders Hanrahan and husband Philip of Lexington, KY; three grandchildren, Ashley Elizabeth Saunders and husband Tom Dickinson of Chapel Hill NC, Benjamin Allen Saunders and wife Sytira of Richmond, VA and Emma Beckwith Hanrahan of Lexington KY; three great –grandchildren, Cora Byrd and Reid Archer Dickinson and Kirby Davidson Saunders; a nephew Ellett Snead and a niece, Kathy Anderson.
Lou graduated from Fluvanna High School and attended Longwood College before moving to Richmond where she attended Pan American Business School and met Tommy as he was finishing his MD at MCV. They married in 1949 and resided in South Hill the remainder of their lives.
Lou was a perfect fit for her role as the wife of a rural country doctor. She was right there doing all she could to support Tommy through the long hours and many adventures. At the same time, she was raising her children in the ways the thought best, always there to lend a hand and offer well meaning advice.
Besides family her special passion was the Community Memorial Hospital, now VCU Community Memorial Hospital, which opened in South Hill in 1954. She played a role in the original fund raising to build the hospital. After it opened, Lou became a charter member of the hospital’s volunteer Auxiliary in which she participated until 2016. She held many leadership positions over the years and contributed thousands of hours as a volunteer. The Auxiliary honored her in 2009, naming an award for distinguished volunteers, The Lou Saunders Award of Excellence.
One of the highlights of every year was the annual Saunders Family vacation to Nags Head, NC. It was the only vacation of the year for quite a while. She tried to make it perfect for everyone. Her planning skills and attention to detail made these vacations wonderful for several Saunders’ generations. In her later years, she grudgingly turned much of the preparation over to the “young ones.” We will never forget and always enjoy the memories of her sitting on the porch at Nags Head telling stories and watching the world go by.
Lou was a member of South Hill United Methodist Church. The family would like to extend special gratitude and thanks to friends and neighbors, Ann, Jane, Susan, Rudy, Nancy and Lilly whose help and friendship did so much to comfort her in her later years. Also a big thanks to all the other special friends who made her life so full and rewarding.
We are grateful to the entire staff of Pine View Assisted Living Facility, VCU- Community Memorial Hospital and its Hospice program for the loving care which made her final months more comfortable.
A graveside funeral service will be conducted at 11 am Saturday, March 18, 2017 at Oakwood Cemetery in South Hill. The family will receive friends Friday evening from 6:30-8:00 at the funeral home. The family request in lieu of flowers, that donations be considered for the VCU-Community Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, P O Box 90, South Hill, VA 23970 or VCU- Community Memorial Hospital Hospice, P O Box 888, South Hill, VA 23970. Online condolences may be placed at www.farrarfuneralhome.net. Farrar Funeral Home of South Hill is serving the family.