Our joyful “Belle” peacefully slipped her earthly bonds and flew free to sing with the angels on March 18, 2016 at the age of 92. Isabelle Sanderson Bateman was born on April 9, 1923 in Seneca Falls, New York to Milton R. and Dora (Cohn) Sanderson. As a child, her nickname was “Bubbles” due to her lively, happy, enthusiastic personality which stayed with her throughout her life. Belle (who went by Sandy during much of her adult life) graduated from Mynderse Academy in 1941 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Emerson College in Boston, Mass.
While at Emerson, Sandy went on a blind date with a handsome, young US Army Air Forces pilot, who was in Boston on temporary duty. Sandy and Frank Fleetwood Bateman immediately fell in love and upon her graduation were married on July 25, 1945. Frank was a “southern boy” from Columbia, S.C., so he and Sandy settled in Charlotte, NC to work and raise their family.
Belle is survived by her two children – son Frank Fleetwood Bateman, Jr. and wife Lynn (Hamrick) of Belmont, NC and daughter Sandra L. Tooker and husband Peter of Rainier, WA. She is also survived by her grandchildren Holly M. Norris and husband Damian and Christie L. Dickerson and husband Alan both of Belmont, NC. She was also blessed with three great-grandchildren, Joseph and Joshua Norris and Arthur Dickerson. Belle is also survived by her brother James Sanderson of Yountville, CA and many nieces and nephews.
Sandy was content to be a Mom and raise Frank and Sandra until they were in their teens. She then decided to add work and travel, so she became a reservation agent for Eastern Airlines for the next fifteen years. During this time, she took great advantage of the employee benefits and traveled extensively with her family on wonderful trips both in the US and abroad. She never lost the travel bug and even in later years continued to travel, especially cruising whenever possible.
Sandy and Frank were married for fifty-six wonderful years. They built their retirement home on the water at Tega Cay, SC, and had many fun years of boating and water activities. Later, they moved to Westminster Towers in Rock Hill, SC and met many new friends and continued to be very active. When Frank passed, Sandy decided to go on one last grand adventure. She moved to Panorama City, Lacey, WA, and proceeded to have another thirteen active, happy and exciting years as “Belle”. Her last two years were spent at Bonaventure of Lacey, Lacey, WA, where she continued to bring smiles and joy to those around her.
Belle was blessed with a natural beauty, wonderful smile and exuberant personality. She believed she could help folks have a better day with a warm smile and friendly greeting which she dispersed whenever possible. She loved singing, dancing, gardening, walking and generally being in the warm sun. If you knew Belle and her infectious smile, she would be happy if you could “pass it forward” and keep the joy alive.
Belle asked to be cremated with her ashes spread near her homes in New York, North and South Carolina and Washington. A memorial ceremony will held at the Panorama Chapel – date and time to be announced.
In memory of Belle, donations may be made to the Panorama Foundation, 1751 Circle Lane SE, Lacey, WA 98503 or Hospice, c/o Providence St. Peter, 413 Lilly Road NE, Olympia, WA 98503.