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In Memory

Blanche Ella Gilchrist (Sanderson) - Class Of 1951


Blanche “Ella” Sanderson

Feb. 11, 1934 - May 23, 2018

SOUTH BEND - Blanche “Ella” Sanderson, 84, of South Bend, Indiana passed away at 7:25 a.m. Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in the Sanctuary at St. Paul's. Blanche was born on February 11, 1934 in Lutts, Tennessee to Arthur M. and Hazel (Gober) Gilchrist. She had lived in South Bend since 1947, coming from Florence, Alabama. On December 13, 1952 she married Jack K. Merrill, Sr., who preceded her in death on March 11, 2011. She was also preceded in death by her daughter, Tammie Merrill; three sons, Jeff Merrill, Mark Merrill, and Willie Sanderson; her sister, Mildred M. Woods; and her brother, Paul O. Gilchrist. She is survived by one daughter, Lori (Gary) Gotha of Osceola, Indiana; three sons, Jack (Michele) Merrill, Jr. of South Bend, Indiana, Randy (Michelle) Merrill of Mishawaka, Indiana, and Mike Merrill of South Bend, Indiana; fifteen grandchildren, Shaun, Luke, Wesley (Jena), Aubrey (Ben), Erica, Brandon, Michael, Lauren (Travis), Sara, Jacob, Jeremy, Melissa, Noah, Hannah, and Evan; six-great-grandchildren; her sister, Dwillow Smith of Elkhart, Indiana; and two brothers, Charles A. (Mary) Gilchrist of Goodyear, Arizona and Luther C. Gilchrist of Tusombia, Alabama. Funeral Services will be held at 12:00 noon, Saturday, May 26, 2018 in the Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Drive. Burial will follow in Mount Pleasant Cemetery. A visitation will take place from 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Saturday in the funeral home. Blanche attended St. Steven's School and graduated from Central High School. In high school, she had worked as a car hop with the former Toasty's. She loved to square dance as a teenager. After her children were raised, she went to work for Bercliff Industries for 15 years, retiring in 1995. Blanche loved to garden, can food, play in the yard with her children, and play cards with her neighbors. She enjoyed reading and attending her weekly Bible study at Linden House. She was a huge Elvis fan and an old movie buff. Blanche loved the Lord. A special Thank You to all the people at The Sanctuary at St. Paul's who took care of Mom the past four years. Your help and care was appreciated by all of us and especially her. Memorial contributions may be directed to the American Cancer Society or the Hospice Foundation. To send online condolences, please visit kaniewski.com.


05/25/2018 JFC