Jill Lorraine Jarnagin Sanders was born to Otis Harvey and Mary Lou Jarnagin in New Orleans on April 23, 1948. As a girl, she loved the Beatles, Senator John F. Kennedy, board games, black and white cats, and the “Tammy” movies starring Debbie Reynolds. She also lived in Monroe, Louisiana, and graduated from Ouachita High School before moving to Lake Charles with her family. During this time, she took classes in psychology and Spanish. She was proud to be left-handed and had mad shorthand skills.
She married Roy Emil Sanders, and the two of them raised three daughters in Moss Bluff.
During the early years, Jill was active as a field trip chaperone and a “room mother” who organized fund raising activities and classroom parties. She was a gracious host to over a dozen Easter egg hunts for all three girls’ classes.
Jill and Roy then moved to South Lake Charles in 2004, where they enjoyed spending time with all three of her siblings. She was known for her warm hospitality and expert cooking skills, especially gumbo. She loved shopping on QVC and swimming in her pool. Guests often marveled at her generous “treat station,” including a fridge full of unusual soft drinks.
Without a doubt, her favorite role was as mother and grandmother. She knew exactly how to connect with youngsters. Her grandchildren were the center of her universe.
Jill was a masterful Christmas shopper — she would get to stores right when they opened to snag the perfect toy for a grandchild. She hosted cookie frosting parties for all the children in her life and loved decorating for all holidays.
Jill was a news buff who enjoyed tracking current events and the politics of the day. She was especially thrilled to visit a familiar backdrop for CSPAN reporters — National Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C.
Her sweet nature often disguised her fierce skills in Trivia, Jeopardy, and Words with Friends.
She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend.
She always thought of others and how she could make things better for other people. When she arrived at the hospital in New Orleans, she asked her daughter to buy mints, so she could offer them to hospital staff members when they entered her room.
Her endless kindness is an inspiration to all who knew her.
Jill was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Judy Jarnagin Johnston.
Jill is survived by her husband of 54 years, Roy; three daughters and their husbands: Laura Sanders and Craig Tanner of Portland, Oregon; Julie Sanders and James Lopez of New Orleans; and Lisa Sanders Smith and Brian Smith of Lake Charles; and grandchildren Olivia Grether, Sophia Smith, Violet Grether, and Cash Smith. Throughout her life, Jill remained very close to her brothers and their wives — Jack and Julie Jarnagin, and James and Faye Jarnagin, as well as Cha-Cha, her beloved canine companion who misses her to this day.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that friends please consider a donation to Samaritan’s Purse or any other charity.
Cremation arrangements were entrusted to Johnson Funeral Home, and the visitation for Jill will be Wednesday, February 8, 2023, from 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m., with a memorial service beginning at 2:00 p.m. at Johnson Funeral Home, 4321 Lake Street, Lake Charles, 70605.