Floral 23

Veda (Sanders) Sherard

June 2, 1920 ~ January 13, 2024 (age 103) 103 Years Old

Veda Sherard Obituary

In the wee hours of June 2nd, 1920, there was surely a shooting star announcing Veda’s arrival. A grand name for a baby girl who would exceed all expectations during her 104 years. Born in Coalfield, Tennessee to loving parents Dr. Orvis Duane Sanders and Mabel Ruffner Sanders. At an early age, her family moved to Clinton, Tennessee where her father was the local dentist. She lived a full and happy life there and grew up with a love of reading, socializing and riding horses. She had a pony by age six, later a quarter horse and finally her pride and joy, Beauty, a Tennessee Walker. Veda and Beauty were a sight to behold as they led Clinton’s annual Fourth of July and Christmas Holiday parades.  

After school, Veda loved to visit her father’s dental office and watch him practice. Eventually, she decided to follow in his footsteps. In 1941, after completing her pre-dental education at The University of Tennessee, she entered Southern Dental College (now Emory). Veda was one of three female students in a class of 99. The story goes that because of alphabetical pairing, Sanders and Sherard were designated as ANATOMY lab partners. So, on the first day of class, James Sherard saw this cute little freckled-face girl wearing high heels sashay into class. At 5’6” tall, he thought to himself “I don’t have a chance against all these tall jocks and rich boys” in class. Veda found her way to his table and said, “My name is Veda Sanders from Clinton Tennessee”. Needless to say, it was love at first sight! Sanders and Sherard fell in love over a cadaver. Also, according to Daddy, “She was the cutest and most loved by all of our classmates, plus she was the smartest and most skilled. Now you wonder, how did I wind up being the lucky one? I ask myself that question every day.” Veda and Jimmy married in March 1942 and were truly devoted to each other for almost 81 years. As a dear friend perfectly shared recently, “They were truly a match made in heaven and now they are in heaven.”   

Veda and Jimmy decided to make their home in Atlanta. Veda practiced general dentistry for several years, but retired early to focus on her growing family. Alongside, Daddy, who specialized in Endodontics, she remained very involved and active in many dental associations throughout the years. She was a founder of the Northern District (Greater Atlanta), Georgia Dental Association and Hinman Dental Ladies Auxiliaries. She worked on numerous dental health initiative programs for Georgia which trended nationally. After 50 years in Atlanta, Highlands became their ideal retirement destination. They both loved the mountains, The Town of Highlands and the many wonderful friends collected through the years.  

Veda loved her Lord and Savior and her church. Although, not able to attend Sunday services the last few years, through the miracle of ‘You Tube’ and recent visits from Reverends Emily Wilmarth and Kelley Connelly, she remained connected and thankful for God’s message each week. Veda was a valued and faithful friend to so many throughout her life. Some were only acquaintances, but if in need and she was able, Veda was there with a helping hand and a pot of one of her famous soups. Veda was a fabulous cook and gracious hostess. She took great pleasure in giving the perfect parties and made it look effortless. She loved flower arranging and landscaping. She was a beautiful artist, an excellent bridge player and a fierce competitor on the golf course until age 85. However, her favorite times were always centered around “all things Jimmy” and her family.        

Veda had a personality like no other. At almost 104, she was still beautiful, witty, funny and flirty. Every morning she was up, dressed, make-up applied and ready for the day. She was very observant and would not miss the smallest of details, good or bad. She had an opinion on everything and would, undoubtedly, share it in her best “Veda” way. She loved life and meeting new people. She had a contagious personality and inclusive quality. Most times friends and strangers alike left her presence laughing and wanting more of her happy disposition. Veda Sanders Sherard was one of God’s most delightful blessings and will be greatly missed, but she will forever be in our hearts and conversations.

Veda’s family is exceedingly grateful for all of her many young friends (like family) who have genuinely loved, cherished and remembered her, especially the past few years after Daddy’s passing: David and Vesta Jones, Marwen Payne McDowell, Jeff and Janet Thompson, Linda Arnold, Brenda Owens, Javier Vega, as well as, precious caregivers Sally Zachary and Loretta Picklesimer who were always patient, kind and so loving. Four Seasons Hospice caregivers, volunteers and staff, especially Dr. Amy Hinton, Laura Stiens, Barbie Frances, Lisa Ray, Laura Franklin and so many others along the way. And finally, a very special thank you to Dr. Patti Wheeler, who wonderfully cared for Veda and Jimmy for many years. Bless each and every one of you.

Predeceased by loving husband James Hardin Sherard, Jr., daughter Sandra Sherard Bethea, granddaughter Mabry Morris Spence, great-grandson Whitaker James Morris. Survived by daughters Laura Gay Sherard-Mitchell (George) of Atlanta and Robin Sherard Ritchie (Jim) of Atlanta, Son-In-Law Bob Bethea (Leslie) of Columbia, Grandsons Rob Bethea (Joy) of Columbia, Hardin Bethea (Dowell) of Orlando, Tyson Morris (Kim) of Chattanooga. Great-grandchildren Ridge, Elloise and Sanders Bethea, Hunter, Wyatt and Beau Spence, Nora and Samuel Bethea and Hardin, Veda Kate and Penny Morris. Sister-in-Law Joan Sanders (Duane) and dear nephews and nieces.

A graveside service to be scheduled in the spring for both Veda and Jimmy. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Highlands Community Child Development Center (HCCDC) at
www.highlandscommunitychildcare.org or Four Seasons Hospice Care at FourSeasonsCare.org.

Online condolences can be left at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home & Crematory is honored to serve the Sherard family. 

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