Meet Charlotte Sanders of The Oaks at HamptonNovember 17, 2021
Each resident at our Oaks Senior Living communities has a unique story that holds a special place in forming the spirit of Oaks. Charlotte Sanders of the Oaks at Hampton is one of these individuals whose life narrative is a gift for all who hear it.
Charlotte was born on December 22, 1931, in Hamburg, Germany. At the time, Hamburg was a large industrial city with immense wealth. Charlotte was an only child, born to a mechanic and a nurse. During her upbringing, she found herself in a city right in the middle of World War 2. Her childhood memories were marked by bombings, military tanks, and soldiers. For Charlotte, ordinary life was air raids, black outs, bombs shelters, and a daily fear of life itself. Once during an air raid, the shelter Charlotte sought refuge in was directly hit and her father had to dig her and others out of the rubble. Thirteen of her relatives were lost in bombings as was her grandfather.
After a large air raid in 1943 that destroyed a major portion of Hamburg, and left the city experiencing dreadful conditions, Charlottes parents needed to relocate their daughter. In an attempt to retain any safety for Charlotte’s life, her parents sent her to live in Bavaria. Her time there was just as challenging, as she couldn’t stand living away from her family. So, after enduring as long as she could, Charlotte returned to her family in Hamburg. When American and English troops finally moved into the city and forced out Nazi control, Hamburg and its enduring people rejoiced. After the Nazis left their city, 14-year-old Charlotte and her family stayed in Hamburg.
During her early 20’s, Charlotte started her professional career as a model. She soon after became a dancer of the modern dance style and studied under the influence of Martha Graham. During her time dancing, she met her husband Nicholas Sanders who, at the time, was in medical school. After both Nicholas and Charlotte were faced with money problems, they decided to move to New York City and work until they could save enough money for medical studies to be completed. Charlotte worked as a secretary, and learned to speak English, while Nicholas settled with a job driving taxis.
After four years, both Charlotte and Nicholas left New York and moved back to Switzerland. Upon their arrival, Charlotte worked as an executive secretary and interpreter, while Nicholas completed his medical studies. During their time in Switzerland, they had three kids: Karen, George, and Carol. After Nicholas finished his medical school, the family of now five moved back to New York City; leaving Europe with two trunks of luggage, three kids, and a dream for an abundant life.
For many years, Nicholas practiced as a general practitioner and a psychiatrist while Charlotte cared for the kids. Upon retiring, Charlotte and Nicholas would frequently travel back to Germany to visit their family that remained Sadly, Nicholas died in 2001 at the age of 73. After the loss of her husband, Charlotte moved to Georgia and lived next door to both of her daughters. As it became apparent that Charlotte needed some help with daily living, her and her daughters began to look for senior living communities in Georgia. After visiting Oaks at Hampton, Charlotte, fell in love with the welcoming atmosphere, family centric culture, and loving staff. Charlotte joined the Oaks family immediately and has loved every moment since!
The story of Charlottes life journey is one of endurance, bravery, and hope. These values, in their own unique and special way, reflect the character of Oaks Senior living. Thank you, Charlotte, for the life you have lived and the influence your story holds.