In the spring of 1943, Major Sanders set his eyes on Mae Anthony, and while it’s a bit cliché’, he will say that it was love at first sight. Major and Mae dated for a year so. Mae was not easy girl; Mae wanted to make sure that he was the one. By 1944, Major enlisted in the Navy. Just before he was deployed he asked Mae to marry him. “That was really trying time for us. I was afraid I wouldn’t see him again. He wrote letters often to make sure I was still his girl,” Mae recalls. Major returned from his assignment in December 1945. They were married in Lincoln Gardens, New Jersey on June 30, 1946.
“Our wedding was very special to me,” says Mae. “I was looking forward to having a husband, companion, and life-long friend.” Mae says that real friends argue and fight. They have had their share of arguments over the years. Major gives some wonderful advice, “Marriage requires a great deal of love and patience. Peace is more important than winning. Sometimes you have to acquiesce.” Major and Mae agree that keeping God as the third party in their marriage has assisted them through hard times, and has kept them focused.
From their union, Major and Mae had 8 children-3 boys and 5 girls. In 1978, Mae and Major moved to College Park, Georgia. They moved to Fayetteville in 1999. They have enjoyed their years in Georgia, to the extent, that they convinced all of their children to move to Georgia.
Notwithstanding their age, the Sanders have remained active in their congregation and personal lives. Mae has a renowned green thumb, and maintains a garden in her backyard, with her favorite plant being roses. She loves children and is the permanent baby-sitter in the family. Major serves as an elder in the North Peachtree City congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Although he has some physical limitations, he continues to use his skills with home improvement projects. He most recently custom designed and built an outdoor oven and grill. Major is the patriarch of the family and serves as an advisor for everyone in the family.
The Sanders have found a great deal of joy raising their children, and watching their families’ grow. They have 15 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren, and a countless number of ‘adopted children’. They are looking forward to celebrating their 65th Anniversary with their large family and many friends on June 25, 2011 at The Banquet Hall in Riverdale.