Antoinette Paoli Sanger, age 103, passed away peacefully in her home the morning of Sunday April 16, 2023 with family at her side.
Born in Marseilles in 1919, and raised in the Lorraine region of northeastern France, Antoinette Paoli was the daughter of Albert Paoli and Marguerite Daniel Paoli. She was the eldest of four children, tragically losing both her younger brother and father to an outbreak of dysentery while vacationing in her father’s native Corsica in 1928.
Her hard work in school allowed her to realize her dream of becoming a school teacher after completing studies in English at the University of Nancy. During WWII, she was an English teacher in Thaon-les-Vosges where she met her future husband, Albert (Al) Joseph Sanger, an American Lieutenant who needed to learn technical French for his engineering work. They fell in love and she took the huge step of leaving her native France to marry her beloved Al in Cincinnati, his hometown, in 1946. They moved to Chicago where they had their first child, Phillip in 1948. In the early 50s, Al took a job with the City of Lubbock, and later became Professor of Engineering at Texas Tech. The little family grew to five, welcoming Maïtine and later, François. Returning to her love of teaching, Antoinette gave private French lessons, had a French Kindergarten in her home, and later taught as a French instructor at Texas Tech. She moved to Clear Lake in 1987 to be near her daughter and her family after Al’s sudden illness and death.
Antoinette was a wonderful cook and loved to treat her family and friends to her fabulous cream pies, Madeleines, and other delicious specialties. She was a bridge enthusiast, playing both with her husband in Lubbock, and then in Clear Lake with several bridge groups. Her bridge friends were dear to her and they shared countless hours playing cards over these last years where she gained a reputation for loving to play “no-trump,” a risky bidding approach to the bridge game.
Antoinette was intensely fervent in her faith and very active in the church. Throughout her life, her especially strong devotion to Our Lady was a constant source of strength to her, and she instilled this devotion in all her family. She was generous to a fault, giving her time to Meals on Wheels, taking Communion to those in the hospital, cooking meals for those suffering from illness or personal loss, and supporting a myriad of charities.
She was the very proud mother of three, grandmother of seven, and great-grandmother of thirteen, all of whom loved her deeply and will forever miss her loving smile, endless optimism, and charming French accent.
Antoinette is preceded in death by her parents; her darling husband, Albert Joseph Sanger; her three brothers, Jean-Marie Paoli, José Paoli, and Albert Paoli; her daughter-in-law, Judith Hoffman Sanger; and her grandson, Christopher Luke Sanger.
She leaves behind her three children: her son, Phillip Albert Sanger and wife Terri Byrnes Sanger; her daughter, Maïtine Rivera and husband Tony Rivera; and her son, François Xavier Sanger; her six grandchildren: Allison Rivera Metzinger, David Anthony Rivera, Julia Sanger Minocha, Michael James Rivera, Timothy Albert Sanger, and Anne Paoli Sanger; and her 13 lovely great grandchildren, Luke Sanger, Lilly Sanger, Isabelle Metzinger, Sona Minocha, Sophia Sanger, William Metzinger, Claire Rivera, Jude Minocha, Mason Rivera, Lincoln Sanger, Miles Rivera, Abigail Rivera, and Ayan Minocha. She is also survived by many wonderful nieces and nephews both in the U.S. and in France who also loved her dearly.
Visitation will be held from 6:00 to 7:00 pm, Friday, April 28th at Crowder Funeral Home in Webster/Clear Lake, Texas, with a Rosary following at 7:00 pm. A Memorial Mass/Funeral Service will be at 10:30 am, Saturday, April 29th, at St. Bernadette Catholic Church, Houston, with Father Dominic Pistone officiating.
Antoinette’s ashes are to be interred beside her beloved husband Albert in the City of Lubbock Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, Antoinette wished that donations be made to one of her favorite charities:
Casa Juan Diego
P. O. Box 70113
Houston TX 77270
Indigenous Peoples’ Task Force
1335 E. 23rd St.
Minneapolis MN 55404
Habitat for Humanity International
285 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Suite 2700
Atlanta GA 30303