Antoinette Paoli Sanger

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


  1. We have so many fantastic memories of Aunt Toni. Likely the fondest was our visit to France where Aunt Toni, then 79, took us on a fast paced and thorough private tour of castles and local interest areas for several days. We had been living in Italy and wanted to visit her while she summered at her flat in France. When we finally got to spend a few days with her it was a whirlwind. By trips end we all agreed that woman had stamina! I can’t remember how many lovely things we saw and did, but I do remember we were all wore out and sore on the ride home. Aunt Toni had such a lively and spirited soul and we are blessed to have gad her grace our family. She had the voice of an angel that drew you into any conversation. We are so glad should took pen to paper and left her memoirs for us to peek at from time to time to think back on a grand lady. What a full life she lived together with her sweetheart Uncle Al. She is already missed and her memory a treasure to us.

    John and Teresa

  2. My children and I have fond memories of Antoinette. Mary Ann and I, along three children moved to Lubbock in 1964 with no acquaintance of anybody. Antoinette and Al took our family under their wings and got us acquainted to the city and friends at the Catholic church. On first Easter they had Easter Egg Hunt for our children in their back yard; I have fond memories of that day. We played Bridge with Antoinette and Al many times. I, particularly, have memories of her banana cream pies. Nobody else is able to make the pie like she did. She stayed in touch with us after she moved to Houston. She always sent me Christmas Card with hand-written personal note even after MaryAnn passed away. She was God Mother to my youngest son Raajan. Antoinette was an unique person who left her legacy of friendship. I will never forget her. May her soul rest in peace!

    Kishor Mehta

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