Christopher "Chris" Sanders '93 September 7, 2023 1:05 PM updated: September 7, 2023 1:18 PM
Christopher Linn Sanders
April 7, 1971 - August 17, 2023
With profound sorrow, we announce that Christopher Sanders, age 52, beloved husband, father, son, brother, cousin, family member and friend, died suddenly Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023, at St. David's Hospital in Austin, Texas, surrounded by loved ones.
A devoted husband and proud father, Chris valued family and friends above all. His time with his wife and children—spent traveling, camping, sailing, water skiing, wake surfing, snow skiing, scouting, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, dancing and attending live concerts—was most precious to him. He was an Eagle Scout, an adventurous outdoorsman and a dedicated marathon runner. When he wasn't with friends and family, he was designing spaces around the country for his clients to call home and helping others make their dreams a reality through his designs.
Born in 1971 in Lufkin, Texas, Chris had unmistakable deep East Texas roots. He graduated from Lufkin High School in 1989 and went on to attend Texas A&M University, where he earned his undergraduate degree in 1993 as a member of the A&M Corps of Cadets—and the 12th Man—and his master's degree in architecture in 1997. Known as a bright architect with an outstanding and exceptional creative eye for design, Chris was the founding principal and design lead at Sanders Architecture in Austin, Texas. He had a vibrant career with over 25 years of experience designing, managing and contributing to commercial, institutional and residential projects in Texas, Massachusetts, Maine, Germany and Croatia. Before founding Sanders Architecture in 2009, he worked as a project manager for Andersson / Wise Architects in Austin and as a designer at Ann Beha Architects in Boston, Massachusetts.
Chris was an altruist to his core. He proudly sat on the board of directors at the Waterloo Greenway Conservancy and was equally involved as a former member of the board of advisors at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. His love of nature can be found in everything he designed.
Through his family, friends, colleagues and community, Chris leaves a legacy defined by much more than the beauty of his designs. He will be remembered for the love he showed to everyone around him, for his passion and creativity, and for his ability to leave everything better than when he found it.
Those who knew Chris, even just a little, lost a shining light in their lives. He had a heart of gold, an adventurous spirit, a contagious laugh, stylish moves that made him the best dance partner and a fierce devotion to his A&M Aggie heritage and all of the football revelry that goes with it. He cared deeply about those closest to him, and his beaming smile and dry humor were always a welcome reminder not to take life too seriously unless it needed to be. He was a pillar of strength to his extended family, friends, clients, colleagues and community. He was taken far too soon.
Chris is survived by his loving wife of 21 years, Hannah Lea Temple; daughter Mary Ellen Sanders and son Robert Abney Sanders; mother Carolin Shands Sanders; father Raymond Abney Sanders; brother Robert Shands Sanders; sister-in-law Jenny Cearley Sanders; nephews, Nathan John Sanders and Caden Cook Sanders; and mother-in-law Ellen Clarke Temple.
He was preceded in death by his brother, John Raymond Sanders, and father-in-law, Arthur "Buddy" Temple III.
The memorial service celebrating Chris's life will be held on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 3 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Austin (1201 Lavaca Street). All are welcome. A reception will be held at Waterloo Park immediately following the service. Please check the Weed Corley Fish website for updates about the service and reception.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please consider donating to these nonprofits that he cared about deeply:
In honor of the important role that Philmont Scout Ranch played in Chris's life, please consider making a donation in his memory to Philmont's Trek Scholarship program. This donation will help to make the Philmont experience available to Scouts who may not otherwise be able to afford to go on such a trip. Information for making a donation in Chris's name can be found at https://austin5.mytroop.us.
Chris much admired the work and values of St. Andrew's Episcopal School, observing directly its impact on his son, who is emerging as a lifelong learner as well as a well-rounded scholar, artist, athlete, and community servant. In honor of the crucial and ongoing role that St. Andrews continues to play for Chris's family, please consider a donation to a scholarship endowment in Chris's name: https://www.sasaustin.org/giving/memorial-or-honorary/christopher-l-sanders-endowed-scholarship-fund
In honor of Chris' steadfast and visionary commitment to design excellence in our community, please consider a donation to the Waterloo Greenway Conservancy, where he served as board member and chair of the Planning and Design Committee, to support the ongoing development of the Waterloo Greenway park system. For more information, go to: https://waterloogreenway.org/support/