Obituary: Wadean Sanders Bourne

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wadean Sanders Bourne, née Brown, died during the night Friday, June 24, 2011, of natural causes at the Harvard Square Assisted Living residence in Denver, Colo.

She was 91 years old, free of pain or illness. The day of her passing, she had a pleasant lunch with her son Wes, and later told a hospice nurse she felt "eternal peace."

Named for her father, Wade, "Deana" -- as she was fondly known -- was born Wadean Anice Brown, to Wade and Edna Brown, on Aug. 5, 1920, in Lewisburg. A striking and intelligent redhead, she pursued a career in the federal government, serving as the first Administrative Officer at the formation of NATO in London, graduating as the one woman among 100 men from the Administrative Intern Program, and reorganizing a number of government agencies in coming years as a management analyst. She retired from government service at 36 as a GS-15, turning her skills and energies to caring for a husband, Norman L. Smith, several houses in northern Virginia, and volunteer work for both the National Symphony and Fairfax Hospital (she was chair of fund-raising campaigns for both). She was a member of the Capitol Speakers Club, the Women's Business and Professional Association, and the Fairfax Hunt Club, and traveled widely with her husband.

Deana is survived by her only child, Walter E. "Wes" Sanders III, and two grandchildren, Liam and Catherine. She was predeceased by her last husband, Robert Bourne, in 2009, after 10 happy years of married life in Vermont.