Georgia W. Sanborn
December 8, 1941 - November 23, 2023
- Memorial Eucharist
- November 30, 2023 | 11:00 A.M.
Calvary Episcopal Church
222 S. Batavia Ave.
Batavia, Illinois 60510
Georgia W. Sanborn, 81, of Geneva, IL, died at River Crossing of St. Charles on November 23.
She was born in St. Louis in 1941, to Winston Wenige (who later changed his name to George Winston) and Cecil Jack (“Jackie”) Mullendore Winston. The family eventually settled in Springfield, Illinois; but she spent her summers with her grandparents’ farm in Collin County, Texas, where she built some of her happiest childhood memories.
Her father’s choice of the name of George Winston had nothing to do with the New Age pianist. However, he too was a pianist—as well as a violinist and singer—and he passed this passion for music performance onto his daughter. She attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she studied keyboard performance.
During this time, she dated her future husband and life partner, Donald H. Sanborn, whom she met in Springfield (when she was still a high school student). Her husband spent many happy hours listening to her practice, an experience that inspired him to create a painting of organ pipes, with a fluorescent haze representing the sound. The couple married in Springfield in 1962; they had been married for 61 years at the time of her death.
The couple had one son, Donald, who inherited a passion for music from his mother. After seven years in Chicago, the family moved to Geneva, where she resided for the rest of her life.
She worked for several years at multiple branches of Regency Savings Bank in Geneva, rising to the position of Branch Manager. However, music remained her passion. In 1986, with her family’s encouragement, she resolved to pursue her career as a church musician.
This was a resumption, not a new direction. When she lived in Chicago, she was a professional singer in the choir of Church of the Ascension. After she moved to Geneva, she volunteered for several years as the organist for the Christmas pageant at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Geneva.
Following interim and full-time professional tenures at various churches near Geneva, she worked for several years as the organist and choirmaster at Trinity Episcopal Church in Aurora. In 2002, following the renovation of that church’s organ, she partnered with organists Rosalie Cassiday and Judith Truitt to give a dedicatory concert. Among the pieces she performed was “Trinity,” a solo that her son composed for her.
The Bible verses she chose for her funeral include Isaiah 25:6. “On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine—the best of meats and the finest of wines.”
This verse is apt, because she nourished people both spiritually and culinarily. When she was not busy preparing or directing beautiful music for a church service, she often enjoyed cooking delicious dinners (and desserts). Family and friends always enjoyed eating at her table.
In her spare time she was an avid reader, especially historical fiction and mystery novels. She shared this love of reading with her son and beloved twin grandchildren, to whom she spent hours reading aloud.
She also loved cats, and it was rare that her household did not include at least one. Her most recent feline friend was a tabby named Tigre.
Georgia W. Sanborn was preceded in death by her parents. In addition to her husband and son, Mrs. Sanborn is survived by her daughter-in law, Jennifer Leach Sanborn; and grandchildren, Sophie and William (both age 12), of Princeton, New Jersey.
A Memorial Eucharist took place on Thursday, November 30, at 11 a.m. at Calvary Episcopal Church in Batavia (222 S. Batavia Ave), with The Reverend Michael D. Rasicci officiating. The arrangements were handled by Yurs Funeral Home in Geneva (yursfuneralhomes.com).
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Calvary Episcopal Church in Batavia.