Laura Sanders Otey

Laura Sanders Otey

September 8, 1947 — October 7, 2018

With her servant’s heart, her joyful laugh, and her faith-born hope, Laura Sanders Otey has always made us smile, touched our hearts, and inspired us with her confidence in what is and what will be. On Oct. 7, 2018, Laura went to be with the Lord she loves deeply and well.

Laura was 71 years young and leaves a special family, countless friends, and an untold number of students and families whose lives she has impacted throughout her life and career.

Laura was born on Sept. 8, 1947, to R.L. and Jean Sanders in Austin, Texas. She spent most of her years growing up in Houston. Laura attended Central Church of Christ with her family. After graduating from Lamar High School, she attended Abilene Christian College. Laura continued her education and earned a double masters degree in Education Administration and Counseling from Southwest Texas State University. She continued her education by becoming a certified mediator and mediation trainer. Her career spanned 41 years as an educator, primarily in the Austin Independent School District, where she was a Special Education teacher and Administrator. She retired from Austin ISD on Dec. 18, 2009, but continued serving when needed as a temporary administrator. Laura had a second career from 1991 until the present as a conflict resolution educator and trainer, where she taught at many places including ACU, SMU, University of Arkansas Little Rock, St. Edwards, and the Austin Dispute Resolution Center. And once, on the side, she and Bob started a business selling left-handed items. Left-handed people are still grateful.

On June 7, 1980, Laura married the love of her life, Bob Otey. Laura and Bob loved life together while sharing their professional commitment to education. She wholeheartedly embraced his children and raised them as her own. Laura and Bob were the perfect team.

Laura was a woman of great faith. She possessed a heart to serve others, especially families and churches that were living in chaos, uncertainty and conflict. She has been an advocate for the voiceless, the invisible, the powerless and the overlooked. She was a lifetime learner.

Laura is survived by her husband of 38 years, Bob; their children, Robb Otey and wife Serisa, Matt Otey and wife, Trisha, and Kirstin Otey; grandchildren, Taylor and Kyle Otey, Harold, Mathis, Quinton and Wesley Otey and Trajan and Ryan Lewis; her brother, Steve Sanders, and sister Lisa Higgason and husband, Steve; as well as her nieces and nephews, Stephanie, Cory and Cassidy Sanders and Caitlin and Brock Higgason.

It is no small thing to finish this part of our life well. And Laura has. While she is not present with us now, she will always be with us through the family, friends, and legacy of love she leaves behind.

Matthew 5:8-9 “Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.”

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