In Memoriam

INDEPENDENCE, MO: Lillian Mae (Clarke) Sunderland, age 92, opened her arms widely to meet her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on the morning of September 13, 2020. She died peacefully while living the past several months at Redwood of Carmel Hills Nursing and Rehab Center in Independence. Unfortunately she had not been surrounded by her loving family due to the COVID virus lockdowns, but was surrounded by a caring staff.

A private funeral service was held at Carson Speaks Suburban Chapel in Independence and a private interment is planned for the family at the Mound Grove Cemetery.

Lillian was born in Macon Missouri, on May 5, 1928 to father Chester Arthur Clarke and mother Ruby Sybil (Whitcomb) Clarke. She grew up in Macon and graduated from Macon High School where she met and married her first husband Clarence Swaidner. She and Clarence moved to Kansas City in 1949 and then to Independence in 1952. Her first employment was at Lake City Ammunition Plant.

She met Ralph Sunderland in 1954 in a carpool on the way to said ammunition plant and two were married on May 20, 1955 in Kansas City. She spent the first 15 years raising her 5 children and assisting at the family accounting business. She and Ralph moved the family to the eastern part of Jackson county in 1974 to get back to their roots and try their hands as city farmers. There they had a 15 acre plot of land in which they raised chickens, horses and even a couple of pigs. They also had a huge garden that grew some of the largest and best vegetables in town. In 1980 after most of the children had moved out, they moved back to town but still had a large garden.

Lillian started working in the real estate business in 1970 as a sales agent. She worked with several different firms including Century21 SantaFe and Century21 Klahn in which she was a sales associate, broker and part owner. She worked steadily with the firm until she was 90 years old. Lillian was a resident of Independence for 68 years. She was a member of the Community of Christ Special Ministries Church in Englewood, an avid gardener, home renovator, artist and puzzler. Lillian had a wonderful sense of humor, and was the most compassionate woman anyone ever met. She was always available to assist and care for anyone in need.

Lillian was preceded in death by her loving husband of 44 years Ralph in 1999, and her youngest son Randy in 2019. She is survived by her children, Michael Swaidner and wife Carol, David Sunderland and wife Judy, Daniel Sunderland and wife Vicky, Gary Sunderland and wife Velvet, as well as stepchildren, William Sunderland and wife Ann, and Diane Simmons and husband Jake Tonsfeldt. Lillian had 11 grandchildren; Nicole, Teresa, Courtney, Serena, Erin, Connor, Lilli-Jo, Taryn, Kenneth, Morgan, Quinn and six great-grandchildren.

A memorial service is scheduled for 10am Saturday Nov 7 at Coventry Estates Baptist Church, 17133 E 39th St Independence MO, followed by a friends and family gathering. Lunch will be provided. Friends of the family are invited to call or visit anytime. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to: Community of Christ Special Ministries Church, 1706 S Northern Blvd, Independence MO 64052.

Lillian's Family Tree pdf format
Lillian's Ancestry Report

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