On Saturday, June 29, 2019, at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, Fayetteville, NC; Ernestine Sanders-Hilliard surrounded by her loving family completed her journey on this earth.
Ernestine attended Robeson County Schools while growing up in Lumberton. She moved to Miami, FL, where she met and married James Hilliard, and produced three children. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Nova Southeastern University. She taught for many years in Miami-Dade County Public Schools until her retirement. She was an excellent paraprofessional and teacher, and was loved by her students. Many of whom went on to successful careers and have become community leaders as adults.
A devoted member of Sandy Grove Baptist Church, Ernestine gave her life to Christ at an early age. Before leaving Miami, she continued her christian walk at Peace Missionary Baptist Church, where as a member she was active on the Pastor’s Aide Committee and Mother’s Board. She was truly loved, and adored by her family, both at church and home, and her colleagues and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents Will Sanders and Vivian Powell-Sanders; two brothers, Willie “Big Will” Sanders and Thomas Sanders; four sisters, Vashti Sanders, Mary Ann Sanders-Bowden, Vivian Lee “Pig” Sanders-Jones and Rosa Lee Leige-Smith all of Lumberton, NC; and, one brother- and sister-in-law, Hiawatha Hilliard (Minnie), Durham, NC.
Ernestine leaves to cherish her memories: two daughters, Wanda Sanders-Hough (David), Elizabethtown, NC and Beverlyn Hilliard-Symonette, Fayetteville, NC; two sons, Jeffery Hilliard, Bronx, NY, and Dwaine Hilliard, Fayetteville, NC; a special cousin Dr. Cheryl Powell-Polite, Pembroke Pines, FL; a niece and nephew that she loved like her own children, Mary Charlene Kelly, Fayetteville, NC and Charles Lemont Leige, Brooklyn, NY; former husband, Deacon James Hilliard, Fayetteville, NC; one sister, Roberta Sinclair (Tom), Baltimore, MD; one brother-in-law, Otis Washington (Osie), Miami, FL; one aunt, Vermell S. McCray (the late Aaron), Cross, SC; seven grandchildren, Yolonda Sanders, New York, NY, David Hough, Lamar, SC, Jeremy Hough, Greensboro, NC and Serena Sanders, Elizabethtown, NC; Charquila Symonette, Greenville, NC and Charquoia Symonette-Corbitt (Joshua), Miami, FL; and Tiana Carraway, Bronx, NY; fifteen great-grandchildren, Diamond Sanders, New York, NY, Andrea A. Davis, Marietta, GA, and Kasson and Kalvin Page, New York, NY; Dashanay Brown, New York, NY and Daveah Hough, Elizabethtown, NC; Jah’Mere Alexander Michael Hough and Jeremy Amir Hough, Greensboro, NC; Anaria Sanders, Elizabethtown, NC; Tyler Symonette-Cooper and Kwayne Stringer, Greenville, NC; Ka’Teyah Albury, Khloe-Sanai Murray and Journee Corbitt, Miami, FL; and Amyijah Carraway, Bronx, NY; two great-great-grandchildren, Jae’Lynn Sanders, New York, NY and Kamiliah Lewis, Marietta, GA; and a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.