Alice Thacker Rust Sangster
July 20, 1928 – January 13, 2020
Charlotte - Alice Thacker Rust Sangster passed away at the age of 91 on January 13, 2020 after a long battle with dementia.
Alice was born in Greensboro, North Carolina on July 20, 1928 to Herman L. and Grady Hargis Thacker. She attended the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, and did graduate work at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. After graduation, she moved to Christiansburg, Virginia, where she taught for several years. In 2011, at age 83, she traveled to Virginia to celebrate the 60th anniversary of her students’ graduation.
In 1979, she married James O’Bannon Sangster, Jr. She returned to North Carolina to settle with her husband, Jim, in Weddington, NC. Along with Jim, she attended Sardis Presbyterian Church and was a member for 41 years. She worked by Jim’s side in their business, Jim Sangster & Associates, until they retired, and was devoted to our father until his death in 2005.
Alice had many interests and was actively involved in her community. She loved antique cars, painting, plants, and animals, great and small. Alice also enjoyed gardening, and especially loved collecting heirloom plants and day lilies. She and Jim also loved birds and made their property a haven for plants, birds, and their beloved pets. We remember Alice’s love of horses, particularly Tennessee Walkers. She often shared her memories of visiting her grandfather’s farm in Tennessee, where he taught her to ride and how to care for the horses.
Alice had an interest in drawing and painting since childhood. However, she still considered herself as just a “Sunday painter.” She studied art briefly at UNC-G and at VCU. She also studied at the Washington School of Art. Locally, she studied under Boyce Kendrick, Edgar Whitney, and the late Jane Ammons, to whom she credited her return to painting after an absence of ten years. She won awards with the Art League of Union County and the Charlotte Art League. Our favorite paintings are her watercolors, some of which were shown with the Watercolor Society of North Carolina and at the Mint Museum in Charlotte. She also held a two-person exhibit at the YWCA Artworks in Charlotte.
Alice was an independent and private person. But she was always available to her friends and family. She often sat with elderly and sick friends and supported their families who needed respite. When her husband Jim was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she became involved with Shining Stars Adult Day Respite, and continued volunteering after her husband’s death. As Alice herself once said, she lived a good, long life. While we grieve for our loss, we envision her on a grassy hill, paintbrush in hand, beneath a tree filled with songbirds and flowers, and a Tennessee Walker grazing nearby.
A private service for the family was held in the Chapel at Sardis Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC. Alice was laid to rest in the church cemetery beside her husband Jim.
She is survived by her stepchildren: Susan McBride (Doug), Bannon Sangster, Tim Sangster (Sharon), and Eve Brown (Jeff). Her step-grandchildren include: Conrad Withrow (Mariela), Natalie Sangster, Whitney Sangster, Brandon Sangster (Kimber), Shelby Sangster (Chris), Lexy Burton (Thomas), and Curt Brown.
Alice generously gave to a variety of organizations. In lieu of flowers, you may donate in her honor to any of the following organizations:
Shining Stars Adult Day Respite (Sardis Presbyterian Church, 6100 Sardis Road, Charlotte, NC 28270); Alzheimer's Association - Western Carolina Chapter (4600 Park Road, Ste 250, Charlotte, NC 28209); American Cancer Society (1901 Brunswick Avenue, Suite 100, Charlotte, NC 28207); Wing Haven Garden & Bird Sanctuary (260 Ridgewood Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28209); Humane Society of Union County, Inc. (4015 Waxhaw Hwy, Monroe, NC 28112).