Chesterton Tribune



Betty Stuart Sander dies at age 89

Back To Front Page

Betty Stuart Sander, artist, scholar, musician, hippie den mother, organic farmer, lover of the shaggy, inspiration to many, 1925-2014.

The daughter of James E. and Bethel Beery Stuart, of Cincinnati, Ohio, Betty died November 18, 2014, in Portland, Oregon. She was preceded in death by her husband, David Sander in 1998 and is survived by her daughters Sidney Smith and Stuart Sander of Portland, Oregon, and Shaw Sander of Tucson, Arizona.

She attended Oberlin College from 1943-1945, and the University of Chicago, receiving her MA in 1951 in classical Greek and Latin. She also attended the Ox-Bow Summer School of Painting of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1962-1964.

Betty Sander was a well-known and loved artist, exhibiting her work extensively in Indiana and the Chicago area. She participated in many juried shows, including the Chicago and Vicinity Show at the Art Institute, the Indiana Artists Show at the Indianapolis Museum of Fine Arts and the Art Barn in Valparaiso, Indiana. She was an organizer of the Chesterton Art Fair in Chesterton, Indiana, from 1961-1963 and the Lincoln Avenue Festival of the Arts, Chicago from 1977-1983.

She had numerous solo shows at Chicago area galleries such as Gallery I at Mundelein College and the Body Politic Lobby Gallery, as well as the South Bend, Indiana Art Center Gallery.

Mrs. Sander lived much of her adult life in northern Indiana and with David owned the Saturday's Child coffee house in Porter, Indiana in the 1960's and early 1970's. She would travel to Bloomington, Indiana to hear the latest musicians playing in the local clubs, picking favorites to come play for a weekend at the coffeehouse up north. The couple, then in their 40's, housed the musicians for the weekend at their farm. She recalled many late evenings going to bed to the sounds of the musicians and their entourages “jamming” in the living room late into the night. When she'd awaken the next morning, sleeping people would, in her words, “festoon the living room, making perfect subjects for my still life drawings.”

She and David were politically active, hosting SDS, Rising Up Angry, the Weather Underground and other politically radical gatherings at their farm near Chesterton. She would often remember with pride that the FBI kept watch on the comings and goings at the farm.

Sander moved to Bloomington, Indiana, in 1984 and exhibited her work extensively at the Bellevue Gallery and the Bloomington Art Fair on the Square. From 1990-1994 she was Treasurer of the Bellevue Gallery, Bloomington, and from 1985-1994 was Coordinator of the Life Drawing Co-op, Bloomington. Betty played Dobro guitar at the Runcible Spoon Cafe and was a deejay at WQAX, a community radio station that preceded today's WFHB.

Her work is available for viewing and purchase at There are Facebook pages for both Betty Sander Artist and Saturday's Child coffeehouse.

A memorial service will be held August 8, 2015, in Chesterton/Porter. Further information will be available soon on the Betty Sander Artist Facebook page or email


Posted 12/12/2014