Ann Marie Sanchez

ann  sanchez

December 12, 1944 ~ January 19, 2024

Born in: Little Rock, Arkansas
Resided in: Atlanta, Georgia

Ann Marie “Missy” Sanchez, age 79, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 19th at home, after a life spent helping people find their way in the world.

Missy is survived by her son J. Scott Sanchez, daughter-in-law Christin Sanchez, grandchildren Ryan and Riley Sanchez, and her daughter Suzanna Sanchez Doyle and son-in-law Ryan Doyle.

Missy was born December 12, 1944, in Little Rock, Arkansas as the only child to Cladie and Lamar Alford, where she realized that her life was richer when she was surrounded by friends. Missy graduated from the University of Arkansas, was the President of her sorority Zeta Tau Alpha, and proudly called the hogs as a Razorback cheerleader. These experiences foreshadowed that her life would be spent cheering on and helping people to maximize their potential. She married Lorenzo “Larry” Sanchez on August 16, 1969, in Little Rock and, after a brief stint in Puerto Rico, they settled in Atlanta to build their lives together.

Missy spent all 34 years of her career at Woodward Academy, a K-12 private school in Atlanta that fundamentally believes in “Every Opportunity for Every Student.” Missy took that to heart and built the college counseling department from the ground up into a model admired nationally. She passionately believed that every student had potential and she worked tirelessly for each and every Woodward War Eagle to help them find their right fit for college and realize all of the opportunities ahead of them after leaving Woodward.

Missy loved her work, loved to travel, and loved the theater and the arts. Through it all, it was the people around her that mattered most and helped her to live life to the fullest. She was married to her beloved husband Larry for 50 years, until his passing in 2019. Her colleagues at Woodward and beyond became lifelong friends. Given Missy’s unquenchable thirst to see new places, she frequently traveled with dear friends and having never met a stranger in her life, made new ones along the way. In her later years, she loved weekly family dinners, laughing and playing games with her children and grandchildren, immersing herself in her loving Lenbrook community, and long chats with friends who dropped by. Missy had an uncanny ability to reach people in a deep and positive way, and, while everyone touched by Missy would say what a wonderful person and beacon of light and warmth she was, Missy appreciated them even more.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2024 at 2:00pm at the Woodward Academy Chapel at 1693 Rugby Avenue in College Park, Georgia, and she will be buried in 2025 with her husband Larry at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

In honor of Missy’s life’s work, the family suggests making a donation to Woodward Academy at – where the family is planning to honor Missy’s legacy of helping students find their way in the world.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Ana & Bob Carone says:

    Our sincerest condolences to the family. She was a wonderful lady, and she will be missed. It was always a pleasure to see her each time we traveled to Atlanta to see the family. It will not be the same.

  2. Nanette. Tarbouni says:

    It’s so true that Missy “never met a stranger”! We are all so blessed to have known her…she made us each feel like we were her best friend.

  3. Candy Berman says:

    Missy was one of the most helpful professionals. We had an amazing relationship. She directed my kids towards college and I helped her with her wardrobe. I was reunited with her when Suzanna was planning her wedding. We will really miss her.

  4. Jennifer and Bill Kahnweiler says:

    Missy was a bright light whose warmth spilled over. She was so helpful to our daughters in guiding them towards schools that were the right fit. She had a special gift and impacted countless lives. RIP Missy..

  5. Susan Harvin says:

    We will miss sweet Missy and her cheerful spirit. She was an amazing guidance counselor for my three children at Woodward but also an amazing friend. She was there for us during our personal challenges and added great fun to everyday life and as she lead our spring ski trips. She made such a powerful impact on our family and the community. We are grateful for her life and love..

  6. Holly Harvin says:

    Missy touched my life in so many ways. When I look back at my WA years, I feel like she was one of my greatest supporters. She always greeted me with the warmest smile and hello. I’ll never forget our CO trips together as well. She was instrumental in me and my family’s lives, especially during my senior year. She will be greatly missed.

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