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Natalie Rose Sanford

September 21, 2000 ~ December 22, 2018 (age 18)

Natalie Rose Sanford of Carmel passed away at Stanford Medical Center on Saturday, December 22nd. Born in Walnut Creek, California on September 21, 2000, Natalie brought love and light into the many lives she touched with her kindness, energy, beauty, and humor. 
She attended Carmel River School, Carmel Middle School and was a senior this year at York School in Monterey. Natalie was a musician and singer, participating in numerous instrumental and choral ensembles. She was an accomplished pianist, the junior organist at the Church of the Wayfarer in Carmel, and formerly a percussionist in the Youth Music Monterey orchestra. Natalie danced throughout her life, from a young age learning and performing Irish Dance with her older sister, Isabelle, and frequently attending contra and swing dancing events. A diligent student, eager learner, and athlete, Natalie studied Latin and Ancient Greek, achieved a level of fluency in French, pursued her interest in theater as a lighting technician, and participated in York's Junior Statesmen of America debate club, soccer and cross country teams. 
Natalie showed different sides of herself to others. Her caring heart led her to connect with children, giving piano lessons, and delighting her younger cousins. She shared laughter and intriguing conversations with her friends, from whom she received support through many difficult times, and for whom she provided a listening ear and encouragement when they needed it; she made people feel they were important. Natalie often baked goods to share at school and regularly provided her much-loved chocolate chip cookies when she worked at Pickings Antiques in Pacific Grove. She also volunteered at Joining Hands Benefit Shop in Carmel, where customers and colleagues remarked on her polite, helpful, cheerful nature. Natalie loved hiking, rock climbing, and annual family camping trips in Big Sur, and she found joy in little things like card games and cups of hot tea.
Natalie was deeply loved and will be dearly missed by her family, and her friends, mentors, and teachers. Her wit, her curious mind, her caring heart, and her music brought them great joy. Natalie is survived by her mother, Pamela Jean Clemens of Carmel; her father, Mark Joseph Sanford of Carmel; her older sister, Isabelle Joy Sanford, currently attending Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania; her grandparents, Marian and Gordon Clemens of Carmel; and numerous beloved cousins, aunts, and uncles. Her extended family includes many friends, members of the York community, her former piano teacher and current boss/close friend, and her organ teacher and sarcasm mentor. 
Photos, stories, and remembrances of Natalie's beautiful yet all too brief life may be viewed on Facebook at Remembering Natalie Rose Sanford. There will be a Celebration of Life at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 5th at the Church of the Wayfarer in Carmel for family and friends. Donations may be made in Natalie's memory to AIM Youth Mental Health at aimformentalhealth.org, or to the Church of the Wayfarer organ fund.

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