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Geana Freeman Sanders, 88, entered eternal rest on Monday, February 27, 2023, at home in Tampa surrounded by her family.

She is preceded in death by her husband Gene, parents Boyd and Othel Freeman, sister Louise Cornelius, and brothers Kenneth Freeman and Bud Freeman. Geana is survived by her daughters Elizabeth Lane and Kristi Hesse (Harvey) and three grandchildren; Austin Lane, William Hesse, and Emerson Hesse; sisters Fran Kelley, Sandy Frye, Faye Vaughn, Joyce Money, brother Chuck Freeman and brother-in-law Dennis Sanders, and many nieces and nephews.

Geana was born in Tellico Plains, Tennessee on May 19, 1934, and grew up in Kentucky. After moving to Ohio to work for Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant chain she then moved to Tampa with the company where she met her husband Gene in 1959 and they married on October 12, 1962, at Palma Ceia United Methodist Church. While raising her daughters she went to work for Hugh Culverhouse and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 20 years, where she became an avid NFL fan. In retirement she loved to read and had a green thumb and loved to cook and bake for her family and loved getting the perfect gifts for any occasion from her favorite store, Nordstrom’s. She loved entertaining and being with her family, and later doting on her grandchildren. She was a very devoted and loving wife and a supportive, kind and thoughtful mother and mother-in-law, and a fantastic “Mimi” to her grandchildren who she loved to spoil. She always welcomed anyone who walked into her home and made them feel like family. She was a beautiful person inside and out and will be greatly missed and always remembered for making the world’s best chicken and dumplings and pound cake.

A Funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 25th at 11:00 a.m. at Port Tampa United Methodist Church, 6914 S. De Soto St., Tampa, 33616.


  • Terri Contento
    Posted March 21, 2023 at 12:42 pm

    I worked with Geana at the Bucs – what a great lady and friend!!! She will be missed dearly.

  • Joyce Money
    Posted March 23, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    I am trying to comment while crying. This beautiful woman is my sister. I used the word us because she may have left this world because she will always be a part of my world through the incredible and many memories. Simply put, she was the very best sister that I could ask for. I will love you forever. Tell my favorite BIL hello. I will join you soon.

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