Former Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal remembered during celebration of life service

Published: Aug. 28, 2022 at 11:22 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Ga. (CBS46) - Hundreds of friends and family members gathered Saturday afternoon in the Ramsey Conference Center at Lanier Technical College to celebrate the life of former Georgia first lady Sandra Deal.

Deal died after a long battle with breast cancer that metastasized to her brain. She died Tuesday at her home in Demorest. She was 80 years old.

Deal was born Emilie Sandra Dunagan in Gainesville, Georgia, on Feb. 1, 1942.

She attended Georgia College and State University at Milledgeville, earning a bachelor’s in elementary education in 1963 and a master’s in elementary education in 1968.

She married Nathan Deal in 1966. Nathan Deal was sworn in as governor of Georgia on January 10, 2011, and was sworn in for his second term on January 12, 2015.

In tributes during the Celebration of Life memorial, friends and colleagues remembered a woman who was selfless and exceptionally generous with her time.

As first lady, Deal earned a reputation as a tireless advocate of children’s literacy, having read to more than 250,000 students at more than 1,000 schools in all 159 of Georgia’s counties.