John Lee Sanders passed away on Friday January 3rd 2020 at 8:45 p.m. He was 83 years old. Born on July 15th 1936 in Minden, West Virginia. John grew up in Los Angeles, California. John was a master freight handler employed by yellow Freight for 40 years. He was proud to be a teamster. John was predeceased by his sister Martha and Marval, grandchildren Travis Philbrook and Elizabeth Schweitzer. His surviving loved ones are his wife Mary, brother Mavin, children Sarah, Roberta, Kelly,Chris, Charles, and James; along with 9 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. He has many nieces, nephews and cousins throughout Washington State, Texas and California. John loved to travel and explore new places, he collected mugs from his travels. He made walking sticks for friends and family and collected canes.
Below is a testimony written in perspective of his grandchildren by his granddaughter Jennifer Nugent.
“You’ll get over it…” It’s the clichés that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life forever. You don’t get over it because ‘it” is the person you loved. The pain stops. There are new people, but the gap never closes.
John Sanders or "Gramps" was a most beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather. He was both understanding and compassionate. He was always surrounded by people who loved and cherished him.
You could always find him watching Football on Sundays with his kids and grandkids, or in his basement surrounded by his ever expanding collection of coffee mugs and his butterscotch candies, although I think most of us preferred the Honey sticks. Gramps definitely had his own excentricities whether it was making you feel like the most precious and treasured person in his life or popping out his dentures to watch you squirm and laugh. He was always thinking about how to make everyone around him smile.
When I think back about Gramps, I am reminded of how he would always number the gifts at Christmas parties so we couldn't tell who got which gift. And how when we would go to ask him for the list every number had his name next to it until Nana would say “John” in a teasingly authortive voice.
The memories I will hold on to tightest are those of going to Bingo. It was like a right of passage to be able to go. My fondest memory of bingo also includes another who is no longer with us. Lizzy and I were sitting at the table with big pickles in one hand and bingo daubers in the other, smiling and trying our best to be quiet and win that $500 blackout.
During Gramps' final moments in this world, he was surrounded not only by people who truly loved and cherished him but by the people who he loved and cherished. Even though many of Gramps' loved ones could not be by his side he knew that they were all with him in spirit. Gramps will be forever missed and Loved.
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