Richard John "Dick" Saunders passed away at the age of 88 at his home on October 12, 2018 in Independence, Kansas.
Dick was born on May 12, 1930 in Seattle Washington to Virginia Leonora [Brys] Davis and John Rueben Davis. His father died when he was 6 years old. His mother married Clarence Elmer Saunders when he was 8 years old. His step father adopted him and his sister Lora Lee Hester. Dick has a half-sister, Carol Lou Saunders Luther. They lived in Spokane Washington at this time.
From there, they moved to Bremerton Washington for about 6 months. Then they moved to Mercer island, Washington, which is in Lake Washington on the East side of Seattle. He went to Mercer Island grade school through the 8th grade. He attended Franklin High School in Seattle for his freshman and sophomore year. His junior and senior years, he attended Overlake High School in Bellevue, Washington graduating in May 1948. During his High School career at Overlake, Dick lettered in every sport.
In August 1948, Dick joined the United States Navy. His boot camp was in San Diego Naval Training Station and then he was sent to Corpus Christie, Texas for 3 weeks of solid Mathematics to train for Electronics Tech. From there, Dick went to Memphis, TN for 48 weeks for Aviation Electronics. He was sent to Saipan Island for one month, then on to Sangley Point Philippines for 32 straight months during the Korean War. He flew in a Sea Plane [PBM-5] as a Radar Tech and aerial gunnery.
He met his life-long friend, William Glen "Curly" Percy, at Sangley Point. Curly nicknamed him "Sandy". Both were discharged from the Navy in the summer of 1952. They made the decision for Dick to come to Kansas to play football together at Independence Community College.
He enjoyed playing fast pitch softball in his middle 20's into his 30's and was quite the homerun hitter scoring 37 home runs in 20 games. He coached the American Legion baseball league here in Independence until he was 40.
Dick married Juanita Langston on March 21, 1953. They have four children, Richard Wayne, Robert John, Susan Lynette Saunders, & Debra Diane Saunders Cirilo. He has 10 grand children and 11 great grand children. He was preceded in death by his father, John Davis, his stepfather Clarence Saunders and his mother Virginia Leonora.
Dick was employed by Union Gas System [later United Cities Gas Service] for 41 years. He was hired as a draftsman and became the Vice President of Operations. After retiring in 1995, the company kept Dick one year longer on a retainer.
His passion was fishing. His happy time was spending the day in his bass boat crappie fishing.
He is loved by his wife, children, and grand children and will be greatly missed.
Services for Richard will be held 10:00 am Saturday, October 20, 2018 at Webb and Rodrick Chapel. Visitation with family will be Friday, October 19, 2018 from 6-8 pm at Webb & Rodrick Chapel.