Richard Royce Sanders went to the arms of our loving Father on March 24, 2014. Richard was born on November 9, 1933, in Bowie, Texas, the youngest of five children born to Roy and Bertie Sanders. Richard graduated from Bowie High School in 1951 and married his childhood sweetheart, Barbara Ann Precise, on June 14, 1952. Richard and Barbara moved to Austin, Texas, where he attended the University of Texas while working at the University bookstore. In 1954 they moved to Arlington, Texas, where Richard worked at the General Motors Assembly Plant. Not long after, Richard was promoted to District Sales Manager for the Oldsmobile division of General Motors in the Kansas City area. Richard, Barbara, and their infant daughter, Becky, moved to St. Joseph, Missouri, where they lived for many years, and where their daughter, Suzanne, and son, Shawn, were born.
Richard was a man of faith, and the church played a central role in his family’s life. Early on, the family attended the First United Methodist Church. Later, they were active members at Frederick Boulevard Baptist Church in St. Joseph. In Richard’s later years, he and Barbara moved their membership to Southside Baptist Church in Bowie, Texas, where he served as a deacon.
Richard worked for Oldsmobile for three decades, during which time he won numerous awards for his salesmanship, including trips to Rome and Puerto Rico for him and his wife. His territory included dealerships in towns across northern Missouri and eastern Kansas. Several of his dealers and their families became Richard and Barbara’s lifelong friends.
March 1 of almost any given year would find Richard braving the elements in Bennett Springs or Roaring River State Parks for the opening day of trout fishing season. He loved fly fishing, but was equally content to wet a line at a local farm pond, and never tired of helping untangle a line or attach a lure for his kids and grandkids.
Not long after his retirement in 1985, Richard and Barbara moved back to Bowie, Texas. Richard enjoyed many years RVing with his wife and other family. They traveled around the country, Richard on the lookout for fishing spots, Barbara on the lookout for garage sales, and both of them on the lookout for friends, which they made wherever they went. Much of their retirement was also spent playing 42, a Texas-style dominoes game, and making the occasional trip to a casino to play the nickel slots, just for fun.
In 2008, Richard and Barbara moved back to St. Joseph to be closer to their children. Richard bravely battled both Alzheimers and Parkinsons for more than a decade. Almost to the end, Richard managed to keep his sweet smile and his delightful sense of humor. He is, and will be, dearly missed by his friends and family.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Bertie Sanders; his brothers, Hamel Sanders and Roy Dean Sanders, Jr.; and his sister, Sue Helms, all of Bowie, Texas.
Those who survive him include his wife of 61 years, Barbara; daughter Becky Beegle of Houston; daughter Suzanne Crews of Camden Point, Missouri; son Shawn Sanders of St. Joseph, Missouri; brother Dean Sanders of Vashti, Texas; and five grandchildren.
The family will receive friends from 2:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. Saturday at Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory. Online guest book and obituary at www.meierhoffer.com. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association and Kendallwood Hospice of St. Joseph.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7