Leonard Dale Sanders | Robinson Daily News
Robinson Daily News

Leonard Dale Sanders

Posted on June 1, 2022


Flat Rock, Dec. 25, 1934 - Ill. — Apr. 25, 2022Leonard Dale Sanders, 87, of Flat Rock, IL, passed away on April 25, 2022, at his home. He was born December 25, 1934, in Marshall, IL, the son of Nathan & Edna (Buckley) Sanders. He grew up in rural Flat Rock, where he attended school before transferring to Robinson High School. Following graduation in 1952, he found employment with the Ettelbrick Shoe Factory before proudly serving his country in the U.S. Army from 1954-1956. After basic training, he was sent to Germany and tasked to chauffeur a general who recognized that the impatient Leonard wasn't satisfied with waiting around and doing nothing. So, he was soon sent to learn how to work on radios, which he would do for his remaining time in the Army.

In 1958, he married Pearl Clark, and from this 11-year union, two children were born, Rusty and Robby. Leonard provided for his young family by working in local oil fields and even worked in Michigan oil fields for a time. Eventually, he moved back home, finding work as a press operator for Victor in early January 1967, and was later promoted into a management position as foreman. It was here that he met Shirley (Jenkins), and they were married on October 28, 1972. Factory work didn't really suit Leonard, as he desired to tend to the soil as a farmer. Though farming was his passion, he only did it for a few years before returning to the oil field, where he made a name for himself over the last several decades. For a period of time, Sanders Well Service was the largest in the area, due in no small part to Leonard's expertise and God-given intelligence. In short, there was nothing in the oil field that the man hadn't done or couldn't do. Even after retirement, others would routinely come to him for advice on a particular problem, and he would offer to come out of retirement to help.

When he wasn't out in the field, it would be safe to assume that Leonard could be found in his woodshop. A master carpenter, his hands crafted everything from hope chests and jewelry boxes to tables and rocking chairs. He also made his own bows, which he used with great skill at various archery competitions. His hands also knit nets to be used to fish at the river. Fishing was a great joy in Leonard's life, as it offered him a sense of peace and quiet from the hustle of everyday life.

As he grew older, he wasn't content with sitting around at home all day. Instead, he would take a ride (in) his side-by-side, a common sight to his family and many, many friends. It could be said that Leonard knew no stranger and was well-loved by all who knew him. His face was a familiar and welcome one at the Maxwell House and the Flat Rock American Legion Post #132, where he was a longtime member.

Time and again throughout his 87 years, it was evident that Leonard Sanders represented the best of us. He selflessly gave of himself in the name of freedom for his fellow man, he used his giftings to do good and meaningful work while providing for his family, and he valued others in such a way that his passing leaves a hole in the community he so deeply cherished. Leonard's legacy lives on in the hearts of all who knew him, and we will never forget him.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Shirley Sanders; his sons, Rusty & Erin Sanders and Robby Sanders; his grandchildren, Kristina & Brad Buchanan, Sadie Sanders, Bridgette & Carlos Martinez, Sr., and Nathan Sanders; his great-grandchildren, Willow Douglas, Clayton Buchanan, McKenzie Buchanan, Addy Buchanan, Aiden McAlpine, and Caden Martinez; as well as many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his siblings, Madonna Cross, Norma Hancock, and Leon Sanders; and his half-brother, Cliff Sanders.

A time of visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 30th, at the Goodwine Funeral Home in Flat Rock. Funeral services will immediately follow and be held at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday at the funeral home with Celebrant Curt Goodwine officiating. For those unable to attend, a recording of the service will eventually be available on Goodwine Funeral Homes' Facebook page or by visiting www.goodwinefuneralhomes.com/live-stream/live-stream.

Burial will be in the Jones Cemetery, where military rites will be accorded by the combined units of the U.S. Army, the Robinson V.F.W. Post #4549, the Robinson American Legion Post #69, and the Flat Rock American Legion Post #132. Memorial contributions may be made to either the "Palestine Food Pantry" or to "Mission 22", an organization that provides extensive, personalized support and resources to help veterans and their families thrive. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home. For more information, or to share a memory or condolence online, please visit www.goodwinefuneralhomes.com.

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