Wilkins Alwin Saunders, 91, of Roanoke and formerly of Bedford, died Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 in Roanoke United Methodist Home. He was born April 5, 1921 in Bedford County, a son of the late Janie Verna Gray Saunders and Joseph James Saunders. Wilkins was a life member of Thaxton Baptist Church where the honor of Deacon Emeritus was bestowed upon him. He truly was a dedicated member and loved his church. Quite often Wilkins made visits with the minister to other parishioners. He served in the US Army during WWII. Wilkins was also a member of VFW Peaks of Otter Post #215, American Legion Post #54, and Elks Lodge BPOE #321. He attended National Business College and retired from the US Postal Service with over 42 years of service. He enjoyed yard work and gardening. In addition to his parents, Wilkins was preceded in death by three brothers, Joseph James Saunders, Jr., Lawton Ralph Saunders and Bernard West Saunders; and one sister, Rebecca Gray Saunders Day. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Nancy Jane Whitworth Saunders; two sisters, Mary Jane Salyer of Bedford and Betty Frances Christian and her husband, Jack of Kingsport, TN; four sisters-in-law, Frances Hendrick Saunders, Marian Scott Saunders, Margaret Overstreet Saunders, and Judy Whitworth Breedlove and her husband, William; two brothers-in-law, James Phillip Whitworth and John M. Whitworth; and numerous nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions may be made to Thaxton Baptist Church Building Fund, PO Box 32, Thaxton, VA 24174. A celebration of Wilkinsâ€™ life was conducted at 2 pm, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 in the Tharp Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Dr. Eldridge V. Cullum officiating. Burial followed in Walnut Grove Union Church Cemetery with military graveside honors given by the National Guard. To send condolences, please visit www.tharpfuneralhome.com. Arrangements by Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Bedford, 586-3443.
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Published in Bedford Bulletin from Oct. 31 to Nov. 1, 2012