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Keith R. Sanders, 71, passed away at his home on Jan. 12, 2011, after a long battle with pulmonary fibrosis. Keith was born to Earl and Dortha Sanders on July 31, 1939, in Benton, Illinois, where he graduated high school in 1957. He married his college sweetheart Carol Dial in 1961. She survives. They would have shared 50 years of marriage in March. He held bachelor and master's degrees from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) and received a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. He was currently working on an additional degree at the University of Chicago. In his long career in education, Keith held many titles: assistant professor The George Washington University in Washington, DC; President, SIUC Alumni Association; Professor of Speech Communication at SIUC; Government Relations Officer for the SIU system; Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts at SIUC; Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Senior Vice President for Administration and Chief Operating Officer for the University of Wisconsin system; and Executive Director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education. In 2004, he was appointed to serve as a member of the SIU Board of Trustees, a position he held until his death. Keith enjoyed the outdoors. He could regularly be found boating with his grand-daughters in Door County, Wisconsin. Keith also found relaxation with dear friends, watching the rain and snow, reading and listening to music. He was a devoted and loving husband; father; and grandfather. Survivors include his wife Carol Sanders of Spring Grove; son, Mark Sanders of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin; granddaughters, Lily Sanders and Zoë Sanders of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin; a sister and brother-in-law, Megan Sweetin- Sackman and Ray Sackman of Marion, Illinois; and many nieces and nephews. A celebration and remembrance of his life is planned at his alma mater, SIUC, at Shyrock Auditorium on Friday, Feb. 11, 2011, at 2 p.m. A reception will follow. Keith never forgot his beginnings in Benton, Illinois. He and Carol endowed a scholarship for high achieving, low income Franklin County, Illinois, students to achieve their dreams at SIUC. Memorials can be made to that fund at the SIU Foundation, 1235 Douglas Drive, Mail code 6805, Carbondale, IL 62901, designated for the Keith and Carol Sanders Alumni Scholarship.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Jan. 16, 2011
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