Alan E. Sanderson Sr., 76, of Whately, passed away suddenly at his home on Saturday Nov. 9, 2013.
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Alan was born in the North Street homestead on Feb. 6, 1937, the son of the late William and Madeline (Gifford) Sanderson. He was a lifelong Whately resident.
Alan attended Smith Vocational & Agricultural High School and graduated in 1955. After graduation, Alan enlisted in the United States Army from 1955 through 1958, serving at Fort Hood in Texas and overseas in Germany in the armored tank division ""Hell on Wheels.""
From the time he returned from the Army through 1968, Alan and his brother Neal, along with their father, owned and operated a dairy farm located on North Street, known as Fairview Farm. In 1968, Alan took a job with Consolidated Cigar Corporation, rising to the position of District Manager. In 1983, Alan and his sons bought the farmland on Long Plain Road, now known as Fairview Farms, a local grower of tobacco, flowers, and vegetables. Subsequently, Alan left Consolidated Cigar in 1987 to devote his full-time attention to the farm.
Alan joined the Whately Fire Department in the 1960s and retired as a Lieutenant. He served on the Planning Board and was instrumental in the building of the Whately Youth Center. He was a Past Master of the Whately Grange and a Charter Member of the Whately Lions Club, where he was a recipient of the Melvin Jones Achievement Award. He was also a trustee of the West Whately Chapel and a member of the Whately Congregational Church.
First and foremost, Alan enjoyed his family, farm, and the Whately community. He loved Monday night poker with his fellow firefighters, and Sunday morning cribbage games at the Fairview Farms Cribbage Club. An occasional trip to Mohegan was never out of the question. Alan could often be seen driving around town checking his fields, talking with his neighbors, and enjoying all that Whately has to offer.
He will be greatly missed by his wife of 54 years, Beverly (Thornton) Sanderson. He also leaves his children Alan Jr. and his wife Cindy (Ciesluk) and their children, Meagan and Jake; Brad and his loving companion Kalani (Willis) and their children, Tara, John and Samantha, and great-grandson, Bryson. He is also survived by his older brother, Neal, and sister, Marjorie Babb.
Calling hours will be at the Wrisley Funeral Home in South Deerfield on Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 4 to 7 p.m. A funeral service will be held on Thursday Nov. 14, at 10 a.m. at the Whately Congregational Church.
In lieu of flowers, it was Alan's wish that donations be made in his memory to the West Whately Chapel Fund, care of Grace Dwight, P.O. Box 72, or to the Whately Historical Society, P.O.Box 7, both in Whately,Mass. 01093.
Expressions of sympathy are available at:
Published in The Recorder on Nov. 12, 2013
Wrisley Funeral Home
90 Sugarloaf Street South Deerfield, MA 01373