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SAUNDERS, Alonzo Douglas Esq. Alonzo Douglas Saunders, Esquire, a 40 year resident of Boston's South End, 71, died on August 25, 2018, after a decade of declining health from Alzheimer's Disease. In all matters, Attorney Saunders followed his own path and his own clock, so a one year delay in placing his obituary would have suited him well. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio to the late Alonzo D., Sr. and Helen (Anderson) Saunders. His mother was a teacher and church organist who instilled in her only child a thirst for knowledge and great love of music. After graduating from Walnut Hills High School he matriculated at Ohio State University where he majored in History with a concentration in East Asian Studies. One summer he had an internship on the East Asia Desk at the U.S. Department of State. Saunders pursued graduate studies at Harvard University, first in the East Asian Studies program, but after one year, he transferred to Harvard Law School, because he felt drawn to law rather than diplomacy. In his final year at Law School then-Professor Stephen Breyer was his tutor for his required third year research paper. He graduated in 1973, passed the Massachusetts Bar, and began his legal career at Csaplar & Bok. Saunders subsequently joined the legal department of The Gillette Company where at one point he combined his legal expertise with his avocation as an aficionado of paper and inks. He had taken advanced chemistry at OSU, and that expertise allowed him to help the FBI solve a Paper Mate pen-related crime that involved Howard Hughes. Saunders was an avid reader. His knowledge on countless topics was broad. He dug deep. His appreciation of barbecue, as both chef and authority, was impressive, and he was a judge at the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Nothing, however, captured his brain like jazz. He was a founder of the Boston Jazz Society, Inc. which provided financial support to promising young musicians. Berklee College of Music honored him for his work "Keeping Jazz Alive." In addition to his pristine collection of LPs and CDs, he treasured the drum sticks handed to him in thanks at an Abbey Lincoln performance when he discreetly supplied forgotten lyrics when the singer blanked in mid- song. In his later years, he turned to teaching and was on the faculty at several colleges and institutions including: Mt. Ida, Wheelock, and Roxbury Community College where in 2003 he created a course called "The Law and the Internet." If you asked his lifelong friends for a single word to describe Al Saunders, the winning word would be "cool." He was a brilliant, self-possessed man of great integrity who was never swayed by fads or trends. He loved books and learning. He loved music and especially jazz. He loved the law, and he loved teaching. Above all, he loved Sherry Walker, his devoted partner of 43 years who cared for him in good times and throughout his decline in recent years. As his friends would have expected, Saunders wanted nothing to do with a funeral. He might urge us to have two fingers of fine bourbon neat, listen to some great jazz, and get into a good book. No services. Online guestbook at www.brownandhickey.com
Published in The Boston Globe on Aug. 25, 2019
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