Stephen Charles (Steve) Saunders
{ "" }
Share
Share Stephen's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
1913-2014 Steve passed away at Luther Park in Sandpoint, Idaho on Tuesday, December 2, 2014. He was born March 24, 1913 in Marysville, Washington to Stephen Saunders and Mary Elizabeth Swinnerton Saunders. Steve was the youngest of five sons and a descendent of the earliest pioneer families in Marysville. Steve's grandfather Swinnerton was the first mayor of Marysville. After graduation from Marysville High School in 1931, Steve attended Washington State University and graduated with a degree in business administration. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and a manager of the football team. At WSC (now WSU) Steve made many life-long friends. He remained an enthusiastic Cougar fan his entire life. His first job after college was as a shorthand secretary in the Everett Weyerhaeuser Timber Company. Shortly after starting this job his older brother died of a heart attack and Steve joined his father in the family real estate business for the Marysville/Everett area. In 1938 Steve joined the Naval reserves. On December 7, 1941 Steve and his future business partner, Dan Duryee Jr., were issued guns and told to protect Colby Avenue from Everett Ave to Hewitt Ave. Neither had weapons training. As WWII loomed Steve received orders in 1941 to report for active duty in San Diego to train to be a ship's store keeper. He served aboard the USS Pathfinder on its maiden voyage with vessel orders to map and survey harbors in the South Pacific islands for potential amphibious operations. Christmas was spent at Funa Futi in the Ellis Island Group. From there the Pathfinder arrived at Guadacanal just in time to experience heavy bombing. Later in the war, Steve was selected for naval officers' school at Harvard. Prior to the armistice he had a two year assignment as the supply officer of a construction battalion in Okinawa. He talked little about the war but he did keep a diary during his time of service. He attended the inauguration of the WWII Memorial in Washington, D. C. on May 29, 2004. After the war Steve returned to Everett where he and Dan Duryee Jr. continued the work of their fathers (Stephen and Dan Sr., respectively). They specialized in developing residential subdivisions in Snohomish and Island County. Steve and Dan's partnership was a special lifelong friendship as well as a business. One night as a dinner guest with the Oftebro family, Steve met a boarder and kindergarten teacher named Josephine Jeffers. After a short courtship Steve and Jo were married in 1949 by Jo's father, the Honorable Clyde Jeffers, Chief Justice of the Washington Supreme Court. Steve and Jo loved to travel, spend time with their family, and visit their cabin on Camano Island, Wash. Steve was reserved and modest in his love for the people of Snohomish County but his actions were not. His passion was helping in the improvement of life for the community of Everett and encouraging others in community service. He served on the boards of many community organizations with enthusiasm. Steve was preceded in death this year by both his wife of 64 years, Josephine, and also a son, Michael. Steve is survived by daughter, Mary Snedden (Dr. John) of Sandpoint, Idaho, and six grandchildren: Stephen Snedden of Sandpoint; Anna Smith (Peter) of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; Erika Sargent (Ryan) of Oceanside, Calif.; Sarah Anaya of Austin, Texas; Marissa Schuh (Troy); and Michael Saunders, Jr. of Montana. In addition, Steve is survived by nine great-grandchildren. In March of 2013 Steve celebrated his 100 year birthday with friends and family in Southern California. The day before his 100th he golfed nine holes and scored two pars. There will be a Celebration of Life in memory of Josephine and Steve at First Presbyterian Church in Everett on Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 2 p.m. Two lives well lived. Go Cougs!


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Herald (Everett) from Dec. 7 to Dec. 8, 2014.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
10 entries
December 15, 2014
What a great and wonderful man and couple last saw them at a Rotary luncheon about 6 yrs ago, where else but a service club, first met when I worked for Dan Duryee back in the 70's, those were great times to work in Everett with people such as the Saunders' and Duryees'leading us in the community. God Bless them all and thank you.
Bill Matthies
December 15, 2014
Mr & Mrs.Saunders were our neighbors for many years, both Gary & I were very close friends to their Son Mike. We have nothing but very fond memories of your Family. R.I.P. Steve
Gary & Dawn, Kristina & Kaydin Halstead
December 14, 2014
Sue and I had the pleasure and honor of being next door neighbors to Steve and Jo for just a few years. They were simply wonderful people and will forever hold a special place in our hearts.
Patrick Aaby
December 13, 2014
To Mary, John and Family~
Representing the Oftebros that introduced Steve and Jo, we all send our deepest sympathy and prayers to your entire family for such a lovely couple who will be so dearly missed by all. Our parents, Nan and Jerry were blessed to have them as their closest lifelong friends and to have them around to share many Fourth of July and family celebrations. Their enduring love and inspiring lives have created wonderful memories for so many.
John Oftebro
December 11, 2014
I knew Steve when I worked for Dan Duryee at Tyee Escrow where I began my escrow career. Being an Everett native I crossed paths with Steve many times, the last time being three years ago at a friend's birthday celebration in Palm Springs. Always the perfect gentleman! My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Terry Asiala (Bjorklund-Taylor)
December 11, 2014
John, Mary & Family,

Our deepest sympathies for your loss. Jo & Stephen will be deeply missed. I will always treasure the time we had together. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Matthew 5:4
Steve Saunders & Family
December 8, 2014
To the entire family, I send you my sincerest condolences. I got to know Steve as a board member of ICON. His kindness, constant smile, intelligence, humor will leave a lasting memory not only to myself, but I am sure to everyone that knew Steve. Peace to you, but smile as I am sure he left everyone with a treasure trove of wonderful memories.
Mary Conery
December 8, 2014
What a great couple Steve and Jo were. They were always so friendly and interested in you as a person. I'm so glad I had an opportunity to get to know them as customers of the bank, and outside of work too.
Rose Marie Branson
December 8, 2014
Mr. and Mrs. Saunders (it's hard for me to think of them as Steve and Jo) exemplified lives well lived. In addition to Mr. Saunders business association with Dad, they were north Everett neighbors & family friends, offering many encouraging words to me and to my siblings. Their community involvements were significant and inspiring. May both Jo and Steve rest in eternal peace.
Matt Hornyak
December 7, 2014
Steve and Jo Saunders were long term friends with my grandparents, Herbert and Vera Lohr. I will always be grateful for the friendship and love that they shared.
Leslie Alexander Miller
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences