Mark Stewart Saunders, 63, of Monroe City, Missouri, unexpectedly passed away in his home on January 24.
Mark was born August 25, 1955 in Murfreesboro, TN the son of George Lancaster Saunders and Sarah Claudine Saunders Westendorf.
Mark married Denise Pfanner of Monroe City, on May 29, 1982.
Mark is survived by his loving wife, Denise Saunders; two daughters, Claire Smith (Vincent) and Anna Saunders; three grandchildren, Amelia Smith, Malaina Garner, and Saunders Smith; four sisters Maria Frankenbach, Julia Hughart, Suzanne (Lynn) Von Thun and Rachel Saunders; two brothers Philip (Kelly) Saunders and Rodney (Alicia) Saunders; mother-in-law, Juanita Pfanner; and sister-in-law, Lisa (Kent) Bichsel and many nieces and nephews which he loved very dearly.
Mark is preceded in death by both his parents, father-in-law, Eugene Pfanner, and sister, Mary Theresa.
Mark was a graduate of the South Shelby High School class of 1973 and later Southwest Missouri State University.
Professionally, he began his career as a loan officer at Monroe City Bank and later opened Perry State Bank in Monroe City in 1987. In 1999, he began a career as a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones. He had a great passion for helping families plan for their futures and the generations to follow. He genuinely cared about each of his clients and their families' security.
Away from work, Mark was devoted to his faith and a loyal parishioner of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church where he was a member of the Knights of Columbus, and chairman of the Knights of Columbus Tootsie Roll drive for 25 years.
He was a member of the Monroe City Economic Development Cooperation, a board member of the Monroe City R-I Education Foundation Fund, and active in fundraising for the Monroe City R-I football field and track.
He was a past member of the Lions Club and Board Member of the Monroe City Food Pantry, where he helped unload the trucks that supplied the pantry. He was also a Board Member of the Shelbina Cemetery Association, and a volunteer for the Monroe City Booster Club. He coached many little league softball games and was an avid supporter of his daughters' softball, basketball, and track events.
While Mark loved community enrichment, his family and faith came first. Time shared with his family was his most valued treasure. Mark cultivated friendships with those within the community by sharing pictures of his children and grandchildren, while taking a genuine interest in their children, grandchildren, and family members.
Mark so enjoyed spending time with his family and friends on the Mark Twain Lake and on the farm hunting and fishing. He found a great sense of peace in his garden and was known to be a distinguished and generous gardener. He recently graduated from the Missouri Naturalist class.
Mark, Denise, and children enjoyed exploring different cultures, and especially loved visiting oceans and beaches around the world. He experienced his greatest joy the past four and half years spending an abundant amount of time with his grandchildren; they were truly his world.
A devout Catholic, Mark's faith was unwavering. He enjoyed meeting with his men's prayer group every Thursday morning and was an active member of the Church.
Funeral Mass of Christian Burial was held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, January 29, at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Monroe City, Fr. Greg Oligschlaeger will officiate assisted by Deacon Mike Long. Burial followed at the Holy Rosary Cemetery, Monroe City.
Visitation was held from 4 until 8 p.m. Monday evening at the Holy Rosary Church, the Daughters of Issabella recited the rosary at 3:45 p.m. and there was a Parrish service which began at 7:30 pm.
Pallbearers were Philip Saunders, Rodney Saunders, David Smith, Howard Mudd, Philip Whelan, and Bob Kendrick. Honorary Pallbearers were Vincent Smith, Amelia Smith, Malaina Garner, and Saunders Smith.
Memorial contributions can be made to Holy Rosary Catholic School and Church or the Monroe City R-I Education Foundation Fund.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Garner Funeral Home & Chapel, Monroe City, Missouri. Online condolences can be made at garnerfuneralchapel.com.