Gerald Paul Sanders Sr.
1931 - 2020
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Gerald Paul Jerry' Sanders, Sr. Poway Gerald P. Sanders--lovingly called Papa, Pop, Professor, Chief--passed away at home surrounded by family. Born in Patchogue NY, Jerry joined the Navy as a teen. Stationed in San Diego, he met Mary, his wife of 60 years. After graduation from San Diego State University, he received a National Science Foundation Fellowship for science educators and attended University of Pennsylvania and Boston College for his Masters. Jerry taught at El Capitan High, Grossmont High, and Grossmont College. As an Associate Professor of Biology at San Diego State University, he authored major college textbooks with Scott Foresman Publishers and mentored future biology teachers. For 20+ years after retirement and in his 60s, Jerry became Chief and an EMT of the Shelter Valley Volunteer Fire Department in Julian. During his tenure, he wrote grants for state-of-the-art equipment and fire trucks. Chief Sanders hosted several fire academies at the newly rebuilt station, training future fire fighters. He and Mary worked tirelessly on the Shelter Valley Citizens Corporation and the Volunteer Fire Department boards organizing many fundraisers. Jerry received the Channel 10 Leadership Award and several community honors. Predeceased by his wife and his daughter, Christine; his survivors include sister, Priscilla Brooks (FL); children: Cheryl Hinton (Jim), Gerald Jr. (Gina), Susan Young (Dean), William (Margo); many grandchildren; great-grandchildren; nieces; and nephews. Jerry is remembered for his humor, kindness, and love for all creatures. Quoting his autobiography, "Here is my commandment: Never purposefully hurt another person, whether with words or acts." A celebration of life is planned for early September. September 6, 1931 - April 14, 2020

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Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on Jun. 21, 2020.
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June 22, 2020
Deep condolences for your loss. Jerry was an important and timely mentor for me as a sophomore biology student at Grossmont high. His interesting and thought provoking class was a turning point in my education and career path. Always interested in science and the natural world surrounding us, the focus he provided became the platform from which to launch a college major and long career in biological research and as an allied medicine professional. His leadership and comfortable way in the classroom made science fun for even those of my classmates not enamored with the subject. He made a real impact on my life and I will always look back on those days with warmth and gratitude.
Bill Lowell
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