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Walter E. Sanders


1924 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Walter E. Sanders Obituary
Walter E. Sanders

May 23, 1924 - Dec. 22, 2016

MISHAWAKA - Walter Erick “Frit” Sanders, 92, of Mishawaka passed away on December 22, 2016 in his home. Walter was born May 23, 1924 in Frazee, Minnesota to the late George E. Sanders and Elida (Pederson) Sanders, the youngest of seven children. Five siblings are deceased including, Thomas Leslie Sanders, Gordon E. Sanders, Harold A. Sanders and Beulah L. Frank all of Frazee, MN and Cecil A. Sanders of Rosemont, MN. Surviving is Charles W. “Bill” Sanders living in South Bend. Walter had four children. Surviving are Larry G. Sanders (Cyndi) of Merriam, Kansas; and Renee L. Shuman (Steve) of South Bend, IN. Two children preceded him in death, Linda E. Quier and David W. Sanders (Lori) both of Mishawaka, IN. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, eight great grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren. Surviving as well is his long time special friend, Carolyn J. Bonner of Niles, MI.

In his early years, Walt attended three different one-room, one-teacher country schools from first through eighth grade, walking sometimes from 1 to 2-1/2 miles to school, rain, shine or snow and sometimes 35 degrees below zero. Those were horse and buggy days and bobsleds in the winter. No automobiles whatsoever until high school.

Walt was confirmed in the Lutheran faith at Bethlehem Lutheran Church on May 29, 1938 after walking 5 miles to Frazee to catechism class on Saturday mornings unless he could catch a ride. In his youth, he belonged to 4-H club and attended various other clubs and activities. He graduated from Frazee High School in 1942 when World War II began. He stayed home on the farm and milked cows by hand and his brother Charlie came home and helped. Three brothers were in the service, two in the Army and one in the Navy.

There wasn't steady work in Frazee so he moved to Mishawaka on March 10, 1951 and found employment at Uniroyal. He was employed by Uniroyal for 33 years and retired in 1984. During his years at Uniroyal he held various positions in the union and management including steward and president, process control and supervision.

Walt was involved with a number of social activities including Parents without Partners and Indian Guides with his two sons Larry and David and was Institutional Representative for their Boy Scout troop.

After retiring from Uniroyal at age 62 he went to college at Concordia University Wisconsin Mequon and earned an Associate Degree in Lay Ministry in the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. He worked in a number of local churches in various positions visiting shut-ins, hospital calls, preaching, elder duties and ushering. Walt enjoyed playing softball and volleyball with local retirees for a number of years and recently spent time with friends playing Bid Euchre and Pinochle. He was a member of Emmaus Lutheran Church in South Bend, IN.

Funeral services for Walter will be on Monday, December 26, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at the Emmaus Lutheran Church, 929 Milton Street, South Bend, IN with visitation starting at 9:00 a.m. until the time of service. Rev. Dr. Richard Stuckwisch will officiate the services.

Memorial contributions can be made to Emmaus Lutheran Church or to Center for Hospice, 501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka, IN 46545-5234.
Published in South Bend Tribune on Dec. 24, 2016
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