Shaffer Funeral Home
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Robert Lee, TX 76945
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Bobby James Sanderson

1934 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Bobby James Sanderson Obituary
BLACKWELL ~ Bobby James Sanderson of Blackwell passed from this earth on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 in the Bronte Health and Rehab Center. Visitation will be held all day Friday, October 30, 2015 at the funeral home in Bronte. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, October 31, 2015 at Blackwell United Methodist Church with burial to follow in Blackwell Cemetery. Services are under the direction of Shaffer Funeral Home.
Bobby was born to pioneer farming family James Roy & Nila English Sanderson. Dad had a very unique and easily remembered birthdate, 1-2-34. He was the youngest child of four children and their only son.
Growing up on the home place he lived west of Blackwell. He went to Blackwell schools, graduated high school in 1952 and attended McMurry College in Abilene. He was drafted or "called up" to serve his country and went into the Army. Dad told us that while stationed at Fort Belvoir near Washington DC he had a buddy that had a car and they went to church together. His buddy elbowed him and asked "Do you know who you are sitting by?" Dad said "No" and his friend quickly informed him that it was Major John Eisenhower. Another favorite moment while in the Army was that dad got to attend President Eisenhower's inauguration. Dad told us that he stood on the parade route. His job was if "something broke out" they were supposed to help the policemen. He was there all day long, it was a cold day in January, but it was one of his favorite service memories.
Bobby then came home to Blackwell to help his parents who owned several local businesses and the service station following his stint in the service. Daddy married Dona Hendry Garvin on March12, 1966, he put a ring on Mom's finger and Linda's too. Daddy had been friends with Linda's birth father Eddy Garvin, and after he died in a tragic wreck and as time passed he began to court Dona. After the wedding, Daddy adopted Linda because he said if something happened to Dona he wanted to be able to take care of her. We can honestly say our Daddy was the sweetest man with the biggest heart. Then, in 1969 James Lee was born and he was the "apple of Dads eye," they enjoyed the best relationship a father and son could have. They each adored the other, so much that when James and Heather married, Daddy was James' best man. What a tribute to Daddy. Daddy worked for West Texas Utilities Oak Creek Power Plant as a shift supervisor. He worked shift work, farmed and ranched on the side. Mom and Dad always had both cattle and sheep, he was a welder and did custom hay baling too. Dad taught us to work hard, there was always work to do at the farm. Daddy built Linda her own hay hook that was shorter, so she could manage it better when hauling hay or stacking hay in barns. Many times Mom drove the truck and we had a "pop up loader" for the hay that we picked up in the fields. Daddy and Linda would stack the hay on the back of the big truck and then unload it in the barns. Daddy would pay us by each bale that we hauled. Daddy would hire local students and football boys that were big and strong and wanted to make extra money in the summers to help with the haying.
Dad was a faithful member of the First United Methodist Church of Blackwell. Dad served as church treasurer for twenty years until passing it on to James. Dad was a conservationist, and he served on the Nolan County ASCS board for many years. He participated in programs and was recognized many times with conservation awards. Daddy was a Lions Club member, volunteer of the Blackwell Fire Department and a big supporter of the Blackwell Hornets. He loved to go to all the games and support the kids by watching the various sports. Being a Blackwell Hornet, the annual BHS homecoming was something Dad enjoyed. We had relatives and friends gathered in our yard for the parade. Our extended family would come and park RVs behind the house and stay several days to be home for the homecoming festivities. Daddy loved every minute of it.
When we think about our Dad's attributes "He was a listener" which was paired nicely with Mom being "a talker," but Daddy always really listened and heard what we said. Even in later years as we told dad at the rehab center "we are on the way to a ball game or work" or whatever it was, he would ask us about it the very next time he saw us. Daddy enjoyed people, and they enjoyed Daddy. He was loving, kind and generous, his nieces and nephews often commented as he was older, that "Uncle Bobby was always my favorite." I think that was because Dad was fun and would make things happen, he would go buy the fireworks, start the cook out, take us places, and say "Yes we can do that!" Many family gatherings were held down "at the place." Mom and Daddy had the Russell place where they built an above ground stock tank that was used as our swimming pool. Of course, Mom had a garden right beside it because she always negotiated work first, and then play later. We had family gatherings and reunions many times at the Russell place. Moms cousins had a sign made designating it as "Blackwell Country Club" and Mom and Dad enjoyed their time there. They also built the "green cabin" at the English place and they liked to stay out there after they retired. It was just a "Mini Get Away" place.
After Linda graduated from high school James was only in Jr High so Dad and James had lots of "father and son" time together. Daddy supported James in his every project. They stock showed and traveled, hunted and worked side by side. Again, Dad never missed a sporting event ever, if it was at all possible to attend. By the time James left for Texas Tech, Daddy had become a Granddad and that new job suited him well. Dad enjoyed his grandchildren, he was always willing to baby sit until his health prevented it. He would drive up to Sterling City to check the cows up on the divide and come see the boys. He walked across the street every morning in Blackwell to take Heather the mail and see the girls. He sure enjoyed his role of being G-Dad to his six grandchildren. He loved his grandkids and they loved him. He became known as G-Dad to everyone.
Mom and Dad were conservative people. Well maybe Mom more than Daddy, but he was onboard with her ideas and they lived well but always saved for a "rainy day." Daddy really enjoyed having a few toys, the four wheelers and rangers. If Daddy could justify the purchase for work, then Mom was ok about him buying them.
Every year, Mom and Dad would take the entire family on a vacation and we traveled to many memorable places. We enjoyed family trips to Ruidoso, New Mexico, Washington D.C., California, Florida, Nashville, Tennessee, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and more. We had so much fun traveling all together. We continued to do that each year until Dad's health no longer allowed it. But Dad enjoyed "going places and seeing things." Another thing Daddy enjoyed was building a family cabin at Bloy's Camp Meeting near Fort Davis. He looked forward to the annual August trip to camp meeting together where we heard many inspired sermons and spent great porch time together visiting. Daddy always had affectionate names for us "sugar babe" "pup" and was quick to say "I love you". After he fell and broke his hip he never physically recovered, but he always knew what was going on with the family and he enjoyed his time there. He would see us coming down the hall and light up with the biggest smile as he saw his family coming to visit.
So in closing, when we think about Dad, he always exuded love, he was a kind and gentle spirit and a caring man. Daddy was fun and he was funny, he had an easy smile that he shared often. He loved Mom and never wanted her very far from where he was. He taught us the value of hard work and loving each other. He loved the Lord and led us by example, if the church doors were open then Daddy was there. So Daddy, go rest in your heavenly home, and always know that we love you "two nickel's worth" and that's a whole bunch!
He is survived by his wife, Dona Sanderson of Blackwell; son, James Sanderson and daughter-in-law Heather, their three daughters Halee Sue, Emilee Kay and Lilee James all of Blackwell; daughter, Linda Horwood and son-in-law Larry, their three sons, Lyle Edmond of Henrietta, Lane Ethan of Lubbock and Lathen Lee Horwood of Sterling City; sister-in-law, Jinger Hendry; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and all three of his sisters, Ernestine Harris Blanchard, Pam Blanchard, and Betty Anderson.
We would like to thank the nurses, caregivers and staff at the Bronte Health and Rehab Center for the excellent care that they gave Daddy during his time there. He was very content and enjoyed the activities, kind staff and the good meals at the center, for that we are truly grateful.
Memorial donations can be made to the Blackwell United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 466, Blackwell, Texas 79506 or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 3611 Soncy Road Suite 6A Amarillo 79119.
Online condolences may be made to www.shafferpioneer.com
Published in Sweetwater Reporter on Oct. 31, 2015
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