Lee Sanders of Starks died on Feb. 28, 2013, in his home with his wife and children by his side after a long series of illnesses. He was 86.
Mr. Sanders was preceded in death by his parents, Levy and Josephine Sanders; brothers, Russell, Earl and Floyd; sister Ethel; and his twin sister, Betty Jean.
He leaves behind his wife of almost 53 years, Wilma Jeanette Buxton; two daughters, Cindy and husband Rodger Clark of Starks, and Amanda and husband Delbert Bates of Townley, Alabama; son Tom and wife Dana Sanders of Merryville; sister Dorothy Sellars of St. Stephen; ex-wife Ruby Ballard of Vinton; three grandchildren, Logan Bailey, Lee B. Hebert and Skylar Sander; and adopted grandchildren Beth, Jeff and Torey Clark, Nick and John Bates, and Justin and Summer Masten.
Mr. Sanders joined the U.S. Navy in January 1944 and retired on Aug. 10, 1964. Most of his time was spent on ships. His tours included Hawaii, Guam, Japan, San Francisco, California, and Jacksonville, FL.
While in the Navy he crossed the International Date Line, and went through the Suez Canal, the Panama Canal, and the St. Lawrence Sea-Way. He was born in Arkansas and moved to St Stephen at an early age, where he stayed until joining the Navy. He moved to Starks in 1976 to work for Boise Southern as maintenance foreman, retiring in 1986.
He was a lifetime member of the Starks VFW Post 4759, where he served as commander and other offices. He and the late Linda McKay held the first blood drive, which continues today. He also started serving a full meal before each monthly meeting, which is still continued. Lee is also a lifetime member of the St. Stephen Masonic Lodge.
Services were held March 2 at Hixson Funeral Home of Vinton, with burial at Starks VFW Cemetery.
Words of comfort may be shared with the family at www.hixsonfuneralhomes.com.