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Jack L. Saunders

July 11, 1923 - January 3, 2017

A Meaningful Life

Jack L. Saunders July 11, 1923 – January 3, 2017

Ninety-three years of a meaningful earthly life began on July 11, 1923 and his eternal life beginning on January 3, 2017.  It has been said that what matters the most in life is not when one was born or even when one dies, what matters the most…read more

A Meaningful Life

Jack L. Saunders July 11, 1923 – January 3, 2017

Ninety-three years of a meaningful earthly life began on July 11, 1923 and his eternal life beginning on January 3, 2017.  It has been said that what matters the most in life is not when one was born or even when one dies, what matters the most is that dash between those two dates.  The dash represents how one lived those days between birth and death and it can truly be said of Jack L. Saunders that he not only lived a life that was full and honorable, but a life that also touched the lives of many.

He was the only son of James F. and Norma Saunders.  As a young man, he served his country in the Army Air Corp during World War II doing what he used to call “a typewriter commando.”   In other words, he was the company clerk.

After the war, like many soldiers, he came home to start a family and rebuild a nation.  In 1948, he met and married Betty Jane Werner.  That marriage was blessed in August, 1950 with the birth of James and, later in 1951, the birth of Gary.  Until the day he died, these boys were Jack’s pride and joy.  Jack and Betty’s life was not easy. Betty developed Multiple Sclerosis which later would take her life in 1968.  But throughout their marriage, Jack displayed his most endearing quality, that of commitment.  It was his commitment to his wife and family, his faith in God, and his involvement in the American Legion that enabled Jack to transform himself into the man he would become for the rest of his life.

After Betty died, Jack thought, except for his boys, his life had little meaning.  Across the trash cans in the alley that separated two homes, things changed. Across the alley that’s where Beth lived.  He had known Beth, her husband Fred, and their children Mark and Diane for years.  When Fred passed away, Beth, too, was alone, except for her children.  That’s when Diane recognized what God said so long ago, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner” and so the effort began to get them together.  Suddenly Jack and Beth were more interested in taking out the trash. This exercise in cleanliness led to their being married on June 23, 1974.  For 34 years, Jack and Beth celebrated life and enjoyed their combined family until Beth’s passing in January 2009.

Even though Jack lost Beth, he was never alone.  Jack celebrated the good and bad in life and lived his life through his family.  His children, grandchildren and great grandchildren filled his life.   Jim married Barb in 1974 they had two children; Dan and Tim.  Dan married Tara and they had Bryce.  Tim married Brittany and they had Lincoln and Teddy Jack.  Gary married his high school sweetheart, Mary, in 1973 they had two children; Jessica and Kevin.  Jessica married Abe.  Kevin married Erin and they had Marni and soon, Baby Boy Saunders.  Diane married Mike in 1977, and they had two children, Chris and Andy.  Chris married Bethany.  Andy married Louisa and they had Alyssa and Emilie.  And Jack mourned when he lost his son, Mark, in January 2013. Jack’s family was his pride and joy and it can truly be said that no man loved his family more than he did.

So, when one considers the dash between Jack’s dates, the only conclusion that can be made is that he lived his life to the fullest, treasuring his family, celebrating with them their joys and feeling their sorrows.  Even though his bags had been packed for a long time waiting for that journey home to be with his Lord, when the angel arrived to take him home, he left knowing he made a difference in the lives of those whom he loved the most…his family.

 

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