Vernon “Ray” Sanders PHOTO
Ray Sanders, a man devoted to his family and for many years a respected member and leader in Round Rock and most recently Luling, died peacefully in a loving family setting after a brief struggle with leukemia. He was called into the presence of our heavenly Father Saturday, September 25,2004.
Ray was very involved in the civic services of Kiwanis, where he was a memb
er for 42 years, including 31 years of perfect attendance. He served in various offices of the organization, including President of the Kiwanis Club of Round Rock, Lt. Governor of Texas-Oklahoma Division 38, and Credentials Chair for 26 years. He was recognized as Kiwanian of the Year many times. He served more than 31 years as Postmaster of McNeil, Texas, where he also managed the company store of Austin White Lime Company. He was an elected member of the School Board of Round Rock for 9 ears, served on the board of directors of Kiwanis Little League of Round Rock who named V.R. Sanders baseball diamond in his honor, and was an adult leader in the Boy Scouts of America, where he received the highest honor bestowed on adults, the Silver Beaver Award. He was a vital and active member of his community, where he was loved and respected by all who knew him.
Vernon Ray Sanders was born on March 26, 1930 in Old Gulf, Texas to Vernon Marcus and Crystal Florence Sanders. His father worked in the oil fields of South Texas before the family settled in Luling just after Pearl Harbor and the beginning of WWII. He graduated from Prairie Lea High School in 1948 where he and his brother Jerry participated in football and basketball. They then served 3 years in the 36th Division of the Texas National Guard, attended Southwest State University, and joined the Armed Forces. Shortly after basic training Ray married Dorothy Jo Huffman of Austin on October 10, 1951. He then served 13 months as communications specialist in Korea. When he returned, he and Dorothy made their home in Austin, where he worked for Safeway food stores until 1958 when he began his career with Austin White Lime and the U.S. Postal Service in McNeil, Texas. Ray and Dot raised Arthur, Shirley, and Mark in the McNeil and Round Rock community, then moved in 1990 to the family farm near Luling after his retirement in 1989. Ray loved to travel, family get-togethers, working on the home place, attending the Friday livestock auctions in Luling, participating in every Kiwanis event that he could get to, and visiting with friends from every corner of the world. Dot passed away October 22, 1998. He continued to be active and involved. On December 11, 1999 he married Florence H. Sandefur, who had been a friend of Ray’s family for many years. They became quite the world travelers, and Ray was able to continue seeing places in Texas, the U.S., Korea, Taiwan, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and more.
He is survived by his wife Florence, son Arthur Ray Sanders and wife Cynthia of Austin, daughter Shirley Beth Lawson and Steve of Luling, son John Marcus “Mark” Sanders and wife Faith of Luling, brother Jerry Sanders wife Mary of Luling, sister Linda Sue Moore and husband John of Luling. He was “Papaw” to six grandchildren- Kenny, Bryan, Kimberly, Tye, Tracy, and John Curtis, as well as five great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be conducted at Luling Central Baptist Church at 515 Magnolia on Saturday, October 2, 2004 at 10 a.m., with burial immediately following at the Mercer family cemetery, Will Paradeaux officiating. Pallbearers are grandsons ken D. Zimmerman, Bryan Sanders, Tye Sanders, and friends Frank Baker, E.H. Caron and George Bujnoch. Honorary pallbearers include all members of the Kiwanis Club of Round Rock and the Kiwanis Club of Luling. Visitation hours are Friday, October 1, 2004 from 6 to 8 p.m. at O’Bannon Funeral Home at 210 S. Laurel in Luling.
The family recommends that gifts or memorials be made to the Texas-Oklahoma Kiwanis Foundation in the name of Ray Sanders, or to the charity of your choice.