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Tom L. Sanders, 79, a resident of rural Churubusco in Noble County, passed away at 6:15 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011, at Kingston at Dupont in Fort Wayne.
He had been in declining health for several years and had been a patient there for the past seven years.
Mr. Sanders was born Dec. 27, 1931, in Columbia City, a son of Joseph D. and Mary Elizabeth (Magley) Sanders, and spent his early childhood in Fort Wayne.
At age 13, he moved to Smith Township with his parents, and graduated from Churubusco High School in 1950.
Following his high school graduation, he was married on June 17, 1950, in Liberty Center to Bonnie L. Ragan.
The couple spent the first years of their marriage in Churubusco, lived in Fort Wayne for a period, and returned to the Churubusco area in 1977, living at their present home in Green Township since 1979.
He was employed for 31 years at Indiana & Michigan Electric, and retired as a commercial representative in 1993.
He was a member of Believerâ€™s Bible Fellowship in Churubusco, and Churubusco Lodge 515 F&AM.
In his leisure time he enjoyed motorcycle trail riding, traveling, and most especially loved and cherished his family.
Surviving relatives include his wife Bonnie, to whom he was married for more than 61 years; four children, Deb (Mike) Waggoner of Churubusco, Bradley E. Sanders of Churubusco, James D. (Rhonda Boyle) Sanders of Fort Wayne, and Curtis (Val) Sanders of Churubusco; a brother, Rex W. Sanders of Powell, Wyo.; three sisters, Connie Otis of Granada Hills, Calif., Karen (Bob) Wakeland of Columbia City, and Marceille (Roy) Alexander of Fort Wayne; nine grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; and many friends.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Charles H. Sanders and Harold Sanders.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Believerâ€™s Bible Fellowship in Churubusco with Pastor Robert C. Siegrist, officiating.
The family will receive friends at the Sheets & Childs Funeral Home in Churubusco on Friday from 2 to 8 p.m., or at the church one hour prior to the service.
Churubusco Lodge 515 F&AM will conduct memorial services at 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.
Interment will be in the Christian Chapel Cemetery, Merriam.
Memorials may be directed to Believerâ€™s Bible Fellowship, the Alzheimerâ€™s Association, or Family Hospice & Palliative Care in Berne.
To leave an online condolence for the family in Mr. Sanderâ€™s memory, log on to www.sheetsandchilds.net