Deacon Claire  Sanders

Deacon Claire Sanders

Friday, June 6th, 1930 Wednesday, July 29th, 2020

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Obituary for Deacon Claire Wendell Sanders

Iron Mountain-Deacon Claire Wendell Sanders, 90, died peacefully July 29, 2020 at Victorian Pines Assisted Living, Iron Mountain, Mich.

Deacon Sanders was born June 6, 1930, in Frankenmuth Michigan, to Conrad and Edith (Mitts) Wendell.

He was a devout Catholic, the Lord and his family were the center of his life; he gave generously of his time and talents to both, giving from the heart, expecting nothing in return.

He was an active member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Foster City, Mich. for over 70 years. He was ordained a permanent Deacon for the diocese of Marquette by Bishop James Garland in 2005. His diaconal duties included assisting the presiding priest at the altar, proclaiming the Gospel, reading the Universal Prayer, and distributing Holy Communion at St. Joseph Church. Configured to Christ the Servant, Deacon Sandy ministered to others in many humble ways including ministering to the homebound and those confined to nursing homes and hospitals.

Deacon Claire retired from active ministry when his health declined. However, he continued to devote his time to pray for those in need.

In 1994 he graduated from the Lay Ministry Leadership School instituted by the Catholic Diocese of Marquette and was commissioned by Bishop James Garland. The two-year program prepared him to assume pastoral lay responsibilities under the direction of his pastor where he primarily taught religious education at St. Joseph Church.

He was married in 1950 to the love of his life, Ruth Charlebois, they were married for 53 years. They met in high school and were married at the age of 20. After retirement they enjoyed years of travel throughout the United States and Canada. He devoted his life to caring for her after she had a stroke in 2001. In 2006 he traveled to India with his son-in-law, Wayne, to see his former pastor. In 2010 he traveled to Italy with his extended family.

He had many interests including becoming a pilot, running, golfing, (achieving a “hole in one”), hunting and fishing, he had a real appreciation for the beauty of the outdoors.

He enjoyed baseball his entire life, playing on the Hardwood and Felch baseball teams in his younger years, and he was an avid Cardinal fan beginning at 9 years of age.

He, along with his life-long friend Wayne Nelson began the Sturgeon Valley Development company in Breen Township in 1983 developing and selling real estate at Stromberg Park.

He began his trucking career at age 19 in Port Washington, Wis. and retired after 40 years. He had many stories to share about his challenges and experiences. His greatest story was after he retired and was asked to deliver the Tree of Hope, the Nations Christmas tree, from the UP to Washington D. C. in 2001 at age 71.

He was involved in local politics for 30 years, including township deputy, Breen township supervisor and Dickinson County Commissioner. He also served as Chairman of the county board and as a county road commissioner. He campaigned successfully for a highway memorial and monument in honor of Oscar Johnson, a WWII Medal of Honor recipient from Foster City.

He loved his life which he always knew was a gift from God. He was resilient and relied on his faith which got him through many challenges. He loved his wife, his family, the Church and his community.

He is survived by his children Roberta Sanders (Larry Malanowski), Mequon, Wis., Laurel Green (Ike), Buchanan, Mich., Jerry Sanders (Susie), Quinnesec, Mich., Janet Sanders (Wayne Barta), Hartland, Wis., Larry Sanders (Cindy), Niagara, Wis., Dennis Sanders (Carlosita), South Bend, Ind., and Gregory Sanders (Julianne), Green Bay, Wis.; 14 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great-grandchildren; and his sister Charlotte Smith (Gilbert), Sheboygan, Wis.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Ruth (Charlebois) of 53 years; his sisters Mary Bechtold (Chuck) and Carol Lieder (Alois); his brothers Sylvester and Eugene; and his son-in-law, Ike Green.

He was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great grandfather.

Thank you to the physicians at Froedtert Memorial Hospital, Wauwatosa, Wis. who cared for him over the years, and the loving, kind, and compassionate care givers at Victorian Pines Assisted Living.

Due to Covid-19 and state regulations a private Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Joseph Church, Foster City, Mich. Rev. Fr. Darryl Pepin will officiate. A public graveside service will be held Saturday August 1, 2020, 12:00 noon, at the Foster City Cemetery, Foster City, Mich., with social distancing being observed.

If you choose, donations may be made to St. Joseph Catholic Church, Foster City, Mich.

Friends may leave condolences and memorial tributes on Deacon Claire’s obituary page at www.jacobsfuneralhomes. com

The family has chosen the Jacobs Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Iron Mountain, Mich. to honor Deacon Claire’s legacy of life.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Deacon Claire Wendell Sanders, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
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Due to Covid-19 and state regulations a private Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Joseph Church, Foster City, Mich.

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Mr. & Mrs. Shawn Karnes and family sent flowers to the family of Deacon Claire Wendell Sanders.
Hand delivered by a local florist
Mr. & Mrs. Shawn Karnes and family sent flowers to the family of Deacon Claire Wendell Sanders.
Hand delivered by a local florist

Susan Wener

Our condolences to the entire, extended Sanders family. We have known most of you for many years thanks to our close friendship with Roberta since the 1970's. She introduced us to her wonderful parents and siblings, drug us up to her home in the UP and the rest is history. My first trip to the family home was my first late night discussion with Sandy - politics, religion and life in general. It was the beginning of many conversations over coffee and wine through the years.We had great admiration and love for him and our hearts go out to the wonderful family that he and Ruth raised.
Peace be with you,
Sue and Pierre Wener
Comment | Posted at 12:48pm via Condolence

Fr Hubby Mathew

I am so sorry to hear that my good friend Deacon Sandy passed away. I was his pastor for two years from 1998 to 2000. What a great person was he !!!! I loved him and always enjoyed his company. He was so committed and faithful to God, the Church, his family and to the nation. I visited him two years ago at the nursing home. We had a great time together. May God give him eternal glory. My condolences and prayers to the family members.
Fr Hubby Mathew
Comment | Posted at 11:35am via Condolence

Cindy Smith

To the Sanders family,
So sad to hear about the loss of your dad. He sure left a great legacy that your family can be very proud of. Always remember him in his little vw beedle coming home from work. Also, he used to stop in and visit Nancy and I when we worked at UPTRA. Verry good man.
Cindy Smith
Comment | Posted at 02:28pm via Condolence

Sandy Gluchowski

To the Sanders Family,

During this time of sadness may fond memories sooth your spirit and comfort your soul. May God grant you all peace in your heart at this most difficult time.

Deepest Sympathy,
John & Sandy Gluchowski
Comment | Posted at 06:49pm via Condolence

Anna and Nancy Marxkors

May your memories bring you peace and comfort.
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Anna and Nancy Marxkors planted a memorial tree for Deacon Claire Sanders
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