William M. Sanders
Age 77, of Maple Park, IL died unexpectedly following heart surgery on November 26, 2009.
He was born December 17, 1931 the son of William Lawrence and Elizabeth Jane (McCabe) Sanders in DeKalb, Illinois.
Bill grew up in Maple Park where he graduated from Maple Park High School in 1949. Bill began what has become a long standing family tradition of distance running by setting the school record for the mile run. Bill's love of the outdoors was kindled by his father with frequent trips "north" to their favorite fishing lakes. Following high school he attended barber college in Chicago and practiced his trade in the same shop operated by his father. For the next twenty years Sanders' Barber Shop would be not only a place for a trim and a shave, but also a place to learn the latest town news, hear the best jokes and to play a friendly game of billiards in the pool hall 'in back'.
Bill met the love of his life, Ilene (Ike) Ryan at the DeKalb roller skating rink. Their 56 year marriage began on November 14, 1953 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in DeKalb.
Bill and Ilene made their home in Maple Park where they raised not only their own three children; but, as was the tradition in mid-western small towns, they played a role in the lives of many of the neighborhood kids as well.
While running his barber shop, Bill often made calls to shut-ins at their homes and the sick at the hospital. In the middle 1970's Bill set aside his clippers and picked up hammer and nails, working as a carpenter until his retirement in 1994. He would often be found helping neighbors, friends and family with their construction projects well into his retirement.
Bill's many interests included many close friendships. He was especially fond of the "North Woods", in particular Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where he hunted, fished, camped and snowmobiled for over fifty years. Bill was always eager to share his interests with others, especially the young neighborhood kids. He became an accomplished archer wining many competitions and was a successful deer hunter. Bill was also an avid golfer. In retirement he and Ike spent many happy days in the company of their friends in Mercedes, Texas and Sardis, Mississippi where they could golf, fish and enjoy their friendships in warmer climes. Bill's kindness and friendship has deeply touched the lives of many people and he will be terribly missed for a very long time.
Bill was a volunteer Maple Park fireman for many years, dashing out of the barbershop, sometimes with a half finished haricut in the chair when the call for help was sounded. He was also a charter member of the Kishwaukee Archers and the Maple Park Lions Club.
He now leaves his loving wife, Ike Sanders; three children, Susan (Tim) Sanders-Norris of Sugar Grove, Sally (Tim) Kennedy of Maple Park, Bill (Noreen Heitman) Sanders of Marquette, Michigan; six grandchildren, Carrie (Chris) Sanchez of Gilbert, Arizona, Henry Norris of Maple Park, Will Sanders of Marquette, Michigan, Mickey Sanders of Marquette, Michigan, Tom Kennedy of Maple Park, Elizabeth Kennedy of Maple Park; one great-granddaughter, Alyson Sanchez; one sister, Jane Ryan of Bourbonnais, Illinois; one brother, Jim (Mary) Sanders of Tucson, Arizona; many nieces, nephews and friends.
Bill now joins his parents, one sister Helen (Ike) Lawson, one brother Tom Sanders and one brother in law Terry Ryan who preceded him in death.
Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL, on Wednesday, November 2, 2009. A mass to celebrate his life will be held at 10:30 a.m., with a time of visitation from 9:30-10:15 a.m. at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, Maple Park. Fr. Joachim Tyrtania, pastor of the church, will officiate and interment will follow at St. Mary's Cemetery.
A memorial has been established in Bill's name to benefit his favorite charities including the Maple Park Lions Club. Checks may be made to the "Bill Sanders Memorial" and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or made to the web site at www.conleycare.com.
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Published in Beacon News from Nov. 28 to Nov. 30, 2009