Raymond F. Sanders, Jr. Obituary

Raymond F. Sanders, Jr., 86, of St. Joseph, passed away, Thursday, September 9, 2021 at Hanson Hospice Center in Stevensville.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held 11:30 A.M. Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph, with Rev. Jeffrey Hubers officiating. Burial will follow at North Shore Memory Gardens in Coloma with Military Rites conducted by the North Berrien Military Rites Team. Friends may visit with the family from 10:30 until 11:30 A.M. Tuesday at the funeral home. Memorial donations in Ray’s name may be made to Hanson Hospice Center. Those wishing to sign Ray’s Memory Book online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.

Ray was born May 6, 1935 in Berrien Springs to Raymond F. & Thelma (Miller) Sanders, Sr. His father died when Ray was only six, and his mother then married Bernard W. Bodtke who raised him and his brother. He attended St. Joseph High School, Class of 1954 and then joined the United States Navy, proudly serving his country during the Korean War, aboard the USS Abbot. He graduated from navy engineering school and earned the rate of MM3. Ray served for three years and nine months. He received the National Defense Service Medal, The United Nations Medal, The Korean Service Medal, The China Service Medal and Two European Occupations Service Medals. Upon returning from the service, on April 19, 1958 he married the former Helen Kiehn at Zion Church in St. Joseph, of which he was a life-long member.

Ray gained employment at the Herald-Palladium in 1956 and was instrumental in the formation of the first contract as President of the local union between the Palladium Publishing Co and the Typographical Union. After ten years, Ray began working for Univex Looseleaf Corp as director and supervisor of the Art Department. Ray later worked for Imperial Printing Co, then Modern Litho Plate Service, and later returned to Imperial Printing. He retired after twelve years, before joining Patterson Printing for three years, retiring in 1998.

Ray is survived by his wife Helen; two sons-Raymond, III of Benton Harbor, Robert (Deborah) Sanders of Peachtree City, GA; four grandchildren-Jessica (Jason) Crockett, Taylor Lange, Madison Lange & Grace Sanders; two great-grandchildren-Tyler & Charlie Crockett; sister-in-law Mary Sanders of St. Joseph, brother-in-law Robert Kiehn; and several nieces & nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his daughter Renee’ Lange, and his brother Gerald Sanders. 

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