Robert Lee “Bob” Sanders, 89 of Granite City, Illinois passed away on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at Anderson Hospital in Maryville, Illinois. Robert was born on July 12, 1928 in Granite City; a son of the late William and Helen (Scheaffer) Sanders.
In addition to his parents, Robert was preceded in death by two infant sons, David and Richard; his in-laws, Fred and Nellie Boger; mother-in-law, Gertrude Boger; brother-in-laws, Melbourne Boger and James Morthland; sister-in-law, Marjorie Boger.
Bob married the love of his life, Charlene Boger, after a five year courtship on May 23, 1953 at Second Baptist Church, Granite City. They settled into married life just blocks from his home place in West Granite. During the next sixty-four years, they raised four children and a menagerie of pets. Family and friends always loved to gather around the kitchen table for card or board games, along with some fabulous meals. Bob was a sixty year member of Masonic Lodge 877, Golden Eagle Member of Granite City Eagles Home 1126, member of Granite City Firefighters Local 253 and Madison County Firefighters Association. He made a profession of faith and joined Second Baptist Church in the late 40’s.
During the Korean Conflict, Bob served his country in Germany having the privilege of being stationed his entire service time with his friend and brother-in-law, Robert Boger. After completing military service, he returned to spend time working at Union Electric and General Steel Industries. He soon found his passion in firefighting and spent the next twenty-eight years employed by Granite City Fire Department. He retired at the rank of Assistant Chief in 1983 and held the title of oldest living retiree at his death. Due to his longevity of service at the West Granite Fire Station, he affectionately became known as the “Mayor of West Granite”. Children living in the area would often visit the station to ask for assistance with bicycle repairs and other tasks.
In addition to his love of firefighting, his family and friends, Bob loved to travel and completed his journey of visiting all fifty states in 2015. While he loved camping and road trips, he developed a love for cruising in the later years. With Charlene, they enjoyed thirteen cruises including Alaska, Hawaii, and Panama Canal. If not traveling, Bob could often be found involved in a card or board game or watching sports. He was an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan and had the privilege of attending World Series and All-Star games at Busch Stadium. In addition to professional sports, Bob loved to watch his grandchildren and great-grandchildren participate in sports and music activities.
Bob attended and graduated from Granite City schools. He was self-taught businessman and with his wife operated a rental business in Granite City for sixty-four years. Many people would turn to Bob for investment advice and he loved the art of a good deal.
Bob is survived by his loving wife, Charlene and four children of whom he was very proud; Nancy (Marty) LeVault of Maryville, IL; Norman Sanders (Rick Bierschwal) and Nora (Chuck) Cobb of Granite City, IL; and Neda (Dale) Banach of Scheller, IL; grandsons Kyle and Adam Cobb; Dalton and Dillon Banach; and Scott (Debbie) LeVault; granddaughter, Tammy (Dr. Tibor) Kopjas. In addition to his loving grandchildren, he treasured his great-grandchildren, Ali and Landon Cobb, Paige and Morgan Tulacro, and Brooke and Lindsay LeVault; loving sister, Betty Morthland, brother-in-law, Robert Boger, sister-in-law, Jeanie Boger. He was very close to many extended family and special friends including nieces, Carolyn Syfert and Lisa Sheppard and nephews, Gary Barker, Dennis and Tom Boger.
Friends may call on Monday, November 6, 2017 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City. In celebration of Robert’s life, visitation will continue from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Chris Sedabres officiating at Second Baptist Church, 2100 Illinois Ave. in Granite City. Burial will follow with military rites at Sunset Hill Memorial Estates in Glen Carbon.
Memorials to Second Baptist Church, Shriners Hospital for Children, and Backstoppers.
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