Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Saunders (AP)
Thomas L. Saunders

Posted on April 24, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

Jan. 10, 1924 - April 21, 2013

ELKHART — Thomas Lowell Saunders, 89, died Sunday, April 21, 2013, at Elkhart General Hospital after a long illness.

He was surrounded by his companion, Elaine Conley of Elkhart; and his sisters, Martha Swathwood and Melba Stole of Elkhart.

He is survived by his daughter, Toni Ruth (David) Drake and their son, Jonathan; daughter Celia Ann (Dean) Smith and their children, Zachary Kincaid Smith and Kelley Elizabeth Krinke; and Kelley’s son Kingston, all of Albuquerque, N.M.

Tom was born and raised in Elkhart. He was a star football and basketball player at Elkhart High School. Being inducted into the Elkhart Sports Hall of Fame in 2003 was truly one of the highlights of his life.

Tom served in World War II in the U.S. Air Force. He married MaryJane, his high school sweetheart, in a civil ceremony in 1945. After the war he attended Hanover College and graduated with a degree in education. He later received his master’s degree in education from Ball State University.

Tom began his teaching career in Kendallville, then moved on to South Bend. There he taught at Studebaker Elementary School and Clay High School, where he taught and later became the Athletic Director. He retired in 1979. He moved to Albuquerque in 1981. There he became head of the maintenance department for the University of New Mexico. They returned to Elkhart in 1985, where he worked for the Kimberly Corporation.

Tom was an avid wine maker. One of his greatest pleasures was sharing his latest vintage with friends and family. It gave him great pride and joy throughout his retirement years. Tom also loved to golf and, of course, there was never a football game he hadn’t watched.

Tom will also be missed at the Moose where every Saturday night he could be found dancing and socializing with his friends.

Friends may call for one hour prior to the 2 p.m. memorial service Saturday, April 27, 2013, at Chapel Hill Funeral Home in Osceola. To leave an online condolence, visit www.chapelhillmemorial.com.