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John Saunders Dies In Farmville On December 30

DILLWYN, Jan. 5 – John Vaden Saunders, of Dillwyn, passed away on Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at South-side Community Hospital in Farmville. He was born May 9, 1928 in Roanoke. Preceding him in death were his parents, William Irby Saunders and Mary Reba Garst, brother, Robert Saunders and wife, Rheba and brother, James Saunders.

Surviving are his devoted wife of 39 years, Barbara Jean Moore Saunders; five sons, Jackie W. Saunders and wife, Kathryn of Esmont, Neal P. Saunders and wife, Rita of Farmville, Mark P. Saunders of Dillwyn, Richard W. Saunders and wife, Pamela of Dillwyn, and Michael L. Saunders and wife, Wendie of Dillwyn; 11 grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, and three step-great grandchildren; brother, William Saunders and wife, Charlotte of Niceville, FL; sister, Mary Saunders Beasley of Richmond; many nieces and nephews; sister-in-law, Jean Martin Saunders of Roanoke; and a beloved cat, his “girl”, Abby.

Mr. Saunders was a veteran of WWII serving in the United States Army. He was employed by the Federal Aviation Administration, as an air traffic controller for over 20 years, retiring in 1979. He had a personal relationship with the Lord. Even though Alzheimer's disease stole much of his memory, he talked about Jesus often and would sing parts of the old hymns that he loved so much.

He loved the outdoors and was seldom idle. He enjoyed hunting and being in the mountains and spent a lot of time in the garden and enjoyed watching the birds. The family spent many happy times on vacation to the beach.

Donations can be made to the Alzheimer's Association, Blue Ridge of VA Chapter, 2728 Colonial Ave., Roanoke, VA 24015, or the American Cancer Society.

Funeral services were held Monday at Chestnut Grove Baptist Church, Dillwyn. The Rev. Brad Childress and the Rev. Ronnie Rogers officiated.

A private interment will be held in Sherwood Memorial Park in Salem.

Arrangements by the Dunkum Funeral Home, Dillwyn.