Richard Lyman (Dick) Sanders was born on May 14, 1930 in Basin, Wyoming to Elden Sanders and Isabelle (Belle) Lyman Sanders of Otto, Wyoming. He entered into eternal life on April 7, 2014. He had been a resident at Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home for about 3 years. Richard was the eldest son of eight and was a devoted son and brother, always happy to help and provide strength and guidance. His siblings always looked to him for his expertise and advice.
Richard, or Dick as so many knew him, was not a fancy person. He never tried to be at the forefront of things but quietly worked in the background or sat silently somewhere watching everything that was going on. He was always quick to help others whatever the problem, whatever the time of day. Others looked to him for his knowledge of anything electrical. He graduated from Greybull High School and attended many technical training schools, one being training on television repair as televisions became more and more common in the home. Mostly he was self-taught with an intense passion for anything to do with electricity. It was often thought that Dick could fix anything that was broken. Many sought him out for his abilities and desire to make things work again.
Richard always had a love of flying. He became a pilot in the 50’s and in 1958 bought an airplane. He was an extremely adept pilot and logged hundreds of hours flying for business and pleasure. He and his father, Elden, owned Sanders Automation Electronics and Richard flew for years in order to get to remote areas for work. He also worked for Continental Oil Company where many of his inventions were used in oil field operations.
Until after he turned 80, Richard held the oldest Master Electricians License in the State of Wyoming. He worked as the Town Electrician for the Town of Basin until he retired at the age of 75. Over all of his years working for the town, he was in probably every building in Basin at one time or another, either doing all the wiring or fixing something. His name was usually the first one to come up if someone had an electrical problem. Most nights he could be found working after he had finished his day for the town either wiring a house or a business or maybe putting in new wiring at the fairgrounds. When there was a power outage, he was the one who climbed up the pole to get the lights on until the town got the first “bucket truck” that allowed him to be lifted up to the power lines instead of strapping on his climbing spikes to shinny up a pole. For 40 years, he set up the Christmas lighting for the town. Many times he would have his children help him to make the lengthy strings of lights needed for the streets and courthouse display.
Richard was always close by to help his parents with keeping the store in Otto running. He went out almost every day to check on his folks and to make certain that refrigerators or freezers were working or to help his Dad with a tractor or a lighting problem somewhere. He often recalled the time they all moved to California during the war so that his Dad could work in the shipyards of San Francisco. But even though he recalled most of the time in California with fondness, he was much like his Mother, Belle, in his love for Wyoming and the Big Horn Basin. He loved the outdoors and spent whatever spare time he could find driving around the area, stopping to picnic or fish or maybe even camp for a bit. Several remember the times when he would de-scent little skunks to make them house pets. He especially loved his dachshunds and his family recalls many, many “different” pets such as flying fish, mini alligators, pet pigs, skunks and other unusual creatures.
Richard married Leslie LaVonne (Peggy) Green on November 22, 1950. Ten children were born to their union. Over the years, Richard and Peggy moved their group from one place to another, from Otto to the CONOCO community of Linch to Casper, to Greybull and eventually back to Basin. They divorced after almost 30 years. On July 22, 1987, Richard married Beverly Walborn in Basin and welcomed her two children into his family.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Elden and Belle Sanders, his brothers and sisters-in-law, Grant and Patty Spagh Sanders and Leon and Eva Henry Sanders, two sons, Richard Edwin (Rick) Sanders and Joseph Patrick (Pat) Sanders, a grandson, Bowen Leslie Sanders, his ex-wife, Leslie Lavonne (Peggy) Sanders, his son-in-law, Lee Layer, and many others who went before and were there to greet him on his passing.
Richard is survived by his wife, Beverly Lackman Walborn Sanders of Basin, sisters, Dorothy Sanders Lytle (Kent) of Salt Lake City, Utah, Ellen Sanders Gotfredson (Bill) of Worland, Wyoming, brothers Merrill Lyman Sanders (Sharon) of Cody, Wyoming, Elden Lyman Sanders (Connie) of Byron, Wyoming, Paul Lyman Sanders (Mary Ann) of Logan, Utah, daughters, Corby Sanders Layer of Basin, Wyoming, Karie Sanders Pine (Lanny) of Longmont, Colorado, Margo Sanders Lawton (Bob) of Sandusky, Ohio, Marsha Sanders (Marshall) of Del Norte, Colorado, Shawna Sanders Watts (Lee) of Longmont, Colorado, Heather Sanders Munsell (Wayne) of Clearwater, Florida, Erin Sanders Bartko (Joe) of Longmont, Colorado, son, Robert Louis Sanders (Marci) of Brush, Colorado, stepson, Kirby Walborn (Karmae) of Hardin, Montana and stepdaughter, Perri Walborn Jacobs (Lee) of Malta, Montana as well as 26 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, relatives and others who were so dear to him and looked to him for his strength. The Family would like to thank the staff of the Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home for their loving care of Richard and to all of those who have reached out to help.
Funeral services will be held at the LDS Church between Basin/Greybull on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 11 A.M. Visitation will be an hour prior to the service in the Relief Society Room. A visitation will be held at the Atwood Family Chapel in Basin, Wyoming from 3 P.M. – 5 P.M. on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Burial will be at the Otto Cemetery in Otto, Wyoming next to his parents.
Atwood Family Funeral Directors, Inc. assisted the family with arrangements.