Born: August 02, 1930
Died: March 11, 2014
Jack Clinton Sanderson was born to George Harrison and Frances Elizabeth (Nixon) (Proper) Sanderson August 2, 1930, near Chesaning, MI. He grew up on a farm in Fowlerville, MI where he excelled in track in High School and also played the tuba.
Jack is survived by wife, Lois (Riker) Sanderson, of Fremont, MI and by 6 children: Tanya Beth (Cliff Clark) Sanderson of Newaygo, MI, Jackie Lynn (Michael Cole) Sanderson of Sedalia, CO, Kurt Lee Sanderson and his wife Susan Kay (Morgan) of Fremont, MI, Kay Tee (Sanderson) Rottman and her husband Alan of Hudsonville, MI, John Scott Sanderson and his wife Amanda (Heath) of Walker, MI, and Kristin Jo (Sanderson) Watson and her husband Todd of Bergheim, TX. Jack has been blessed with nine grandchildren, Derek (Taylor), Brent, and Jared Rottman; Bryce, Carson, Luke, Hallie (Michael), and Kirsten Sanderson; and Ryan (Cris) Loughridge; and one great granddaughter, Madelyn. Jack leaves one surviving sister, Lola Jean Thomas of Grand Rapids. He was preceded in death by three brothers, Gale, Leonard G. of Vero Beach FL, and Marlo Edwin of Alachua FL, half brother, Harley Proper of Edwardsburg, MI, and half sister, Myrle Robinson.
Jack graduated from Michigan State University in 1952, a legacy of Spartan pride that was followed by several of his children and grandchildren. He started teaching vocational agriculture when he met Lois Riker. They were united in marriage June 14, 1953 and enjoyed over 60 years together. Jack was drafted into the US Army, where he served two years in Germany.
Upon his return, he earned his masters degree and taught for 5 years in Bath, MI before moving to Fremont where he was the vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor for 28 years. He enjoyed farm visits to see student’s projects and the yearly FFA conventions. During that time, he also served as superintendent of the junior livestock program at the Michigan State Fair, Chairman of the Michigan State Fair, served on the board of the Newaygo County Fair, was chosen as the Fremont Jaycee "Young Man of the Year," served on the Sheridan Township board, and served on many political and education committees at local and state levels. He was selected as an alternate at the national convention in Detroit in 1980. Jack was a founder of the Newaygo County Employees Credit Union.
A very giving and trusting man, Jack would be the first one to lend a tool, his car, money or anything that a friend needed and he never met a stranger. Jack was passionate about his hobbies and interests, and put fun as the top priority of his life. On his farm, he involved his family in raising horses, pigs, cattle, and an incredible garden that supplied a roadside stand on “Sanderson Farm”. He also grew produce for Gerber and for local grocery stores and farmers markets. Jack built a camper and took his family on extended road trips across the country and often over the borders each year, and encouraged his children to travel as exchange students and also hosted several exchange students of his own over the years: Hugo Tilly from Chile, Birgit Sobol from Germany, and Claes Uvesten from Sweden.
Jack kept his pilot license current over the years and owned a little plane that he called “the Red Baron”. Before retiring from teaching, Jack started to build his Standardbred horse herd for his second career. He trained and drove the harness horses for many years across tracks in Michigan. He and Lois used their winnings to travel even more, and always made plenty of new friends along the way. After racing and encountering several leg injuries, he built Meadowbrook horse carts at his farm and enjoyed delivering them to their new owners, which he called his “new friends”.
A celebration of Jack’s life will be held in this summer on Sunday, June 1 2014, from 2 – 5 PM at Camp Newaygo.
Please consider remembering Jack by donating to the Fremont Future Farmers of America (FFA), Fremont High School, 5421 S. Warner, Fremont, MI 49412. Their programs will support leadership experiences, hands-on projects, and field trips.
Arrangements by Crandell Funeral Home – Fremont Chapel www.crandellfh.com