Robert William Sanders
Sequoyah High School ~ Employee 1960s - 1980s
TAHLEQUAH, Ok -- Services for Robert Williams Sanders (Sequoyah Class of 1951) , passed from this life on Monday, April 2, 2007, in Tahlequah, at 73 years of age. He was the youngest of 12, born on June 15, 1933, in Christie,to Charles and Jessie (Starr) Sanders.
Robert grew up in Adair County and attended school at Christie and Baron elementary schools. In 1951, he graduated from Sequoyah Vocational School . He was part of the 1949 Class C State Runner-Up football team that finished with a season record of 12-1-1. He served in the U.S. Army for two tours of duty. While serving in West Germany, he played fullback for the Friedburg Cougars and was voted Most Valuable Player by his teammates for the 1960 season.
Robert was named captain of the 3rd Armored Division All-Star football team. He also played baseball for the V (5th) Corps Guardians and the Friedburg Rammers. He re-enlisted in the Army for his second tour, serving again in Germany. He served the U.S. for over eight and one-half years before his honorable discharge in 1962.
Robert married Wauneta Irene Hendricks (Seq. employee 1960's-80s) in 1962 at the original First Baptist Church in Tahlequah. He attended Northeastern State College - now Northeastern State University - and played football as linebacker. At the age of 29, he was the oldest member of the football team and was dubbed “Ol’ Folks” by Coach Norwood. He later received a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a minor in history.
Robert began his career in education at Chilocco Indian School, where he served as a recreational specialist; and later, he coached wrestling and taught physical education. In August of 1966, he relocated to Sequoyah High School where he coached football and taught history and physical education classes. He also coached baseball, softball, and girl’s and boy’s basketball. Robert’s career at Sequoyah spanned over 20 years until his retirement in 1987.
He was a charter member of Cherry Springs Golf Club, a member of Oklahoma Secondary Schools Athletic Association, and a member of Southside Baptist Church. Robert enjoyed going to the Crescent Valley Jamboree, listening to country western music, doing crossword puzzles, watching football, basketball and golf on television, and most of all, spending time with his family and grandchildren.
Robert is preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Jessie Sanders; four sisters, Susie Raines, Louisa Swake, Crystal Butler and Charlotte Cone; and three brothers, Arthur (Judd) Sanders (Seq. 2nd grade 1947), Martin Sanders and Calvin Sanders.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Wauneta Sanders, of the home; a daughter, Roxanne Sanders-Kelley and her husband, Eugene Kelley, of Keys; two sons, Robert “R.C.” Sanders of Tahlequah and Monte Sanders of Keys; two sisters, Jessie Sanders Skrzypczak (Seq. Class of 1948) and husband, Ray, of Tulsa, and Violet Hull of Tulsa; two brothers, Joseph Sanders (Seq.Class of 1949) and wife, Becky, of Broken Arrow and Lemuel Sanders (Seq. Class of 1945) and wife, Jackie, of Tahlequah; eight grandchildren, Christopher Kirk, Jacob Kirk, Alexis Kelley, Ryan Sanders, Rhiannon Sanders, Zachary Sanders, Kailey Sanders and Joseph Sanders; numerous nieces and nephews; and countless friends and loved ones.
Services were held Monday, April 9th, at Reed-Culver Funeral Chapel with Pastor J.E. Cook and Pastor Little Beaver Wildcat (Seq. Cls '65) officiating. Interment followed at Fort Gibson National Cemetery. Casket bearers were Dewayne Marshall (Seq. Cls '65) , Buddy Lindsey (Seq. Cls '68), Chebon Wacoche (Seq. Cls '87) , Jeff Vance, John Easter and Brad Peak. Honorary casket bearers were Raymond Yahola, Johnny Hunter and the entire “tribe” at Cherry Springs Golf Club.