Patrick R. Saunders

Jul 19, 2013

Patrick R. Saunders, of Norwalk, husband of Annie Saunders, and father of Patrick, Katie (Jeremy) Fox, and Corrie (Andy) Horn, grandfather of Makenzi Saunders, Cameron, Sydney and Chase Fox, and Dylan Horn, was called home Friday, July 19, 2013.

Pat was born in 1948 to Merritt and Patricia Saunders, and graduated in 1966 from Clay High School in Portsmouth, Ohio.

At the age of 18 he gained employment at the Norfolk & Southern Railway in Bellevue, as a brakeman and furthering his career, as a conductor. During his 24 years on the railroad he served as a Local Chairman and Legislative Representative for UTU Local 225.

During this time he served four years, 1968-1972, in the U.S. Navy as a SeaBee Construction Electrician 3rd Class Petty Officer and crew leader, stationed in the western Pacific and southeast Asia.

After coming home from the service he went back to the railroad and also attended Bowling Green State University. He retired from the railroad in 1990 and then spent the next 10 years working as an investigator for a rail labor law firm.

In 2001, he finished his bachelor's degree and went on to graduate school on an assistantship finishing his Master's Degree in American Cultural Studies in 2003. He taught American Culture Studies from 2003 until 2010 at Firelands BGSU.

Pat was involved in the Huron County Democratic Party in 1972, and served as the chairman from 1994-2001. He was a member of the Board of Elections from 1992 until 2004.

Pat served in many different capacities throughout his life. He was the founder of the Firelands Area Labor-Management Citizens Council from 1979-1988. He was one of the founding members of the Firelands Area Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America, serving as president from 1985-1992. He organized the Firelands Progressive Coalition, an organization involved with educational funding and healthcare in Ohio from 2001-2003. He was a member and Faculty Advisor of the BGSU Peace and Justice Club from 2001-2005. He was also a member of the BGSU Firelands H.O.P.E. (Humanity Organized for Peace through Education) and the YDS Club at Firelands. He was a member of the Working Class Studies Association from 2006-2010. He was instrumental in helping many people secure employment in various fields.

Pat enjoyed open-mic night and wrote many poems, and was always interested in current events especially politics. Pat enjoyed his grandkids to the fullest and was the best grandpa and dad in the world. He also enjoyed going to the movies, many times taking all of the grandkids with him.

One of his more recent accomplishments was to ride 1,015 miles in 22 hours using two-lane roads on his motorcycle. Thus he became a member of the Iron Butt Association. Pat experienced pure freedom when on his Harley.

In addition to his family listed above, he is survived by his sisters, Monica Jackson, Kathy Harris, Donna (Craig) Eastham, Janet (Brian) Cooper; and brother, Mark Saunders; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Merritt and Patricia Saunders; and his grandparents.

Pat’s teaching and life’s philosophy was “In order for students to learn about our culture and to critically articulate their thoughts, reading, writing, and speaking were their most important tools." Most of all Pat was a very opinionated person that cared about everyone and wanted to see success in people's lives no matter where they came from.

Calling hours will be 4-8 p.m. Tuesday, July 23, at Walker Funeral Home 98 W. Main St. Norwalk. Christian services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday July 24, at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions can be made to Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675, Stein Hospice,1200 Sycamore Line , Sandusky, OH 44870,  or God's Little Critters, 1609 Peru Center Road, Willard, OH 44890.

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