Obituary: WENDELL NEWTON SANDERS
April 29, 1932 – January 27, 2022
Wendell Newton Sanders, 89, of Sterling, passed, with family at his bedside, into God’s Heavenly Kingdom, Thursday, January 27, 2022. Visitation will be from 2 – 6 pm, Thursday, February 3 at Chaney-Reager Funeral Home, with family greeting from 4 to 6. A Funeral service will be held at 2 pm, Friday, February 4 at First Presbyterian Church in Sterling with Rev. Michelle Witherspoon officiating. Interment will be at Riverside Cemetery. Wendell was born Friday, April 29, 1932, in Sterling to Wilburn Newton and Jennie Mae (Robirds) Sanders, as was his beloved twin brother, Wilburn. Wendell grew up on a farm northeast of Sterling where he lived and worked alongside his parents and three siblings. He attended Sanders country school, just down the road, graduating at 8th grade. He then transferred to Sterling High School, where he graduated in 1950. His popularity was evident as he became Student Body President and a State FFA Officer in his Senior year. He began attending Colorado A&M college, in Ft. Collins, the following year. His college life was cut short as he joined the Army, in his first year, to serve with his twin brother, in the Korean War. He served in the 7th Infantry Division and was awarded The Commendation Pendant for Meritorious Service and The Order of The Bayonet for Faithful and Honorable Service. As his service in the military ended, he returned to Sterling, where he co-farmed with his parents. As his father and then mother succumbed to illness, he was their caregiver along with his sister, Jenevieve. After his parents passing, he took over the family farm and ranch operations until his retirement. During his successful agricultural career, he began mentoring Steve Parry 47 years ago, departing endless expertise and time in aiding him to build his own business. Steve, Joanne and their family, became his extended family. He raised Black Angus cattle, multiple crops and was given an Appreciation plaque from Keltgen Seed Co, for his dedicated loyalty and service for over 20 years. His wealth of knowledge in his profession was large and greatly respected. Wendell was a humble, kind, and gentle soul, who was loved by all who met him. For many years he would ‘stop-in’ for coffee at his sister Jenevieve’s, to say “Hi”, to check in on her and to catch up on family and community events. He also enjoyed the same comradery visiting with friends & family over the years at his favorite places of J&L and Bummers. During the last years of his life, he moved to town and lived at Legacy Assisted Living, where he also will be greatly missed. He became a favored friend and resident and enjoyed bingo and card games, which he won often. Wendell’s Great Grandparents and others of their generation were some of the original white settlers of this area. The statue placed in Sterling in 2015, at the East end of Main Street was dedicated to honor his Great Aunt Charity Sanders and Great Uncle Bill Hadfield. A Native American sitting next to them, depicting the unity they had in their co-habitation. Wendell is survived by his sister, Jenevieve Sanders Manuello Desoto, and her children, Gene Manuello (Kathie), Dowene Gregory (Glen), Carole Bretz (Ken), Vickie Cecil (Jim), Tammie Malone, and Shellie Haragan (Bill); nephew Dan Schneider (Diane), and nieces, Nancy Sollee, Cindy Gulisano (Dick), Rhonda Roberts (Dale), Willene Brondum (Michael), and Melanie Sanders. He was preceded in death by his parents, twin brother Wilburn Sanders (2013), and sister Jewel Schneider (2021). Cards may be sent and contributions made to the Wendell Sanders Memorial Fund in care of Chaney-Reager Funeral Home, 443 South 2nd St. or to his sister Jenevieve DeSoto, PO Box 225, Sterling, Colorado 80751.