Richard (Sandy) A. Sanders, CMSGT, USAF, Retired, passed peacefully at his Hill Country retreat on January 20, 2021.
Sandy was born to C. Sahm and Ada Sahm in Lancaster, PA, on November 4, 1936. He later was adopted and changed his name to Richard Alan Sanders. He graduated from Springdale H.S. in 1954 and joined the USAF in 1955. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Chapman College, Orange, CA, and received his Master's Degree in Public Administration from Webster University, St. Louis, MO.
Chief Sanders started his Air Force Career as an Airborne Radio Operator in December 1955, assigned to Misawa AFB, Japan, flying B-26s, C-47s, and C-119 aircraft. He cross-trained into the Boom Operator Career Field in January 1959. He flew over 170 combat missions in support of Southeast Asia in the KC-135. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and seven Air Medals. He flew over 10,000 hours during his Air Force career. In December 1975, he was assigned to the Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph AFB, San Antonio, TX, in a 12-month test program as the Air Force Boom Operator Functional Manager. He parlayed this assignment into 9 years. He loved his position making career assignments for all Boom Operators in the Air Force. They loved him as he tried to give them the assignment they wanted if they would sacrifice a bad one for the good one. He retired as a Chief Master Sergeant in January 1985.
Sandy married Janice Walker in 1955. Together they raised four children: Scott, Steve, Suzanne (Sue), and Jeff. He met his wife, DeLores, in 1975, and they were married in l983 at the Randolph AFB Chapel.
He has one step-son, Kevin Walker.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Richard C. and Ada Sanders, and first wife, Janice. He has seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
After retirement, Sandy enjoyed military reunions, Judson H.S. football, bass fishing, raising birds, chickens, and a donkey in the Hill Country, Lake Medina, TX. He bought a Hill Country cabin and remodeled it twice with multiple lots to mow .He accepted the Lord as his Personal Savior in January 2005 and was baptized. He found great peace and joy in church attendance, working on the church grounds and Advisory Council, and fellowshiping with fellow Christians.
Services will be held on February 12, 2021 at New Life Baptist Church, 101 North Street, Converse, TX. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. with Services following at 11 a.m., and graveside service for family and close friends only, immediately following at Fort Sam Houston. Live streaming will be on the New Life Baptist Church Facebook at 11:00 a.m. Memorials are welcome to New Life Baptist Church, Wounded Warriors, or Tunnel to Towers. Funeral arrangements are trusted to Chapel Hill Funeral Home, San Antonio, TX.
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