George Robert “Bob” Sanders, 93, of Troy
George Robert “Bob” Sanders, 93, of Troy, Mont., left this world on September 29. He ended a full life of 93 years at home with his family present, just as he had wished.
The Sanders family first came to Troy in 1917. Bob’s father, Henry Sanders and mother, Lavina (Fouks) Sanders were temporarily living in Kellogg, Idaho, where Henry was working as a carpenter at the Bunker Hill Mine, when Bob was born on January 14, 1929.
Bob grew up on the family’s dairy farm and ranch in the Iron Creek Valley, south of Troy, where as a child he helped deliver milk by wagon in the local area. He attended Troy schools and graduated in 1946 from Troy High School, where he was captain of the basketball team.
In 1948 Bob joined the U.S. Navy. He served until 1952 as a radioman on PB4Y2 search and rescue aircraft based out of Corpus Christi, Texas. While he was in the Navy, he indulged his love of motorcycles and owned several Harley Davidsons. When he had leave he rode his Harley the 4,000 mile round trip from south Texas to Troy.
Bob returned to Troy after the Navy and worked in the logging industry, first driving trucks for J. Neils Lumber Co. and then owning and driving his own trucks. Over the years he worked with Dave Robins, Martin Riedlinger, Bruce Leighty and other long-time local logging contractors. He also fulfilled a dream of driving long-haul semis, criss-crossing the western U.S. and Canada for International Transport. He kept active as a truck driver and mechanic for many years after his “official” retirement. A lover of the outdoors, when asked why he enjoyed working in the woods, Bob replied “It’s like going camping every day.”
In 1955, Bob met Betty Jo Warman, who had recently moved to Troy from Missouri, and they were married on November 24th of that year. They lived in a tiny trailer on the family’s Iron Creek ranch until buying property just outside Troy in 1961, where they had lived ever since. Bob and Betty were together for nearly 67 years.
Besides Betty, Bob’s other loves were fishing, snowmobiling and flying. He took flying lessons and, with childhood friend Jim Winslow, owned three single-engine Cessnas over the years in a hangar that they built at the Troy airport. Summer weekends often found him out in his boat, fishing, and winter weekends were spent on snowmobile trail rides with his buddies.
Bob was preceded in death by his sisters June (Sanders) Burns and Lois (Sanders) Smeltzer. He is survived by his wife, Betty; son Joe Sanders and his wife Diane Sanders of Tumwater, Washington; and grandchildren Malia Sanders of Port Angeles, Washington, and Taylor Sanders of Palouse, Washington, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby, Montana. Online memories may be shared at www.schnackenbergfh.com.
It was Bob’s wish that no public memorial service be held. His family requests that donations in his memory be made to the Troy School District All School Reunion Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box, 867, Troy, Mont. 59935.
Bob’s family would like to express their appreciation to so many members of the Troy community for all of their support in recent years, and especially during this time of loss – and of celebration of his life. When you hear a passing truck’s Jake Brake, please think of Bob.
Joe Nelson, 90, of Libby
- Joe Nelson was born in Canton, OK on December 21, 1931 to Robert Lee and Fannie Mae Williams Nelson, the 4th of 6 children. When he was 4, the family moved to Bowman, ID. At the age of 12, the family moved to Curley Creek outside of Bonners Ferry, Idaho. He passed away on September 29, at his home in Libby, Mont.
He joined the Air Force in 1949. After basic and advanced training, he sailed 5 days on a troop ship to Alaska. He was stationed at Elmendorf Air Base in Anchorage for 24 months where he was an aircraft engine repairman. While there he was blown off the wing of an airplane they were working on and injured both knees. He spent 59 days in a hospital in Montgomery, before being medically discharged as a Sergeant. He was very honored and proud to have gone on the Honor Flight in 2018.
On September 4, 1954 he married Clara Lethrud in Sandpoint, Idaho. When asked what his occupation was, he generally answered YES. He could repair almost any kind of engine, car, generator, starters, chainsaws. He had to quit school after the 8th grade to run a lumber mill with his dad. He was a scaler, crane operator, log truck driver, Restorium Manager, apartment Manager, home handyman. He also built and remodeled numerous homes for the family over the years. His favorite pastime was fishing. He could catch almost any fish he ever tried to catch.
He served on the Bonners Ferry school board for several terms. He was a grade 2 Paramedic EMT on the Boundary County ambulance. He was very involved with the Masonic Lodge, serving 7 times as the Worshipful Master in 3 different lodges, Idaho District Deputy Grand Master and Idaho Grand Tyler. He loved being a Shriner. He was a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, York Rite Mason Knight Commander. He was a member of Eastern Star and served 6 times as Worthy Patron. He was also the Associate Bethel Guardian for Jobs Daughters.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Clara; his parents, Robert and Fannie; and all 5 of his siblings, Lee Mae, John Travis, LuVene, Maxine and Erwin.
He is survived by his daughter Linda (Lee) Lampton of Libby, Mont.; sons Richard of New York, N.Y. and Leonard (Cheryl) of Portland, Ore.; grandchildren Jeremy and Lucas (Terri) of Libby, Mont. and Jacob, Elizabeth and Spencer of Portland, Ore.; great-grandchildren Jonothan and Hailee of Libby, Mont.; and step-grandchildren Eric of Troy, Mont. and Ivy (Mike) of Bothell, Wash.
A celebration of life will be held at a future date. Arrangements are under the care of Schnackenberg Funeral Home of Libby, Mont. Online condolences and memories may be shared by visiting www.schnackenbergfh.com.