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Claude E. Sanders

September 10, 1938 October 30, 2017
Claude E. Sanders
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Obituary for Claude E. Sanders

Claude E. Sanders, 79, of, Knox, passed away Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, at his home at Bass Lake, surrounded by his wife and family. Claude was born Sept. 10, 1938, in the front room of the family farmhouse on County Line Road in North Bend Township to William A. and Vernita Bortell Sanders, both deceased.
He attended the Ora schoolhouse in which his mother taught, and was always proud that he graduated eighth grade first in his class. He would also promptly tell any who listened that there were only 2 students in his class and that the other student dropped out.
Claude attended Knox Community High School. There he played football, basketball, and track earning eight varsity letters. He also played in the Knox High School band.
A 1956 KHS graduate and one of the first Knox graduates to play in an NCAA Division I football program.
Because of his athletics accomplishments, Claude was inducted into the Knox High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006. This fall, his name will also be added to the Athletic Department’s Honor Wall at Indiana State University.
He received his Bachelors degree majoring in Science and Music. Claude moved back to Knox to teach at Knox Community Middle School and coached football, wrestling and track at Knox High School from 1963 to 1972. Ever the showman, Claude played in his own band “The Shoremen” as the lead guitarist, appearing primarily at The Shore Room at Bass Lake, but also around the county, including the Chicken Coop at Koontz Lake.
In 1964, Claude married Janice Marion Bonnema, and spent the next 53 years together. The couple had three children.
Claude left teaching and moved his family to Colorado where he became a private contractor building houses. His business grew and he was responsible for building several major housing developments in the Fort Collins and Greeley areas.
Claude returned to School Administration and became a school principal in Burlington, Colorado, and in Brewster and Dodge City, Kansas. He moved again to become a high school principal and assistant superintendent in Sierra Vista, then became school superintendent in San Manuel, Arizona.
He is remembered as having touched the lives of thousands of students, educators and community members. His lasting legacy is that he followed his mother’s footsteps into Education, and lived to see his children also become educators. Students from all over the country continue to express the impact Claude had on their lives. Equally more precious are the lives he touched in his own community.
His youngest daughter – Dr. Elizabeth Ratliff and her family - followed her parents to Bass Lake and she currently serves as the high school principal at KHS. His oldest son is an elementary principal in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and his middle daughter, Leslie, is a teacher and former principal of two elementary schools.
In 1997, Claude and Janice purchased a cottage at Bass Lake, and spent eight years refurbishing it with their family. They would spend summers and holidays at the lake until Claude’s retirement from school administration in Arizona in 2002. They would officially retire to Bass Lake full time in 2006.
Claude is survived by his wife, Janice; his son, Claude Eric Sanders, of Lake Havasu City; Leslie J. May, of Knox; and Elizabeth M. Sanders (Charles) Ratliff of Knox; two grandchildren – Colton J. Hill, of Knox, and Rebecca E. Ratliff, of Knox. He is also survived by one brother, Rodney C. (Darlene) Sanders, of Kearny, Arizona, and Knox, Indiana. He is pre-deceased by his brother William A. (Gloria) Sanders (April 5, 2017).

A celebration of his life will take place at the Bass Lake Property Owner’s building on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, beginning at 10 a.m.

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10:00 AM 11/5/2017 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 11/5/2017 11:00:00 AM
Bass Lake Property Owners Association Building

6996 S. State Road 10
Knox, IN 46534

"Last Coffee With Claude Sanders"

Bass Lake Property Owners Association Building
6996 S. State Road 10 Knox 46534 IN
United States

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