John M. "Jack" Sanders was known by many for his deep and abiding love for the national pastime. His passion for baseball proved contagious during his 62 years on the coaching staff at Cranbrook School, during which he left a profound impression on countless teen-aged ball players whose friendships with the coach would endure throughout their adult lives.
Mr. Sanders, 86, passed away Thursday, April 19, 2012, at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak after a valiant battle with lymphoma. It was exactly two weeks after he paid a final visit to the beloved Cranbrook baseball field that bears his name.
In addition to his adoration for the game, Mr. Sanders was gifted with an intense curiosity about all things and an extraordinary retention of detail. He relished good food, his many friends and the large family who all equally cherished his keen insight and quick wit.
Following his graduation from Cranbrook in 1942, Mr. Sanders served in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He completed his degree in mathematics from Amherst College in 1946, where he managed the baseball team. He later derived great satisfaction from mentoring hundreds of young scholars at both Cranbrook and Amherst throughout his adult life. In 2001, Mr. Sanders was inducted into the Michigan High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame, one of numerous honors bestowed on him through his involvement in baseball.
The family confectionery and bakery business drew most of Mr. Sanders' professional energies over a career that spanned more than four decades. He guided the Fred Sanders company through a period of enormous growth and change, proudly bearing the torch and guarding the secret recipes for a collection of signature toothsome products that had become synonymous with Detroit.
Mr. Sanders is survived by his sister, Nancy Sanders Chickering; his nephews and nieces, Christopher Sanders (Chris Theisen), John Sanders, Duncan (Alison) Sanders-Fleming, Charlie (Nancy) Frick, Joan (Rob) Marquart, Betsy (Charlie) Petoskey, Susie (Dan) Carlman, and Carol (Bill) Burden. Many great nieces and nephews and innumerable dear friends also survive.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred W. Sanders and Dorothy (nee Martin) Sanders, and his brother Frederick Sanders III.
A memorial service is scheduled for Monday, April 30th at 11:30am at Christ Church Cranbrook, (Lone Pine west of Woodward), Bloomfield Hills.
In lieu of flowers family suggests memorial tributes to Cranbrook Schools Horizons-Upward Bound Program, P.O. Box 801, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303-0801 or Amherst College, Office of Development, Smith House, 22 Hitchcock Rd., Amherst, MA 01002.
Read John M. Sanders's Obituary and Guestbook on desmondfuneralhome.com.