Gerardus (Gary) Sanders passed away peacefully after a brief battle with cancer on November 7, 2020 at Kelowna Hospice, with his wife Helen and daughter Kelly by his side.
Gary was born on October 19, 1945 in Leimuiden, Holland. His family immigrated to Canada in 1953 settling in Mercoal, AB, then Cawston, BC in 1957.
Gary spent three years (1964-1967) in the Royal Canadian Navy on the H.M.C.S. Stadacona working as an Able Seaman Electrical Technician. After his release from the navy, he earned an Electro-Mechanics Certificate from Vancouver Vocational Institute.
Gary worked as a drywaller and general contractor in the Lower Mainland for fifteen years before returning to Keremeos in 1988. He partnered with Bob Poland to form G & B Contracting from 1996-2002. He then began Sanders-United Contracting with his nephew Steve Sanders until his passing, building over seventy-five homes in the Village of Keremeos during his career.
Gary volunteered at the Keremeos Branch #192 Legion and enjoyed spending time with friends and family there. He also played Santa Claus for the residents of Orchard Haven and River Valley Lodge. He loved his vegetable garden and flowers. He also enjoyed travelling, especially the annual Las Vegas trips at Spring Break.
Gary is survived by his spouse, Helen; children Kelly (Tom) Robins, Kevin Sanders and Lyndsay; grandchildren, Brianne and Jerod Robins; brother-in-law Paul Broda and Collette Bieulieu, sister-in-law Lillian Allison/Sanders; brothers, Harry (Beth), Will (Reva), John (Georgianne), Luke (Yvonne), sisters Mieki Somers, Carla (Jerry) McClarty; foster brother Bill Baptiste and adopted brother Charles Sanders, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his sister and brother-in-law Nellie and Peter Van Diemen, brother-in-law Neil Somers, brother Casey Sanders, nephew Mitch Sanders, and foster siblings Margaret and Andy Baptiste.
The family extends a special thank you to the staff at the Kelowna General ICU, the nursing staff on unit 4A at KGH, as well as the staff at Kelowna Hospice. They also wish to thank all those who gave support, cards, and food while Gary was in Kelowna.
Donations to the Cancer Society of BC in Gary’s name would be gratefully appreciated. A graveside service will be held on Friday November 20, at 11am with Jason Wiebe officiating.
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