On Friday afternoon, November 25th, 2022, William Sander passed away at the age of 82. He was in the comfort of his own home and quietly and peacefully passed away after years of declining health.
Bill was born on October 20th, 1940, in Yonkers, New York to Herbert and Dorothy Sander, joining his older sister Lesly Ann. He lived in Yonkers until shortly after his sister's death at age 14 in 1949. After this event, the family re-located to just outside of Phoenix, Arizona, where they resided until 1951 before returning to the Yonkers area. He graduated from Lincoln High School in Yonkers and went on to graduate from Hobart and William Smith College. He also obtained his Masters Degree from SUNY Stony Brook.
In November 1966 he married Jan and they recently celebrated 56 years of marriage. They raised three children, Leslie, David, and Lisa. Before settling in Vermont, they lived in the Buffalo, New York area and Glenwood Springs area of Colorado.
Bill was consistently involved in community engagement. During his college years and the years immediately following he was actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement as he and Jan were doing all they could to help ensure the safety and quest for equality for many people that they knew. Upon settling in Vermont, they continued to run a group home boarding school for troubled youth that they had started in Colorado. After this he continued his career for 23 years for the State of Vermont in the Social Services division. He took immense pride in his work and received quite a few updates from past clients that thanked him for believing in them and encouraging them to persevere to make a better life for themselves and often their children as well. He was also a consistent advocate for affordable housing in the State of Vermont.
His commitment to community service extended to serving for many decades in the Vermont Democratic Committee, he served as the Chairman of the Lamoille County Committee for many years. He was especially proud to have been selected to be an Obama delegate for the 2008 National Democratic Convention. He was also chosen to serve on the Electoral College for Obama's second term as an Elector for the State of Vermont. Due to this honor, he was able to attend the inauguration for Obama's second term as well. He also dedicated many years to serving on the school board of Lamoille Union High School. He was a firm believer in improving education and the buildings where it was provided. He was heavily involved in the re-design of the Lamoille Union Middle and High School and Tech Center. He also served on the local select board for years and was just re-elected to serve as a Justice of The Peace for the Town of Cambridge.
Bill's hobbies included antique cars and trains. He was involved with several clubs over the years, most notedly The Vermont Auto Enthusiasts car club, which is known for putting on The Waterbury Car Show (formerly the Stowe Car Show). He was able to serve a term as VAE
President. He was also quite involved with The New England MGT Register. His and Jan's own collection of cars included a collection of cars from various decades, including a Chrysler Prowler to a 1926 Model T. His favorite of all the vehicles was his 1990 Mazda Miata. He had an extensive model railroad set up that is utterly amazing to watch. He had also started building a ride on train track on his property, the track layout was never fully completed but all his grandchildren have fond memories of "riding the train" with Grandpa as the engineer on the locomotive. He was also a member of the Champlain Valley Chapter of The National Railway Historical Society.
Bill is survived by his wife Jan, his son David and wife Roselie and their two sons Sean and Will of Richmond, Vermont, and his daughter Lisa and husband Jed Abair from Jeffersonville and their children Connor, Aidan, Liam, Caellie and Karlin Foley. He also shared a special relationship with several step grandchildren, Courtney and Meghan Foley and Peter Abair. We all will miss him tremendously. Bill was pre-deceased by his parents Dorothy and Herbert, his sister Lesly, his stepfather George Stone, his aunt Grace Dietz, and was devastated by the loss of his daughter Leslie to cancer on her 22nd birthday in 1989.
He was especially thankful to be in the comfort of his own home for the last year of his life. This was made possible with the amazing assistance and guidance of Lamoille Home Health and Hospice and several local agencies that provide in-home nursing aides. Nicole, Sara, Gisele, Melissa, Sherry and Angie from Lamoille Home Health, Crystal, Teandra, and Rachel from various agencies- we cannot thank you enough for all your care and assistance over the past year. We could not have done it without you.
Memorial contributions can be made to Lamoille Home Health and Hospice or The Leslie R. Sander Scholarship Fund, Bard College at Simon's Rock. Services will be held later, at a date to be announced. Please visit awrfh.com to share your memories and condolences.