He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 52 years, Theresa T. Sanders; his father, Joseph F. Sanders Sr.; his mother, Eva Mae Sanders; his brother, Joseph F. Sanders Jr., and his step-daughter, Carrie E. Glenn Thornton.
He is survived by his step-son, Richard G. Lukasik; step-daughter Brenda J. Luthie; grandchildren Stephanie M. Bevan, James E. Thornton, David L. Thornton, Richard G. Lukasik Jr. and great-grandchildren Alyssa J. Talbert, Cade J. Talbert and Abagail R. Thornton.
He was in the Navy during the Korean War. During his occupation as an ironworker he worked on the restoration of The Queen Mary in Long Beach, Calif. He was a Mason member of the Georgiana Davis Lodge No. 338 in Trussville, Ala. His hobbies included fishing, hunting, camping and driving his classic truck. He loved to barbecue and hang out with friends and family.
He was laid to rest in Birmingham, Ala., on Monday, March 10.
He will be remembered for helping others in need, his tenacious spirit, and his love of life.