Roger Owen “Bootie” Sanders

Roger Owen “Bootie” Sanders

Roger Owen “Bootie” Sanders

FRANKLIN - Roger Owen “Bootie” Sanders, 69, passed away Wednesday, April 12, 2017.

Mr. Sanders was born Nov. 23, 1947 in Macon County to the late Mack Owen Sanders and Edna Mae Brendle Sanders, who survives. He was preceded in death by a son, Ryan Owen Sanders. 

Mr. Sanders was a founding member of Franklin Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #994 and also a member of American Legion Post #108 and Riverbend Baptist Church.  He served in Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He received numerous awards for his military service. His military service was an important part of his life as well as his family’s life.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by his wife of 47 years, Carol Ann Speed Sanders, two sons, Rodney Sanders and his wife Renee of Franklin, and Russell Sanders and daughter–in‑law Sara Beth Sanders of Sylva; five grandchildren, Nathan, Katie, Nicholas, Luke and Emily Sanders; daughter‑in‑law, Laura Sanders; two sisters, Joyce Carpenter and Brenda Delgato (Sam); mother‑in‑law, Irene Speed of Franklin; and niece, Christie Stanfield (Mike).

One of his legacies that will live on is the deep sense of patriotism and love of country that he instilled in his children. To the Sanders family, the National Guard was an extended family. There are so many fond memories that the children have growing up and participating in all of the activities and picnics on weekends with the 210th. 

The commitment to this way of life also saw the reality of deployment, which happened twice after Vietnam. As any military family knows, these deployments create a unique situation on the family left behind. Our family was blessed to have Roger return safely home on multiple occasions. This intense patriotism was also passed to his grandchildren, who saw papaw as a hero. The kids loved hearing his stories and going to the military parades with papaw.

Papaw was a title that he was proud to hold. The kids loved to hang out with him in “the building” next to the garden, where he was always taking something apart, starting seeds or redesigning his lawnmowers. He was also a proud father, husband, son, father‑in‑law and brother. He was always there for his family and friends anytime they needed him and always came through for them.

He loved to work in the yard and garden, and he especially loved to mow, to which his neighbors can surely attest. He loved to go to the Normandie in the mornings to socialize with friends. We never believed him when he told us that he just went to have coffee and didn’t eat anything. Even a trip to the VA could be fun for Roger. He always went with Jerry or another vet buddy, and they enjoyed the trip, often stopping for lunch. He enjoyed researching genealogy and was in the process of restoring his father’s car. He could fix or build anything and was always in high demand. He will leave a void in so many lives.

A funeral service was held Saturday, April 15 at Riverbend Baptist Church, with the the Revs. Roy Lowe, Tommy Fouts and Brian Holland officiating. Burial was at Watauga Baptist Church Cemetery with full military rites.  Franklin Vietnam Veterans of America served as pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Franklin Vietnam Veterans of America, 203 Sloan Road, Franklin, NC 28734 or to Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675‑8517.

The family received friends Friday evening at Bryant‑Grant Funeral Home and Crematory. Online condolences may be made at Bryant‑Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Sanders family.

The Franklin Press

Mailing Address:
40 Depot Street
Franklin, NC 28744 

Phone: 828-524 2010
Fax: 828-524-8821