Cover photo for Gary Ronald Saunders's Obituary
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1936 Gary 2023

Gary Ronald Saunders

November 6, 1936 — August 24, 2023

Gary Ronald Saunders

November 6, 1936 – August 24, 2023

Lifelong Montrose resident Gary Saunders, age 86, passed away at Valley Manor Care Center on Thursday, August 24th, 2023. Gary was born the third of nine children to Norman and Alleen (Menefee) Saunders on November 6th, 1936. He spent his childhood years in Montrose and attended Montrose High School. He entered the United States Navy in 1955 for two years of active service. In 1957, he was transferred to the reserves where he served until 1960. He married Myrna Brown and to this union they were blessed with daughters Ronnalee and Connie Sue, both who preceded him in death. He later married Nancy Sluiter, and to this union came another blessing of daughter Elizabeth.
Gary’s lifelong career was in the automotive industry. He loved cars and people, and knew everyone by the year, make, and model vehicle they drove. In his later years, he worked for Big O Tires in Montrose, only retiring at age 80 due to a broken hip from a fall. His co-workers described Gary’s strong work ethic as being second to none. “I have much respect for that man. He made the world a better place and was funny, too.” In addition to being quick with amusing quips, Gary had a vast array of jokes he loved to tell. He also enjoyed good, old-fashioned country music and working in his yard.  He especially enjoyed time with his large family. At family gatherings, he and his brothers and sisters had some wild stories to tell of their days growing up. In recent years, Gary often spoke of how thankful he was to be a part of such a caring, giving family, along with life-long friends that allowed him to spend his later years in the comfort of his home.
Gary is survived by brothers Gene Saunders of Montrose, Roy (Connie) Saunders of Houston, Texas, Ken (Sherri) Saunders of Surprise, Arizona, sister Karen (Jim) Massey of Farmington, New Mexico, sister-in-laws Ann Saunders of Montrose and Joan Saunders of Goodyear, Arizona, daughter Elizabeth of Grand Junction, Colorado, as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by brothers Ed Saunders, Roger Saunders and sisters Shirley Wing and Joyce Sawyer.
Gary’s family is grateful to employees of the Veteran’s Administration, Valley Manor, Montrose Regional Health, Montrose Health and Human Services, Hope West, Dr. Barton, Stacy Burnell and Lisa Wing, each of you making sure Gary was comfortable during his final year.
A celebration of Gary’s life will take place at the Montrose Elks Lodge on September 16th at 2 p.m.
Crippin Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Welcome Home Alliance for Veterans, 4 Hillcrest Plaza Way, Montrose, CO 81401 or Hope West Montrose, 725 S. 4th St, Montrose, CO 81401

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